stories, plays, rhymes and other things for children and childlike adults

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Kakra is crab in the Bengali Language. Kaka means uncle (father's younger brother). Thus Kakra Kaka is Crab Uncle. I use this character to explain science and weather to children in the form of a story. At various places in this blog, you'll find Kakra Kaka discussing tides and waves. The amigurumi crab in the illustration is my creation.

Rubik, Ziggy, Sumit and Neeti went to the beach for their summer holidays. It was very hot, but there was always a wonderful breeze rustling through the palm trees. And rolling in and out, ever moving, ever changing, there was the sea! The four friends spent most of their holiday on the beach, playing with a big beach ball, hunting for shells or making tall sandcastles. When it got very hot, they let the breakers cool them off.

In the evenings, they walked silently for a while, watching shy crabs scurry diagonally and disappear into tiny holes in the sand. Then the friends sat and chatted on the beach, looking at the waves throwing molten silver foam at their feet.

One evening, the friends sat talking quietly on a rock.
“What makes the sea move so much?” asked little Sumit. “Why is the sea so restless?”
“And I wonder what high tide and low-tide really mean,” mused Neeti.
“I have a tough question,” said Rubik, the thoughtful one. “The sea always seems to be moving forward, so how come it always stays in one place?”

Suddenly, they heard a gruff voice, “Oi! I can answer all your stupid questions. But do something useful and get me out of this thing, will you?”

The children jumped! Where was this hoarse, rude voice coming from?
“Oi! You brats, DON’T YOU HAVE EYES? I’m stuck! Get me out of here!”

The children scrambled around obediently. When they found the source of the voice, they were flabbergasted. The big, rough voice belonged to a small crab, who was snarled in a long, torn strip of blue plastic. Very carefully, the children untangled the creature.

“People who throw their trash on beaches should be flogged!” growled the crab.
“Are you always so bad tempered?” demanded Ziggy.
“I guess that’s why Mamma calls you crabby when you throw a tantrum,” joked Rubik and the others laughed.

“Oh, shut up!” the crab groaned. “That’s not funny at all! Now I’ll tell you some of the sea’s secrets. But you have to call me Kakra Kaka.”

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