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Short story

A dream come true

Shreya Sanghani

Sara curls up every evening after play and homework are both done, and sets off on a new adventure every time she opens a book. She sits in her favourite chair, with her little kitten Mia purring gently beside her.

Rina is a teenage house helper in Sara’s home, and is in awe of her little mistress, who is so different from other girls her age. She often watches in wonder as Sara sits in her room, quietly absorbed in a book.

One evening, Rina asked Sara what she was reading.

Sara smiled, her dark eyes dancing. “I’m reading a book called The Little Princess, and the girl in the book seems just like me. She loves reading and her name is Sara too. This kind-hearted princess helps people by making their dreams come true.”

That evening as Rina wearily trudged to the servants’ quarters in Sara’s home, tired after a hard day’s work, she wished she could pet Mia in the comfortable chair in Sara’s room, lost in the magic and mystery of a book. Slowly, she dozed off with a smile on her young face.

Next morning, she was gently shaken awake by her mother, behind whom a bespectacled gentleman stood quietly.

“Rina,” said her mother, “this gentleman says he is here to teach you. Do you know anything about this?” Rina was confused, and jolted out of her sleep by the shock of what she has just learnt.

The man smiled and came forward. “You are not to go to work in the mornings. I will come to teach you. First, I’ll help you to read, followed by writing, arithmetic and a lot of other things.”

Rina didn’t know what to say. How could this have happened? Sara’s mother certainly didn’t care about Rina’s life — only about whether her kitchen was scrubbed clean. Rina was led into Sara’s study, where she wonderingly sank into a chair.

Behind the door, Sara smiled. Later she would tell Rina how she convinced her doting father to give Rina a break from work, to learn to read and write. Like the kind-hearted princess, she had been inspired to make Rina’s dreams come true.

Teacher’s Corner

Here’s a simple way to help your class enjoy reading.

• Ask each student to bring one or more of her books to share with the class.

• Two students can maintain a register listing all the titles.

• Permit students to borrow the books and return them within a week.

• The students in charge of the register can keep a record of books borrowed. A fine can be levied for books returned late. This fine amount can be accumulated to purchase more books. Students can contribute more books any time.

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