Short Story

Grandfather’s puzzle

Nisha Daniel

“You won’t believe what I found!” Tanya yelled. Raveena and Muskan looked up and snatched the wooden board she held from her hands.

“What’s this?” Raveena asked, running her fingers over the embossed pictures of fruits on the board.

“It’s an age-old puzzle my Grandfather made. I found it in my Grandmother’s room and she said I could have it. She said it could be solved even now.”

“Saturday’s the perfect day for something like this,” Muskan said. So the three went to Tanya’s house and settled down to figure it out.

After fiddling with the board for a while, they discovered that each embossed fruit was a button that opened a small door behind which was a piece of paper. Each paper had a written clue on it.

“Run around the mango tree ten times and what do you get?” the first one read.

The mango tree in Tanya’s garden was still there. They followed the instruction and ran around it 10 times, trying not to bump into each other.

“I’m breathless!” Muskan declared, flopping down on the grass when they finished.

Raveena jumped up. “Hey, that’s what you ‘get’ when you run around the mango tree. You get breathless!”

Tanya nodded. “Let’s hope you are right. But we have several more clues to solve.”

By evening, the girls had planted ginger, run up two flights of stairs, collected a bundle of twigs, climbed a tree and watered plants.

They were tired, but still keen to crack the puzzle. They had words and letters which they were directed to put together. Slowly they pieced together the words, “Exercise is fun; and it’s healthy!” They looked at each other.

“That’s what we’ve been doing all day. Exercise! Your Grandfather sure tricked us!” Muskan said. The three burst out laughing.

Teacher’s Corner

When you feel your class needs a break from studies, spend some time on a puzzle that the whole class can solve together — like a crossword, for example.

You can draw the crossword on the board, and read out the clues one by one.

Divide the class into two teams.

Anyone who raises her hand first can give the answer.

If the answer is right, her team gets ten points.

Solving puzzles together is a creative way to beat boredom!

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