Short story for kids aged between 4 to 8 years.
Payal was a very quiet girl. She would attend her new school, do all her worksheets regularly, but she hardly interacted with anyone in her school or in the neighbourhood.
When any child would try to befriend her, she would excuse herself to find solace in her world of aloneness.
The class teacher after two months of school asked her parents to come and see her. Payal’s parents came to the school and explained to the teacher that Payal has always been a quiet child. And she wants to be left alone. They assured to the teacher that she had a loving environment at home. Even in her old school in a different town she had been a quiet child.
One day as Payal was walking towards the school gate a bright black butterfly with amazing designs on its wings came and sat on her shoulder. Suddenly Payal froze. She wanted to remain still in that position.
She just didn’t wanted to disturb the butterfly who seemed to enjoy resting on the little girl’s shoulder.
The security guard outside the school gate whistled loudly as the school bell rang giraffe morning assembly. He saw Payal at a distance and asked her to get inside the gate. Payal didn’t utter a word. The guard now raised his voice and asked her to rush inside as he was closing the gate, or else he would complain to the teacher.
Payal gestured towards the resting butterfly and asked him to be quiet. The guard went inside and got the class teacher in s few minutes. Once the teacher saw Payal, she asked her what was she doing there outside when it was time for her to be in the classroom.
Payal whispered that she didn’t want to shoo away the butterfly. The teacher was stunned st the response and she angrily asked the girl to walk inside. But Payal nodded her head in disagreement.
After a few minutes the teacher who had angrily told Payal that she will be complaining to the Principal, came back with the entire batch of students from the class. By now it was almost an hour since Payal was standing still.
The teacher, Ms. Dixit said ” I was very upset this morning. When I told about you to the Principal Ma’m, she asked me to take a session here outside under the tree. So all students will be having an open classroom today. And you can join us when you are ready”.
Payal nodded her head now in complete agreement. After a class on mother nature and a drawing session, finally Payal was able to relax herself. The butterfly had flown away from her shoulder.
Payal walked up to her teacher and said that she felt like standing still as she identified with the butterfly who wanted to just be there as it wanted. Not disturbed. The butterfly though just wanted to rest somewhere felt as though it seemed to love aloneness and that need not be loneliness.
Her teacher told her it was fine to be like her but it is nice to return smiles and build friendships in the world.
From that day Payal tried to converse little more with her classmates but she was often again seen happy being alone. And everyone too was fine with it.
It seemed as though Payal, (the meaning in India refers to anklet that makes subtle noise when the wearer moves) found her voice.
She was the silent Payal. One finds anklets that don’t make any noise without the little bells and those are adored too by those who wear them.
She was like one of them, doing just fine and required acceptance.