Heshe: The Guardian of the Stairs

“No….NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” shrieked my 3-year-old daughter. She could not get farther up the stairs. There was something in her way. Finally, I thought. At least I wouldn’t have to tell her several times again, to stop climbing.

The stairs is an accident-prone area for toddlers; and even more accident-prone is a room where there is hard-core handiwork going on.

“Nooooo….. go away!” she says again and again. Stubborn much.

My brother was doing some major cleaning and damage repair in his room. He also repainted his room’s faded white walls into an elegant grayish-blue. There was decluttering of old things – junk and all. There was moving and arranging all about. My daughter, naturally, got curious. She wanted to find out what was going on in my brother’s room. She went up to “inquire”, but was eventually asked to “go downstairs and watch Disney”.

Watch Disney, she did.

After a few minutes, my daughter couldn’t help but wonder what was still going on upstairs. There was the sound of sawing of wood. She climbed her way up the stairs and made it to my brother’s door. “Ah! There’s a kid in here.” I heard my brother say. He stopped what he was doing and gently guided my daughter back down the stairs.

For a few minutes, she was contented with Disney. Then there was the sound of more sawing and tearing of wood. My daughter ran up the stairs this time, eager to see the source of a more persistent noise. Again, she was sent down.

Kids have all sorts of things that scare them. Some get scared with lizards and cockroaches; some, of mascots. Sometimes certain facial reactions and distortions sadden them; sometimes loud voices and noises upset them so. In my daughter’s case, the slow ways of a turtle give her the creeps. That was why when my daughter attempted another laborious climb, my brother decided to place his pet turtle at the topmost step of the stairs. My daughter, suddenly, could not go farther. She dashed downwards in genuine fear. She was so afraid of what the turtle might do that even at the sight of it, she screamed and ran away.

Heshe is the name of my brother’s pet turtle. It was named so because we weren’t so sure of its sex –male or a female. One day, my brother saw it, a mere baby in                                 the street – tiny, unaided, and vulnerable. He picked it up and decided to bring it home. From then on, it has become a household member. Although harmless and naturally slow, my daughter just seems to freak out whenever she sees Heshe. Perhaps she could not reconcile the fact that a real, live turtle looks different from the cartoon and animated versions of it on TV. What with the detailed patterns and designs of its shell and the green-ish color of its skin.

Now, thanks to Heshe, my daughter is safe from possible accidents and injuries, as she does not dare enter the premises of an accident-prone area. Yay, Heshe!

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