Pets of Mrs Malhotra

“Aaaaaadddddyaa, no!”, screams my mother from the living room as my little sister, Aadya, holds the neck of the delicate bird forcing her to drink water even if it is not in a mood to drink it a wee bit.

Let me begin from the start. Last Friday, my mother informed us that her school friend, Mrs Malhotra, had invited us for dinner. After spending the whole year inside home due to the pandemic, this news was like a wave of happiness for me and my little sister. That very moment my mischievous, little sister started to plan her attire. She pulled out her drawer from the chest of drawers and started trying each and every dress. Sometimes she wanted to wear the red dress and next moment she wanted the pink one. My mother kept yelling at her not to mess up the room and that she would give her a nice dress to wear in the evening. But there was no effect of the yelling on my sister. Then came the pairs of sandals- red, brown or black. Phew….!

Finally, it was evening and we got ready for dinner. The venue was not far from our home, so we decided to walk down. We reached there in 5-6 mins. Mrs. Malhotra’s elder daughter,  a hefty girl studying in 9th grade, reminded me of Miss Trunchbull from Matilda. Her younger daughter studies in 3rd grade.

There were a few more members in the family. A dog named Ginger, a parrot named Charlie and a tortoise, yes, that’s right a tortoise, Dodo! It’s a little weird combination of pets but I think it’s fine as long as they are not part of a food chain. For quite some time I kept thinking about the food chain and what if the dog tried to eat the bird?

My little sister, quite excited to see such a variety, could not control herself and ran to see the bird. My mother warned her not to put fingers inside the cage as the bird might bite her. As usual, my sister didn’t listen to her. After keeping herself away from the bird for sometime, she could not resist anymore and opened the latch of the cage and grabbed Charlie from his neck. I shouted, “Keep him back Aadya, he may get hurt.” My mother screamed from the living room, “Aadya, no, keep it back”! But my sister kept holding him out of the cage. As our mother screamed, she quickly tried to keep him back but the door got closed in the middle with the bird’s neck hanging half out of the cage. My sister got hold of him again and kept on holding him till he screamed for his life!

Somehow, we managed to keep my sister away from the bird for some time. Then came Ginger, the dog. Now it was his turn. Ginger came running and jumped at my sister. He started licking her face and my sister fearlessly sat down to make it easier for the dog to lick her. Ginger quickly ran and grabbed a toy in his mouth. My sister started pulling the toy from Ginger’s mouth. We were a little worried that my sister might not irritate the dog too much. But there was nothing which could stop her! My sister kept running behind Ginger – around the dining table and all over the bed. From somewhere, Ginger got a tomato in his mouth but my sister pulled that out too. When Ginger wagged his tail, my sister quickly went and sat behind Ginger to feel the soft tail on her face. By now, you know how naughty my sister is!

In all this chaos, Dodo, the tortoise, was no where to be seen. After watching my sister’s mischief, I thought it was good that the small creature hid somewhere for his life. Suddenly, Aadya remembered that there was a tortoise as well in the house and she started looking for him all over. After a long search, we found the tiny tortoise relaxing under the bed unaware of the problems he was about to face. With great difficulty, we pulled Dodo out of the bed. My sister quickly grabbed him. The tortoise swiftly wrapped his head inside his shell. Now Aadya shouted, “Where is his head, eyes and mouth?” We all laughed aloud. With great difficulty we managed to put the tiny-tot down. Once he was down, Aadya asked, “Why is he not moving?”, though the little animal was at his full speed wanting to run away from all of us. But, my sister, unaware of this fact, bent down and started looking at the legs of the tortoise as if there was some problem with them. After all the inspection, she grabbed him and made him walk faster. The next moment, the tortoise became a pair of roller-skates pushed on the floor.

Soon, it was time for dinner. Aadya didn’t stop here, she kept on insisting to feed all the animals herself. My father decided to quickly have dinner and leave the house before something happened to the pets of Mrs Malhotra.

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