The Cricket Story

It was a dark lonely night.  Nina was sitting sadly at her window, upset. During her 12 years all she had seen was her parents arguing and quarrelling over something.

Nina went to the dining room and sat down for dinner. A few moments later, her glass of water slipped from her hand and broke into a thousand tiny pieces. Her mother angrily shouted, “When will you learn table manners?”

“I’m sorry Mum,” Nina replied quietly. But her mother continued shouting at her,  Nina’s apologies having no effect.

Nina’s father finally said, “Enough Jamila. You will never let anyone eat in peace! It was just a glass.”

Even more angrily, Jamila shouted, “For you it must be nothing but a glass, but for me it was a gift from a friend! And don’t you ever interfere when I’m disciplining Nina. You’re the one who has spoiled her!”

Nina’s father, a short-tempered man, angrily got up and threw his plate across the room, and walked out towards the garden. Jamila followed him, shouting abuse the entire time.

Nina, who was watching the episode silently, got up quietly and went to her room, leaving her dinner untouched.

As she sat by her window, she started crying, feeling scared and lonely. It seemed as though there was no happiness and love in her life. She was always fearful, anything could happen in this home anytime. She didn’t want to live here anymore.

While these thoughts were racing through her mind, she heard a sound, “Cric, cric, cric!” It was the sound of a cricket. The voice continued, irritating Nina. You silly cricket! If you’re so afraid of the dark, why do you come out at night and cry?

 Nina drifted back to her thoughts but was brought out of them when a voice croaked, “Yes we do get scared, but it is our fate.”

Shocked Nina turned around and saw a tiny cricket, giving her a cute little smile. She picked up the tiny insect and asked, “Can you really talk to me?”

“Of course I can. I can talk to whoever I want to,” it replied.  Nina smiled at its answer. “Why is a little girl, so pretty and innocent, sitting and crying?” the cricket inquired further.  Nina hesitated for a moment and then proceeded to tell the friendly cricket the whole story.

After listening to what Nina had to say, the cricket said, “Nina, what happens between your parents is fate and their own stroke of bad luck. But child, you must not let anything bitter affect you.”

“But Cricket, I’m afraid of all the things that could go wrong. I’m scared of leaving my room!” cried Nina.

The cricket sighed deeply and then, sitting on Nina’s lap sagaciously told her, “Remember girl, you asked me why I came out at night even though I was afraid of the dark? Well, I need to collect food. If! Let my fear of darkness overtake me, how will I live? Similarly, you have to overcome your fears. And don’t worry about what’s coming next, just have faith in yourself. Life is too short and precious to be wasted for the darkness to subside. You have to bring the light into your own life!”

Nina finally managed a smile after listening to the cricket’s advice. And as the cricket hoped out of her window, she promised herself that she would face all the troubles in her life with hope and determination.

By Qundeel Rasheed

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