You Be The Detective
Naughty and Nice
Writer: Aparna Sundaresan
Illustrator: Savio Mascarenhas
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It was the annual Christmas party hosted by the Gomendezes. The children who lived in the neighbourhood were wary of it this year. A new family had moved in nearby, and their son, 12-year-old Fernando, was a bully. He would definitely be at the party and no one wanted to cross paths with him.

On the day of the party, as soon as little Rita entered the Gomendezes’ house, Fernando came racing out of nowhere and spilled a glass of orange juice on her new dress.

“Oops! I’m sorry,” he said, not sounding sorry at all. He cackled and zoomed off to find a new victim.

He found one in Yuvan, who was playing with a helium balloon. Yuvan was enjoying letting go of the balloon and then jumping up to grab it before it floated out of reach. Fernando leaped like a kangaroo and grabbed it before Yuvan could, and then stomped on it. BANG! The balloon burst and Fernando cackled like a witch, yet again. “Hehehahaha! Look at your face!” he squealed in glee and took off.

Zeba had just helped herself to a slice of Christmas cake and some sweets. “HEADS UP!” cried someone, and the next second, Zeba found her plate of goodies slapped out of her hands and scattered on the floor.“

“Ha! You clumsy goose!” said Fernando, pleased with himself. Zeba felt her blood boil, but picking a fight with him was unwise; he was bigger and older than her.

“Children, it’s time for gifts!” called out Mr. Gomendez. All the kids raced towards the towering Christmas tree in the centre of the house. Fernando pushed his way ahead of everyone and tore through the pile of gifts.

“WHERE ARE MY PRESENTS?!” he cried. Something glittery outside the window behind the tree caught his eye. “Someone threw my presents out the window!” he bellowed. “Who did it?!”

Everyone in the party smirked to themselves. Someone had pranked the bully! But who had managed to pull off this feat?

“You three!” snapped Fernando as he pointed to Rita, Yuvan and Zeba.“One of you did it, didn’t you? You babies have no sense of humour!”

Rita looked annoyed at this accusation. “Since arriving, I’ve been in the bathroom trying to rinse off the orange juice that you spilled on my dress!” she said. And sure enough, there was a large, wet patch on her dress.

“After you burst the balloon I was playing with, I had to blow up two more myself,” said Yuvan, pointing to the two balloons he was holding that were bobbing above him.“You try doing that without going out of breath!”

Fernando scowled and redirected his attention to Zeba. “That leaves you!” he snarled.

“You knocked my plate of snacks!” shot back Zeba. “I had to go ask Ms. Gomendez for a new plate. I also helped her clean up the mess you made.”

Fernando stood around and blinked like a confused baboon at all three of his ‘suspects’. One of the three was definitely guilty. But who?!

Can you figure out who threw out his Christmas gifts?

Yuvan threw out Fernando’s Christmas gifts. He claimed that he blew two more balloons to replace the one he lost, but the two new ones were clearly helium balloons. If Yuvan had blown them himself, they wouldn’t have been floating.

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