Mother, Tell Me A Tale! - Poem by Ravikumar C.P.
Hindi poem by Mythili Sharan Gupta
Translated by C.P. Ravikumar
Mother, tell me a tale!
What do you take me for, my son,
Your grandmother? Pray tell?
You are the daughter, says my nanny,
Of none other than sweet old Granny.
So, mother, while we lie down, tell me,
Tell me a magical fairy tale
That makes granny's story pale!
O you are a stubborn one my lad,
The story begins with your dad,
As he, in his royal dresses clad,
Went for a walk in the morning gale.
My father's own boyhood tale?
Now that's my kind of fairy tale!
There were blossoms everywhere,
The smell of spring was in the air,
And hidden in the morning's misty veil,
gently cooed a nightingale.
Gently cooed a nightingale!
I would like to hear this tale!
Squirrels nibbled on fallen acorn,
O it was a picture-perfect morn,
Until a swan from the sky fell down,
Shot by an arrow in its tail.
Shot by an arrow in its tail!
Mother, what a woeful tale!
Alarmed, your father picked up the swan.
He nursed her, and the bird was reborn.
She slowly opened her eyes forlorn,
Only to hear the hunter on trail!
The hunter was still on the trail!
What happened then? Quickly unveil!
He said: Give me the bird, she's my mark!
Your father, the protector, did not hark.
The hunter, in his mood to lark,
Was not willing to loose or fail!
He wanted to seize the swan so frail?
Curiouser and curiouser get this tale!
It was a battle of cruelty and kindness,
Both equally powerful forces.
They took the case to court of justice,
where it went on a public trial!
Seriouser and seriouser gets this tale!
What happened Ma? Did justice prevail?
What happened next, I will not say.
Rahul, can you be the judge today?
Mother, who am I to judge a case?
I am just a kid with an innocent face!
But this much even I can tell,
if one can harm a harmless soul,
how is saving a fowl a foul?
Let justice be for the kind, I say,
let their kind prosper and prevail!
Rahul, indeed you have judged well!
My child, you got the gist of the tale!
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