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Somu, the Simpleton

Somu was the only son of Veerappan who lived in Panangudi, a small village in the remote Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, and was a simpleton. He was turned out of the school as the teachers felt that his presence would spoil the other children. Veerappan was worried and wanted to teach his son at least basic things about life so that he could manage the landed property and cash he would leave after his death.
Once he called Somu and asked him to visit the weekly fair in the nearby village and purchase something worth five rupees and gave him a five rupee note. Happily Somu, went to the fair and was happy to see droves of people entering and leaving the fair. So many things were on sale and he could not decide what to purchase.
Finally he saw a man standing near a heap of white pumpkins called in Tamil “Poosanikkai” and asked what it was. The Shop-keeper saw Somu and recognized him as a stupid person and told him that it was the egg of a horse and cost five rupees. Immediately Somu gave him the five rupee note and received a fairly big pumpkin. The shopkeeper cautioned Somu that he should carry it carefully and not drop it as the baby horse inside would flee if the egg had broken. So Somu took care and carried it on his head safely.
On the way he felt thirsty and decided to drink water from a pond on the way. He carefully put down the horse’s egg under a tree at a slightly elevated level. He did not notice that he covered the opening of a burrow where a rabbit lived. When he went to drink water the rabbit wanted to come out of the furrow and forcibly pushed the pumpkin and ran away and in the process the pumpkin had broken into two pieces.
Somu saw something running from, inside the horse’s egg and was disappointed to find that he could not catch the young baby horse. Dejected he went home and told whatever had happened to his father. His father cursed his own fate!

Aakash Ravichandran
VII A
B.V.B School, K.G. Marg
New Delhi

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