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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2231397
Two small sisters decide on whom they love and want to spend the rest of their lives with.
"Hey! don't hurt yourself!"

Sarla laughed. "You wouldn't have said that if I were a boy," she responded. She climbed higher up, holding the branches, not heeding the leaves that stuck in her hair. Kamla watched, not daring to caution her sister again. If Sarla wanted to prove she wasn't yellow, she'd prove it and that was that.

Kamla contented herself with thinking, "You must have your way, sis, mustn't you? Very well, climb, but if you fall and get in trouble with Mummy, it's your problem."

Sarla had apparently reached the very top. All that Kamla could now see of her were the soles of her bare feet, with their stubby little toes and the thin silver anklets that their grandmother had presented Sarla. Next year, Sarla would stop wearing those anklets. She had declared that she didn't want things around her ankles when she turned a big girl of ten. Kamla was seven, she'd have to wear hers for another three years. But she didn't mind, she liked those anklets.

"Kamla!" she heard Sarla's voice from above her head. "Kamla, I'm crazy in love up here. In love with the sky and the breeze and the leaves and the flowers and the fruits."

Kamla was puzzled. She had been at a party of single ladies with her older cousin, and they had talked about being in love and getting married. But how could Sarla marry the sky and the breeze and the leaves and the flowers and the fruits?

She called up to her sister, asking her this. She heard laughter, and then her sister's yellow dress came into view. Sarla came sliding down the tree in an ungainly manner.

"Kamla, you are going to be a lyricist yet!" she said.

"What does that mean?" Kamla asked.

"You'll write songs. Let's write a song about what you just said."

The two girls ran back to the little cottage they lived in by the edge of the woods. Sarla found some ruled paper and a pencil, and they began to hum and then write, stamping their young feet on the red tiled floor so that their anklets jangled in time.

"Whom will you marry?" they sang.


"Whom will you marry?
Whom will you marry?
With whom will you spend
the rest of your days?

"I want to love
I want to be happy
I'll marry the dove
For the rest of my days.

"I want to run
I want to be free
I'll marry a tree
For the rest of my days.

"I want to laugh
I want to cheer
I'll marry a deer
For the rest of my days."


The girls stopped for breath ... but the song continued. Two thin voices -- one male and one female, had taken it up from their grandparents' room. Their grandparents were clapping in rhythm.

The girls ran into their grandparents' room. Both the old ones were singing and laughing.

"Looks like your parents are going to have it easy," their grandpa told them. "They won't have to find you your bridegrooms, you have found them yourselves in the forest!"

And they all sang and laughed together.
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