Mother handed her a piece of paper and told her to follow the instructions
written on it. ”Find surprise inside your geography book.” Tista ran to her
room and tried to find the book. She could not find it. There were so many books in the messy pile.
“It must be at the bottom,” she thought. She picked up the books one by one and made a neat pile. As she was making the pile, she found her geography book. ”The pile looks nice,” Tista said.
She put the books in their correct place.
”Oh, I forgot about the surprise,” she realised.
She opened the geography book and found her surprise another piece of paper. This one read: Find something sweet in the pocket of your black skirt. Tista had not seen that skirt since the last time she wore it to her
aunt’s house. She hoped to find chocolate in the pocket. She picked up T-shirt after T-shirt. She found two skirts and threw them back into the jungle of clothes.
”Maybe you could put some of those clothes onto the shelves,” said Mother. ”Then it would be easier to find the skirt.”
Tista agreed. She started taking her mother’s help to fold the clothes. Soon, she could see her black skirt. She put her hand into the pocket.
“Chocolate!” Tista danced around happily.
“Wait, I see something written on it,” said Mother.
There was a third piece of paper. It read: You are close to the treasure. Find next clue under your bed.
“Treasure!” Tista loved this game. She stretched herself onto the floor, slowly crawling under the bed. She saw her old clothes there. She saw some old pastels there. There were even new drawing books.
”Here, let us take everything out and look for the clue,” said Mother.
Tista pulled everything out. They folded the clothes and put the pastels into their boxes. The drawing books were new, so Tista did not think of checking them. Surely the blank white pages would not have the clue. Mother asked her to make sure.
“Alright, Mother,” Tista said.
A minute later, she clapped loudly. The clue had been found. It said: You do not use the things under this bed anymore. Please put in a big box for people who can use them. Your treasure is inside your pillow.
Tista asked her father for a box. She and Mother put everything in it. ”Tomorrow, we can visit some people who would be happy to have your things,” said Mother.
Tista felt bad now. She had left everything under her bed for months. Mother interrupted her thoughts.
“Look inside your pillow,” she said.
Tista grabbed her pillow. The pillow cover was not properly on the pillow. It was covering only half of the pillow. Tista remembered the pillow fight with her cousin Preeti The pillow cover had fallen off and she had found it difficult to slip the whole pillow in again.
”Tista, please change the cover,” said Mother, handing her another pillow cover.
Tista took off the old case hurriedly and threw it onto the floor. She changed the cover. ”Mother, I can’t cover the whole pillow,” she said. Mother showed her how to close the flaps.
Tista was tired. She had forgotten about the treasure. Her head was on the pillow now. The treasure was stuck inside the old pillow cover that was crumpled nearby. Mother got up to leave the room. Tista heard her.
“Mother,” she called out softly.
“Yes?” Mother asked.
“I don’t think I’ll ever wait this long to clean my room again.”
Tista fell asleep.
First published in TeleKids (An ABP Group publication)