Jingle toads jingle toads
Hickety hairy spider legs
Stolen hawk’s tiny eggs
Wolf’s hair from crossroads.
Sana, Alan and Romeo watched from behind a tree – an old lady in a black hood chanted those words while stirring a bubbling cauldron. A nauseating stench wafted in the air. Alan’s eyed widened as he spotted some dolls piled up in a corner.
“Sana!!” He whispered “look at that doll there! She is wearing the exact same frock Paro was wearing the day she went missing.”
“Now for the final ingredient,” the lady went on, bringing the dolls to the cauldron:
“Little naive girls beguiled,
And turned into wax dolls
Let the devils melt for a while
Ready for mischief at dewfalls.”
“Oh dear! It’s them!”,murmured Sana “Romeo, go!”
She was just about to toss the dolls in the boiling liquid when Romeo dashed and knocked her cauldron over. Its thick gooey contents splashed all over the soil.
“What have you done miserable dog!
You surely need a hearty flog!”
“Good job Romeo!” Alan said, petting him as he wagged his tail in bravado.
“After years of gleaning special ingredients
I, Mariposa concocted this potion maleficent
Now how will I be the witch all powerful?
You little brats will have to do the needful!”
“Those dolls are our friends, bring them back to life!”
“Ahaa if you want your darling friend,
What you damaged you should mend.
I don’t care if you fall and hobble
Go find the Jinxed Onyx pebble.”
“The Jinxed Onyx pebble?” Sana and Alan asked in chorus.
“Far across the dense forest
Lie several stones at the hillcrest
Among them hides the Jinxed Onyx
Bring it to me to have your mishaps fixed.”
“But how do we know which one is the Jinxed Onyx?”
“The secret is written in this paper
Which for years I could not decipher.”
She said handing the children a parchment paper.
“Come on Romeo, off to the Hillcrest!”exclaimed Alan.
Beautiful cairns were stacked among oodles of smooth pebbles. Some pebbles had white symbols engraved on them- lambda, Pi, Omega were the ones they could recognise. Alan unrolled the parchment and stared at it.
Sana peered over, “Let’s see if there are the corresponding symbols here to guide us.”
” I think there is an equation to solve.”
He took a thin dead wood and scribbled on the ground. Many calculations later, he got the answer a fraction of 22 by 7.
“Do you see the numbers 22 or 7 around here?”
“Maybe you should divide this too and get a final answer.”
“Yes but the answer won’t be an exact number.”He said doing the division“ it’s 3.14 now what??”
“3.14!! That’s the value of Pi! We cracked it! We got to look for the rock marked with π!”
“Here it is!” Sana said, brandishing a smooth jet black pebble with the pi symbol engraved on it.”
“That Mariposa must be very weak in math! Let’s hurry and save our little friends.”
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