“Hi, Jumpy. Could you give me a kilo of gulab jamuns please?” Dina deer asked Jumpy monkey, who owned a sweet shop in Champakvan.
“Right away!” said Jumpy and turned around to get some. He was shocked to find the tray of gulab jamuns almost empty!
Earlier during the day, when Jumpy had packed some gulab jamuns for a customer, the tray was full. Jumpy was perplexed.
“This is strange. Where did the gulab jamuns go?” Jumpy thought to himself.
“What happened, Jumpy? Something seems to be bothering you,” said Dina.
“Yes, Dina. For the last two days, my gulab jamuns have been mysteriously disappearing,” said Jumpy.
“Am sure while you were away, a few naughty kids would have stolen it. There’s no mystery to it,” said Dina.
“No. For the last two days, I have not stepped out for even a minute. That’s why I am puzzled. I have a feeling that it’s the working of a ghost,” said Jumpy nervously.
Dina got scared at the mention of the word “ghost”. She ran away hastily.
Jumpy mentioned about a ghost stealing his gulab jamuns to other customers as well and the news spread like wildfire through the forest. Everyone became convinced that it was indeed a ghost that was stealing the gulab jamuns. Out of fear, they all stopped going to Jumpy’s shop.
Jumpy was sad. Not only was there a ghost visiting his shop, his business was also getting affected. He discussed the situation with his friend Meeku mouse.
After Jumpy narrated the entire incident, Meeku said, “Don’t be silly, Jumpy. There’s no ghost! You are just imagining things.”
This annoyed Jumpy. “If there’s no ghost, then are my gulab jamuns magically disappearing into thin air?” he fumed.
“Calm down, Jumpy. Getting angry won’t solve your problem. We need to look at all possibilities,” said Meeku. He thought for a while and said, “Tomorrow, I will come along with you to the shop and try to find out about the missing gulab jamuns.”
“Sorry, I got angry, Meeku. I am frustrated. Please help me solve this problem, or else I will have to shut my shop,” said Jumpy.
Next day, Meeku and Jumpy went to the shop. The two ended up sitting idly the entire day as only two customers turned up. Yet, by the end of the day, they found that the gulab jamuns had disappeared.
“That’s it! I’ve had enough. I can’t run a business with a ghost trying to ruin it. I am going to sell this shop,” said Jumpy.
“Don’t do that, Jumpy. It is not a ghost; ghosts don’t exist. Just give me a day’s time and I will solve your problem,” said Meeku.
Jumpy agreed. The next day, the two of them went to the shop again. But this time, instead of sitting by the counter, Meeku hid behind the shelf from where he could see the tray of gulab jamuns.
Around afternoon, when Jumpy was falling asleep at his counter, Meeku saw a trunk enter the window and grab a few gulab jamuns. Meeku smiled. He now knew who the “ghost” was.
Later, Meeku woke Jumpy up to tell him about the “ghost” and shared an idea with him.
Jumpy laughed and said, “This will teach him a lesson.”
The following afternoon, Jumpy dozed off at his counter as usual, while Meeku hid behind the shelf. Just as they had anticipated, the trunk came in through the window and grabbed the gulab jamuns. Within a few seconds…
Jumpy and Meeku rushed outside. There, they saw Jumbo elephant sneezing violently. His face was red and his eyes were watering. “Thanks to the pepper you added in the gulab jamuns, your ghost has been caught red-handed,” said Meeku.
“You mean red-trunked?” joked Jumpy.
Hearing the loud sneezes, other animals gathered too. Meeku and Jumpy felt sorry for Jumbo. They gave him some water and sweets. After Jumbo recovered from the bout of sneezes, he grinned at his friends sheepishly.
“I am sorry. I was advised by the doctor to not have too many sweets. Since Jumpy knows about it, I knew he wouldn’t let me have any. And how much ever I try, I can’t keep off my favourite gulab jamuns from Jumpy’s shop—they are so delicious,” explained Jumbo
Everyone had a good laugh.