The Hibiscus Thief

We knew he’d visit twice a day,
But who it was, we couldn’t say.
He’d come at dawn, then at dusk.
Plucking mainly, the red hibiscus.

Nothing stays a secret for too long in a village,
Soon the maid spotted him behind the foliage.
And who do you think was our flower thief?
The shaky Shakaram! In his banyaan & briefs.

My mum rushed out to speak her mind,
But shaky Shakaram she could not find.
She decided to give him a second chance,
Waved it off as an unfortunate circumstance.

The next few days, our hibiscus was spared
But how long can one resist a flower so red?
By Thursday, he was back to stealing,
Our dog was right there, but dreaming.

Until then my mum was being nice & warm,
Ultimately she realised he would not reform.
She waited at dawn & caught him red-handed.
“Why do you pick my hibiscus?”, she demanded.

“I am a poor man, with many gods to please.
To improve my situation, I must offer these.”
“But do any of these gods ask you to rob?!”
Dumbstruck, shaky Shakaram began to sob.

My very Christian mum was filled with guilt,
If he didn’t take them, they’d gradually wilt.
She thought, ‘Am I just making a big deal?’
But then again, ‘it’s wrong for him to steal’.

Shaky Shakaram began to shake much more,
So she told him he could have them and go.
His shaking stopped, his face brightened,
He gave a toothy smile, her heart lightened.

My mum gave an inch, he took a mile,
Each morning he’d sing and smile,
As the maid watched & quietly fumed,
Shakaram took everything that bloomed.

When things come easy, they’re no fun,
His love for our red hibiscus was done.
Shakaram had turned over a new leaf,
He had now become a Buttercup thief.