The Journey for Water

Tanrika Narayan, Class 5, PSBB Senior Secondary School, T. Nagar, Chennai

On Thursday, when Maya woke up, she found she had grown antlers. Smooth, pointy, and deer-like.

“Maya, wake up! It’s a school day, and you don’t wanna be late!” her mom yelled from the kitchen.

“Oh no! I definitely can’t let mom see these antlers!” Maya gasped. Then, she started pretend coughing,” I’m not feeling well, can I take leave?!”

Mama came into the room and Maya ducked under the covers. “Come out, Maya, I need to see if you have a fever. Remove the sheet, I need to feel your forehead,” she said.

Maya came out crying, antlers first. Mama was shocked, but she did not want to startle her daughter any more, so she pretended to be cool with it. “Okay, now we need to get rid of this,” she said.

Maya’s eyes were brimming over with tears, “I look like a freak! Can I get rid of these antlers? Really?!”

Mama patted her back, taking care to avoid the pointy antlers growing out of her daughter’s head. “Don’t worry, this is the early display of your spirit animal, there’s nothing to worry at all!” she said.

“What do you mean?” Maya asked, wiping her tears.

“It’s simple, I’m a witch!” Mama said.” And so are you!”

“Whaaatt?” Maya shouted, flabbergasted.

“We are a family of witches, Maya. All the girls of our family are born witches, we get our magic at about 12-13 years. All of us have an animal spirit guiding us. Your grandmother was a fox, and my spirit animal is a cat,” mama explained.

Maya couldn’t believe her ears- She was a witch! She was 10 now, so in 2-3 years she would have magic powers!

“You will grow out of your antlers, eventually. But we cannot wait for that, you need to go to school for your exams and not hide in your room.”

“We just need the right charm, to make sure the antlers stay down until you are able to control them with magic! Let me look in the encyclopaedia of spirit charms. If you are lucky I might have the charm in my box!” Mama said, pulling down a heavy volume.

She read out: “For a deer, the charm is a jewel purple in colour and shaped like antlers. The jewel is usually found in the arctic climes of Greenland.”
“I have just the piece”. After a few minutes, she pulled out a beautiful purple stone dazzling in the sunlight. It was partially covered by a silver antler case.

Maya watched with wonder. What started out a lousy day, was changing into the best day of her life! Mama uttered a spell and fastened the jewel on to a chain and then clasped it around her neck.

There was rainbow smoke in the room and the antlers vanished. Maya felt her head, it was all right again!

Mama said: “Remember to keep it on until you gain your magic powers!”

Maya, the to-be-witch, nodded excitedly!


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