It was time for the annual trek to India again! As George and Elliana ran around in the vast jungle-like garden, with its luscious mango trees, heavy-laden with their fruit, and the jackfruit tree abounded with its enormous green fruit, they suddenly heard a sound. It sounded like a meow.
“What’s that?” asked Elliana, startled.
“It sounds like a cat. Come on, let’s have a look.” said George.
They wandered around the garden, searching for a cat, but no cat could be sighted. They ventured amongst the mulberry trees, looked up the custard apple trees that were burdened down with their tiny green fruit and even went towards the magnificent bushy sapota tree in the back. There was no cat to be seen. George shrugged his shoulders and made his way back to the house, with Elliana trudging along behind him. Elliana went into the kitchen to her great-grandmother. Her great-grandmother was supervising the kitchen staff on making ginger limeade, with limes fresh from the bounty of the garden. There was a lime tree planted by the kitchen with an overabundance of limes. Elliana decided to help. Her great-grandmother happily showed her tiny fingers how to get freshly squeezed lime juice. Elliana enjoyed helping her great-grandmother in the kitchen. They made some ginger limeade together and she proudly poured some into a glass to take to her older brother. George was lying down in the bedroom, looking at some Noddy books. He was reading.
“Look what I made for you.” Elliana said.
“Thank you, Elliana.” said George as he sat up to take the freshly squeezed limeade. Suddenly they heard a meow.
“Again!” exclaimed George.
Just then his mother came into the room.
“Mummy, we hear a cat.” said Elliana. “But we can’t see it.”
“That’s not a cat, Elliana dear.” said their mother. “That’s a peacock. There are peacocks in the jungle next door.”
Across the road from the children’s home stood an old university. It had moved from its location over a hundred years ago to be situated in the forest beside their home.
That evening as the children got ready for bed Elliana said, “I wish we could see the peacock.”
“I know, Elliana. That would be so nice.” replied George as he climbed under the bed net.
They switched off the light. All was quiet and dark in the house. The ceiling fan whirred overhead. Suddenly, they heard their great-grandmother calling.
“Children!” she called.
The children ran to her room. There was a little light glowing on her bed net and making its way towards them.
“Look!” said their great-grandmother as she turned on the light. “It’s a glow worm.”
"Oooh." said the children, in awe.
“Let’s take it outside.” said George. So they went outside and released it. Just as the children were about to turn back inside, they heard a meow. It sounded very close.
“Where is it?” whispered Elliana excitedly.
“Meow.” called the voice again.
“Let’s follow the sound.” whispered back George. “Stay close to me, and go quietly.”
They ventured out into the dark garden. Elliana stayed close behind her older brother. Suddenly there was a rustle in the bowed over Chinese Lantern tree. What could it be? A chattering sound drifted down to them. It was only a squirrel.
They heard the sound again.
“It sounds like it’s going to the back of the garden.” whispered George to Elliana. The children quietly made their way to the back, past the custard apple trees. Suddenly they heard a rustle in the ground. It was a large snake, making its way into its hole amongst the curry leaves! It slithered quietly in. Elliana was scared. “Let’s go back!” she said.
Just then they heard the meow call. It sounded closer this time. George made his way through the mango trees. Elliana followed.
They heard a rustle in the mango tree above. They looked up. Just then, the moon shone down brilliantly through the leaves, shining down upon a dark silhouette that now glistened in the glowing light. It was blue, with feathers falling gently down and lighting up in the moonlight. There, perched in the branches of the mango tree was a peacock!
It tilted it’s head and peered down at the two children gazing up at it in wonder. Just then, the moon disappeared behind a cloud, and the great bird vanished from sight. The children stood awed by such a mesmerizing glimpse.
Elliana enjoyed making this drink with her great-grandmother. It’s just the way her great-grandmother makes it. You can enjoy making it too!
2-inch piece of grated ginger
1 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups water
1. Add sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. When the sugar and water mixture has boiled and become a syrup, add the grated ginger. Boil for 1 minute. Then lower the heat.
3. Add the lime juice and turn off the flame.
4. Allow to cool.
5. Strain the ginger from the syrup and bottle the syrup. Refrigerate.
6. To make the limeade, simply add 1 part syrup to 2 parts cold water. Enjoy the refreshing drink!
from: Great-Grandmother’s recipe