Radha was getting ready for school. She had put on her uniform, and Mummy had tied her hair in two long braids. She had eaten her breakfast and put all her books together. But she couldn’t find her shoes! She had looked all over – under the bed, in the bathroom, even inside the cupboard. But she couldn’t see her shoes anywhere.
‘Oh dear, Billi!’ said Radha to her kitten. ‘What am I to do? I’ll be really late!’
Billi sat curled up in a corner of Radha’s room, watching Radha as she ran around looking for her shoes. Billi liked Radha. But she did not like Radha’s going off to school every morning.
‘Time for school! Radha,’ called Mummy, hurrying in to the room, and hurrying out again.
‘My shoes!’ wailed Radha. ‘I can’t find my shoes! Please help me, Mummy. Rahul won’t help, and Billi won’t help!’
Mummy came into the room shaking her head. She looked all over, under the bed, in the bathroom, even in the cupboard, but she couldn’t find Radha’s shoes. ‘Wear something else, Radha!’ said Mummy finally. ‘You’ll be really late if we hunt around any more!’
Radha hated wearing the wrong shoes to school, but she hated being late even more.She decided to wear her sandals to school.
‘Bye Billi!’ said Radha. ‘I know I’m really really late, and I had better go put on my sandals, but here’s your hug anyway!’
Radha picked up Billi for a cuddle, and what did she see? A pair of black, shiny school shoes in the corner! Billi had been sitting on them all this while!
‘Mummy! I found my shoes!’ called Radha. ‘Thank you Billi, for taking care of them!’
Billi jumped out of Radha’s arms and walked away, to her home under the peepul tree. She liked Radha, but she really did NOT like that Radha went off to school every morning!
Illustrations copyright © Vipasha Bansal 2007
Text Copyright © Rohini Chowdhury 2007