By H. Jason Schulz
Copyright © 2012 H. Jason Schulz
All Rights Reserved
A very long time ago in India there lived a girl named Lalima. Lalima lived on a farm with her father, mother and three older sisters. One day Lalima went to the orchard to pick some elephant apples. She took a large basket from the kitchen and then placing a silk scarf over her shiny, black hair, she set out. The orchard had been there as long a Lalima could remember and was situated between a river and a well that the family drew their water from.
Lalima entered the orchard and began to pull elephant apples from the trees, she was thinking of all the delicious jelly that she planned to make with them. It was such a warm day that before long Lalima became very thirsty. She put down her half filled basket onto the grass next to a tree and walked to the well. Unbeknownst to Lalima, a little man hid in the very tree that she had put her basket under and he was watching her with a devious grin.
Lalima stood at the well and looked down into it. The well was made of brick and it was very deep. Next to the well, lying on the grass, was a small bucket attached to a slender rope with which a person could lower down the bucket and then retrieve it once it was filled with the clear, cold water of the well.
Lalima was so thirsty that she quickly grabbed the bucket and tossed it into the well. What she didn't notice was the fact that the other side of the rope had been untied by the little man! The bucket splashed into the cold water followed immediately by the rope. Lalima was at first sad, and then fearful. What would her mother say? Her sisters would certainly be upset with her for having lost the bucket and rope into the well. Worst of all her father would have to climb down the well to retrieve it and that was dangerous.