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Let Us Count | Menike Wickramasinghe | Auckland

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ශ්‍රීLankaNZhttps://www.srilankanz.co.nz
ශ්‍රී LankaNZ is a free distributed Sri Lankan Community Newspaper that aims to reach a Sri Lankan population of over 18,000 all over New Zealand. The demand for entertainment in literacy media itself gave birth to ශ්‍රී LankaNZ

It was eight o’clock. Bull Sam rang the bell to start school. He was the Time Keeper. The frogs were very sad. The beautiful pond they played in was dry. There were only a few drops of water left at the bottom: no more swimming, no more games. The graceful days they spent in the pond came to an end. Trees around the pond were withered. All the birds flew away to another land. 

The only place with water was the Diamond Pond which stood deep in the Green Forest. White Lady Lucy was the owner of this pond. She didn’t allow anybody to come there without her permission. She was the sole owner. She had a long beak. She had long legs. She wore a beautiful hat. Her necklace was studded with blue sapphire. It was given to her by Aunty Matilda for her birthday.

HeadMaster Koshy was a BullFrog who came from India. He was a well-built male frog of forty. He wore a red tie and a black jacket. He had a tall hat. He always carried a  cane with him. 

Head Master Koshy and Lucy were great friends. Lucy invited Master Koshy to parties. He always went with two BodyGuards.The frogs were very happy to go there with the Master, but on his way back, guards never returned as it was the present given to Lucy by the Master.

When the bell rang, frogs stood in a line.

‘March Time .’ came the usual stern command from HeadMaster BullFrog.

‘One two, hop two.’
‘Forward march.’

Frogs marched in the field.

‘Class halt one, two.’
‘About turn.’
‘Forward march.’
‘One two-hop two.’
‘Class halt one two.’
‘Stand at ease.’
‘Attention!’

‘Class dismissed!’

HeadMaster’s rough voice was heard like thunder. Frogs ran to the class. HeadMaster, with the cane, walked behind them. They stood near the big log.

‘Sit down,’ Master said.
‘Good morning, class,’ Master said.
‘Good morning,’ frogs said
‘No. Not like that. Good morning, Sir. Say it now,’ he yelled.

Koshy came from India. He was fat and tall. He was a well built man of forty. He had a tall hat. He wore a red tie and a black jacket. He always carried a cane with him.

‘Billy,’  he called.
‘Present,’  Billy said
‘No say, Present Sir, ’ Koshy screamed.

The counting lesson began.

‘Willy starts,’ Master said.
‘One, two-hop two’
‘No, idiot, listen and repeat, ‘screamed  Master Koshy.
‘One, two, three four,’  Master counted.

Frogs repeated.

Bull Sam rang the bell.

Counting lesson was over.

‘Get ready for the singing lesson,’ Master said.

Singing lessons began.

‘C- r- o- o-a- k,’ Master sang.
‘Croak, croak,’ frogs sang at different times.
‘Listen and sing together all at once,’ Master screamed again.

Then a visitor came. Sam Bull came and informed that White Lady had arrived.

‘We must respect Madam Lucy. You must pay attention to her. Do what she says. Show that you are very obedient. Do not disgrace me. Her visit is a great honour for us. We must show gratitude to her,’ the Master said.

In came  White Lady.

‘Stand up, everybody. Say Good morning Madam Lucy. ‘  

They did as they were told.

‘Stand in a line. When I count, you must jump,’ Master said
‘Can you jump?’ Lucy asked very politely.
‘Yes, we can,’ they said.
‘Good. Then jump into my mouth,’ she said, keeping her long beak wide open.

Master Koshy counted. ‘One.‘

One frog jumped into Lucy’s mouth.

‘Two,’ counted Master.

In went the second frog.

‘Three,  four,’ Master continued, counting.

In went the frogs one by one until all the frogs were gone.

‘Well done fools,’said Lucy.
‘Thank you, Master Koshy. Thank you for the tasty meal. Diamond pond in the Green Forest is ready for you and your family. You can enjoy it there in this dry season.’

Madam Lucy said ‘GoodBye,’ and departed.

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