The Little Puddle

The Little Puddle


He is coming with us today to the grazing fields. He is barely two; He runs so fast his feet never touch the ground. His high pitched child’s voice babbles about this or that excitedly all the time.

If you ask me, he could have stayed home. He is too young to spend a day with cowherds on a hot day like this one.

His older brother who is a little boy himself is coming with us too. Some older gopas have promised to take care of the youngsters and hence they are coming with us.

The dark one runs fast, “Wait! Wait!” Someone calls out in laughter and holds him still with difficulty and tries to secure the yellow garment around his waist.

Someone else adjusts his little crown topped with a peacock feather, which is in danger of falling down.  He looks glorious; his little body is bedecked with jewels and silk. A careful mother had been at work on that one.

I would love to hold him for a while, but he has so many admirers who are milling around him.

In the fields, half a day passes without events. Sometime after noon, one of the calves falls in to a ditch and cries out pitifully.

I wonder if I should help, if I do, I’d get dirtier and smellier than what I am now! I may not get a chance to hold that ball of flowers in my hands. He is after all a very special child who doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near a sweaty cowherd like me.

The calf cries again. The other boys in my group seem busy and the poor calf has no way of getting out on her own. I let out a long sigh and get to work. It was easy enough pulling her out of the ditch but the ditch had been half full with water.

I am now half-wet, smelly, and sticky as well. May be next time mother Yashoda decides to send the little one with us.

We walk on with our cows and calves, I lag a little behind. Suddenly I hear a pitiful wail again, this time it’s him!

He isn’t inside a ditch but is trying to cross a small puddle .He is somehow left behind , strange how everyone has walked past without him in tow.

“ANNaa…aaaa!” He cries, calling out to his older brother..The ditch in front of him isn’t very wide,  I’ ve seen him jump across spaces twice as wide as this one.

“ANNaaaaa..AAAAA!” He cries again, strangely his older brother who has walked well past us, turns towards him and merely smiles. The older gopas don’t seem to care either. They all walk on leaving the little one and me right where we stand.

I turn towards him again. He is now whimpering, his little mouth is quivering .Could this be some kind of drama toddlers are supposed to be capable of?

But he could be tired or hungry; after all he is so small.

I don’t think further, I run over and pick him up in my arms and walk as fast as I can to join the rest of our group.

Now that he has gained some height, he pulls off the already disheveled cloth that I have around my head .We both laugh.

I notice a little later that his older brother is standing next to me.” Enjoying the ride, aren’t you?” he asks and the toddler laughs.

There is a lot of dirt and grime on the little Prince’s body as well now, but they only seem to add to his beauty.

My muddled mind thinks this indeed was some kind of drama but I do not care just now.


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