Fiction

Curiosity almost killed the Rat-II

Gunnu was anxious to watch the live party. He began to keep an eye on the hotel entrance. He tried to ascertain the inside activities with his limited knowledge and vast creative imagination. As evening approached, he saw a large group of people entering the hotel. All of them were dressed up in vibrant clothes and appeared jubilant. He gathered that a Birthday Bash was organized for the Mayor’s son in the Hotel. Gunnu became desperate to go and see with his own eyes the festivities and celebration. He ran frantically along the backyard wall hoping to find out a way to enter the kitchen.

The task seemed difficult as the only door which was used to throw out the garbage was close. But, Gunnu was adamant on entering the kitchen. He looked around and found a small hole in the ground adjacent to the wall. He started digging the hole and soon saw light on the other side. He peeped in and found himself staring at a room full of canisters and strange pleasant smell. His mouth watered at the sight of so many dishes. He forgot all about the party and started jumping around. He was in seventh heaven, with delicious aroma wafting from tasty dishes making him nostalgic with joy.

At that very moment, he noticed a line of ants entering from the wall. Each one of them was carrying a shiny sugar crystal. He stopped one of them and asked if they lived in the godown itself. The ant looked at him strangely and told him crassly that he was standing in the main cooking area. They reside inside the wall where they enter and leave through discreet paths. She also warned him to get away from the place at once, because the cook had an allergy for rats and cockroaches and kills them on the spot.

Gunnu shivered on hearing this and started thinking about going back, the ant continued on her path and disappeared into the wall. At that very moment, Gunnu heard heavy footsteps coming towards the kitchen. He got scared, there was no time to search for the hole. He looked around and saw a huge stand beside him. He jumped onto it. The stand was unexpectedly soft and cushiony. He slid between the giant pillars and closed his eyes. He was muttering prayers after prayers, begging God to forgive him once, he vowed never to disobey his parents again.

Suddenly, the stand began to shake. He opened his eyes discreetly. The scene simply took away his breath. Far removed from the congested kitchen, he was in a lavishly decorated room, brightly lit with chandeliers and bulbs. Festoons of various colors were hanging from the roof just as Papa had described. Gunnu’s dream was fulfilled. It was not a dream anymore, but a reality. He was really amidst the celebrations, the Birthday Party of the Mayor’s son.

Gunnu was trying to grasp the strangeness, curious faces and jeering kids. But, as he looked down, he realized that he was seated at a very high place, in fact, he was in the centre of the room and everyone was looking at him intently and praising the innovatively designed cake, which must be as delicious as it was beautiful. Gunnu’s mouth also watered. He looked at his front, back and sides, but could not find any cake!

All of a sudden, a boy moved towards him with a knife. Everyone was singing in shrill voices at deafening volume. But, all Gunnu could see was a shining blade inching towards him slowly and definitely. Someone shouted from the crowd, “Light the candles first and start cutting form his tail. Such a marvelous icing must not be destroyed!” Gunnu realized that he was actually sitting on the top of the cake and was misunderstood as a part of the cake. The boy was about to cut off his tail. He jumped off the cake and landed on the hard stone floor. Everyone gasped, it was no decoration, a mouse was actually sitting on the top of the cake.

People began to shout and run. Someone grabbed a plank and ran after Gunnu . He jumped to his right and left, toppling over people’s shoes, running between their legs, hitting against the wall. More he moved, more the people shouted. More the shouting, more he became confused. It went on for a while. Then, everyone became silent. Gunnu also stopped for a second to catch his breath.

The front door opened, the mustachioed guard entered with an iron rod and straight away moved towards the rat. Gunnu was almost fainting, but his mind was working at jet speed, he ran towards the guard with full force. The man had taken position to hit him, Gunnu was looking at him intently as if ready to attack. As the guard moved his iron rod down, Gunnu ran at full speed between his feet and was out of the hotel in a fraction of a second. He could hear people shouting behind, “Catch the rat. Kill it. Kill it!”

But, Gunnu was least bothered about the noise, he just ran and ran and entered his hole, took a sheet, covered himself and lay down, gave out a sigh and then fainted.

Gunnu had escaped from death, not once but twice. His heart was beating fast.

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