Deep under, in the ocean, there lived mermaids and mermen! These mermaids and mermen loved to read. They had a library full of books. The books were written in special ink, so they were waterproof. But there was one book that was FORBIDDEN. Only the King could read it. The mermaids and mermen could hear ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as the King read his Forbidden book.
There was one naughty little mermaid called Nora, who had read stories about fairies, pirates and many more creatures. She loved reading books the most. She was very keen on reading the mysterious Forbidden book.
So one night, she went in search of the book. There were guards outside. Nora could imitate anyone’s voice. So, in the King’s deep, booming voice she said, “Guards, come here right now!” The guards swam away. Then naughty Nora crept inside the library! She looked in all the rooms and all the shelves, but could not find the book she was looking for.
Exhausted and disappointed she sat down. But her bench was uncomfortable! She got up to see and there was the book she was looking for! Thrilled, she opened it and came to the map of ‘INDIA’.
Suddenly the book gobbled her up!
She was so scared that she fainted. When she opened her eyes, she was lying on snow and above her was the ocean.
“Is the ocean upside down?” she wondered. Nora got up but fell down again. She crawled to the nearest tree for support. She noticed she had no tail! Instead she had long, slim legs. Just then a tiger crept out. Nora screamed loudly. This startled the tiger, so it ran away.
“How do I get back home,” thought Nora. Suddenly she had a brainwave. She thought, “Maybe the book came here with me! If I find it I’ll get back home!”
It took a while but Nora did find the book. “Hurray!”, she yelled.
She found the map of her world. She squeezed her eyes shut. When she opened them again she was in her world. She wrote about honey-bees and imaginary rivers and thunderstorms. It is because of Nora, the mountains are called the “Northern Mountains”.
Samaira is a 9 year old from Gurugram. She studies in Shikshantar School and is the 1st Prize winner of ‘Story Camps: Pen Your Story’ story-writing competition – under 10 category.