It was quiet, so quiet that Thuli could hear crickets singing in the forests above her hut. She went to check on her baby brother who lay fast asleep in the hammock. She touched his little fingers and then the toes. How she wished he would wake up. But he slept blissfully. Humming a tune she began combing her long locks that were entangled. Finally she tied it into a high ponytail. The little hammock lay still. She went into the hut to bring out a book to read till her brother woke up.
Thuli heard some movement outside and rushed out the door to find the cradle empty. She frantically looked around and then to the little footpath leading to the house to find nothing. She looked at the path leading to the forest to see some movement in the trees above.
‘Mother, father’, she cried looking towards the corn field below. No one heard her cry for help.
She decided to take the foot trail closely covered with red rhododendron trees. Being young, she ran swiftly into the woods. Before long she was high up on the hilly forest but there was no trace of her baby brother. As she continued to run she wondered who could have taken the baby. No man in his right senses could take away the baby, she thought. Now she was truly scared being in the middle of the jungle and with her baby brother no where in sight. She was scared and decided to return home.
As she turned to retrace her steps, she heard a baby crying loudly. She turned and ran towards the sound. In a small clearing further north she saw a small bundle on the path. Running towards it with all her might, she found what looked like a baby and yes, it was her little brother. Something or someone had left him.
She collected the little bundle into her arms and quickly headed home.