Once there was a curious little boy who was always busy collecting pebbles and twigs and leaves and…well, you name it. One day while walking through the shrubs and trees behind his house he found two small PVC tubes. Inquisitive as he was, he tried to put one into the other to make it one long pipe. But alas! They were of the same size.
“I need to weld this!” he said aloud. He had once seen some plumbers doing something similar.
He went inside the house. He peeked into his grandfather’s room. He was lying on the bed, snoring softly. Under the bed was a brass oil lamp and a matchbox. Soft-footed as he always was, he slipped into the room and took the lamp and matches without a sound.
After getting out of the house stealthily, he looked for a safe place to carry out his experiment. The clearing behind the gigantic haystack looked like a good spot. He placed his loot on the ground and began his efforts. He was almost done when he started feeling very hot.
He turned around and to his shock, the large haystack in the clearing was on fire! He covered his mouth with his little hands and ran into his grandfather's old furniture workshop which now served as a storeroom. He hid behind an old bed and was safe for the time being.
Meanwhile, a neighbour noticed the blazing fire and created a hue and cry that attracted the entire neighborhood into the compound. The boy’s mother who had been sweeping the courtyard came running. The sleeping grandfather woke up and trudged to the backyard. He saw the gazillion neighbours and his daughter-in-law pouring buckets of water at the fire. His little granddaughter was running around looking aghast and excited in equal measure.
“What’s all this? Where’s that boy?” he barked in his hoarse voice.
At this everyone turned around and the little boy’s mother yelled, “Kanna!”
“Oh no! Put out the fire fast” screamed a neighbour and buckets and water went flying high to tame the fire. His mother was worried, so was everyone else.
“Kanna, kanna, mone…” rang in the air as everyone chanted the boy’s pet name while putting out the fire.
Little Kannan was safe in the shed. He could hear the racket and smell the smoke. Now is the time, he thought. There is only one way to escape the wrath of his grandfather. He took a deep breath, crawled out from his hiding place and dashed through the middle of the crowd, into the house, wailing loudly.
“Oh Kannan is here” the crowd rejoiced!
The boy threw himself on the bed and pushed out copious tears. His mother who followed him in cried, "Thank god you are safe! What nonsense were you doing?” Kannan looked up. She had obviously softened. He turned around to look at his grandfather who walked in with a grunt, mumbling under his breath.
Kannan’s crocodile tears had worked, he had escaped punishment. But what he couldn’t escape was the nickname he won following this incident – Vaikkolthoru Kannan (Haystack Kannan). Sounds wrong on every level, doesn’t it?
It is a nickname that has stood the test of time and if you happen to be around * temple in Thrissur, ask for Vaikkolthoru Kannan and someone will happily direct you to our place.
Happy birthday dear darling husband! Cakes and gifts are passe, roasts are the new birthday thing! I love you and you know that too! :D
A fun activity for my readers (if any!).
|The little boy as a baby|
|The boy now|
|Spot little Vaikkolthoru Kannan in this pic!|
Post your answers in the comments and win my love and good wishes!
* Temple cannot be named. If I do, I may get not just roasted but barbecued.