Word Story: Horsing around
By Sanuj Hathurusinghe Ceylon Today Features
It was two in the afternoon and little Jake was already feeling bored out of his skin. He looked at his akka Zoe for some inspiration but to no avail as Zoe was too much immersed in the book she was reading. It was a bright Monday afternoon and not for the first time during this extended holiday period Jake was actually missing school.
For the hundredth time he ran his eyes across the room again, trying to find something interesting to kill his boredom but during the holidays he initially enjoyed so much, he has made use of everything in their room to the point where now everything started to appear ordinary or not interesting at all.
“I’m bored,” voiced Jake hoping to catch the attention of his sister but Zoe was either too much into the book she was reading or she pretended not to hear him. “Come on. Let’s play or do something other than just sitting here. I’m so bored,” Jake cried out again. “You heard mom in the morning. No TV, no playing
around until the evening and certainly not before finishing our homework,” Zoe said without even taking her eyes off the book. “But I don’t have any more homework and it is already evening,” protested Jake. “No it is not.
It is still afternoon and what’s another few hours added to the wait. If you don’t have anything to do, pick a book and read,” Zoe momentarily took her eyes off the book and borderline shouted at her brother which silenced Jake for a whole two minutes.
“Whatchu reading?” This time Zoe heard Jake’s voice right beside her. She turned to see her brother peeping into the book she was reading over her shoulder. “This is the Brothers Grimm version of The Little Red Riding Hood,” Zoe said while closing the book and turning to look at Jake, giving him her full attention. “Ooh I love that story, specially the wolf.
He is so big and strong,” Jake said partly being serious and partly wanting to annoy his sister. “I don’t like the wolf at all. Red is my favourite,” replied Zoe. “You know what sis, with that red top you are wearing, you look a lot like red riding hood yourself,” Jake said. “Really?
I hadn’t noticed that.....,” Zoe was saying while inspecting the top she was wearing but before she could even finish her sentence she heard a growl and she looked up only to see Jake with his hands made into claws ready to pounce on her.
She jumped out of the bed crying, “Jake, what are you doing,” and the answer came from the other end was, “I’m not Jake. I’m the Big Bad Wolf and I’m going to get Little Red Riding Hood.” Jake was in character and a playful mode.
Zoe was annoyed at first but seeing her little brother trying his level best to look fearsome actually made her smile and she decided to play along for a while. From Zoe’s bed to the table to Jake’s bed to the window and back to Zoe’s bed, the duo jumped back and forth and every time Jake got closer, Zoe managed to get away with ease.
Their playing around however hadn’t gone unnoticed and their mother was coming upstairs to see what the racket was about.
The ambitious Jake upped his speed to catch his sister but instead of catching her, he bumped into the table with force which tipped the flower vase on the table. Unlucky for him, their mother came into the room that exact time which abruptly put an end to the play. “What is all this clatter and Jake, why are you chasing your sister?
I thought I said no playing until the homework is done,” mom questioned. “Sorry mom, I was bored and had nothing to do. I have already finished my homework,” Jake said apologetically which brought a faint grin to mom’s face. “Well, if you are going to horse around, might as well take it outside,” mom replied, much to the delight of Zoe but to the confusion of Jake. “I wasn’t horsing around mom.
If anything, I was wolfing around,” puzzled Jake said in reply and it brought grins to both mom’s and Zoe’s faces. “It is an expression Jake.
Horsing around doesn’t mean you are acting like a horse, it means you are goofing around or playing in a silly or rough way,” Zoe broke it down, making it easier for her brother to understand. “Oh. So, does this mean we can go outside and play?” Jake questioned with some doubt in his voice. “Yes,” mom replied with a smile, “But make sure to empty the vas and clean the table before you do.”