The Raven
by Edgar Allan Poe

 Church Going
by Philip Larkin

 Frost at Midnight
by Samuel Coleridge

 I sit & look out
by Walt Whitman

 The Lady of Shallot
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

 Telephone Conversation
by Wole Soyinka

 Going Places
by A.R. Barton

 Village Cricket Match
by A. G. Macdonell

 The Night Train at Deoli
by Ruskin Bond

 Growing Up
by Joyce Cary

 The Castaway
by Rabindranath Tagore

Page 2

Growing up
-by Joyce Cary

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(Continued from Page 1)

After a while, Kate playfully scolded Snort, their cocker bitch, for disturbing her. Jenny joined in and when the bitch didn't go away even after an energetic kick from Kate, she hurled a bamboo stick at the dog like a spear. The dog was startled at the sudden uproar of the girls as they came running towards her, unsure 'if this was a new game or if she had committed a grave crime'.

Jenny gave a yell and rushed at her. She fled yelping. At once Kate jumped up, seized another bamboo and threw it, shouting, 'Tiger, tiger.'

The two sisters ran after the dog, laughing, bumping together, falling over each other and snatching up anything they could find to throw at the poor creature-pebbles, dead daffodils, bits of flower-pots and lumps of earth. Snort was horrified and overwhelmed. She ran around barking hysterically in desperate submission and finally, crept whining between a broken shed and the wall.
Steadily their game became too rough and it disturbed Mr. Quick. He asked the girls to stop but instead they turned towards him and 'rushed at the man with the rake carried like a lance' in their hand and staggering with laughter threw themselves upon their father. They tore at the man, strangling him hard, and even though it was a game, Mr. Quick was frightened and shocked by their savagery.

It seemed to him that both the children, usually so gentle, so affectionate, had gone completely mad, vindictive.

Meanwhile Snort too, recovered and joined the girls. Paying no heed to their father's yelling, the girls battered at him, Kate was jumping on his stomach while Jenny seized him by collar as if to strangle him.

Her face, close to his own, was that of a homicidal maniac; her eyes were wide and glaring, her lips curled back to show all her teeth.

Soon the chair gave away and they collapsed in a heap. Snort was frightened scratched Mr. Quick's face. The man did not have the heart to reproach the girls but was dazed at the 'primitive and brutal' force of his daughters. It seemed to him that something new had broken into his old, simple and happy relation with his daughters ; and that they had receded into a world of their own in which he had no place.
Seeing him hurt, both Kate and Jenny nursed his wounds. They fetched water and applied iodine and plaster on them. The sudden switch seemed like playing another game. In a little while, Mrs. Quick arrived along with her friend Jane Martin-the Chairman of Welfare Committee and announced that that committee was coming for tea.
The girls were now dressed in smart clean frocks and served the guests with 'demure and reserved looks'-they knew how to behave at a tea or a party. Seeing this, Mr. Quick realised that his daughters were growing up and felt-

In a year or two more I shan't count at all. Young men will come prowling, like the dogs after Snort-I shall be an old buffer, useful only to pay bills.

Feeling a 'sense of stiffness', filled with self-pity, and dejected by the thought, he wanted to go to the club for some male company- he wanted to go to a familiar place, where people don't change moods like this. He could not bear cards but hoped to find old Wilkins there. Wilkins at seventy was crashing, dreary bore, who spent half of his life at the club. But, Quick thought he could have a game with the old man and even dine with him- his wife wouldn't mind; and go back home only when the girls are in bed.
He stole away when the committee members pulled out their agenda but was stopped at the garden wall by Jenny who wanted to look at his wounds. He lifted her on the garden wall which made her about a foot taller than himself. Having reached the superior position, she poked the plaster, examining the wound and checking if it was still sticking or not. Quick found it difficult to recognize the expression of her face-

What was the game, medical, material? Was she going to laugh?

But Jenny frowned, as if 'she was also struck by something new and unexpected' and saying 'good-bye', ran off. As the man walked slowly towards the club, a sudden realisation donned upon him.

"No," he thought, "not quite a game- not for half a second. She's growing up- and so am I."
Page 2

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