Maira was not exactly what we call irritating. Yes, she used to practice her antics every now and then with all family members but there was always a sense of joy and childlike innocence in her deeds. She used to fly around like birds and mutter under her breath if she were cross at something. Always doing mischievous acts with her siblings, she was this chubby little character in the house who is essential to keep the atmosphere lively. Often, she would very secretly go up to Sam’s bed, who would be enjoying a deep slumber, and tickle him in the tummy. And, as he would wake up whimpering, she hid herself under the bed as if making Sam think that some invisible force did the naughty deed. Or, when she chirped in the ears of Jane, her mommy, when she would read her favorite novel.

I used to call her ‘The Tweeting Bird.’ And rightly so!

But her adventures were not confined only to siblings. It was at that winter-night when I finally unearthed the mystery behind her madness. I was in my usual happy-go-lucky kind of mood – revolving in my lounge-chair – when she entered the room ever so quietly. Oblivious of the fact that there was another soul in the room, I kept rocking in the chair while reading the weekly ‘Business Recorder’. Suddenly something felt like slipping under my feet: "Oh, it can’t be the carpet." I thought to myself. And as I glanced down I saw one of my slippers crawling back, the left slipper in this case. Now I am certainly not too coward to be overawed by the gravity of the incident, but I was still utterly perplexed. The slipper stopped creeping back. I shook my head in awe and started where I left. "The economic crisis is one reason why we people have become so skeptic and distressed these days," it said.

As I collected my focus and concentrated again, I heard a little thud. I turned back in a hassle, only to find the back of the closed door behind me. This was turning out to be fictitious now. I tried to gather momentum again and after five or so minutes sensed the same feeling under my feet. It was the right slipper’s turn this time around. It went back as if a swift canoe floats on the waves. It was getting too much now, so I gently held the slipper in my hand and discovered that there was a force of pull being applied to it. On a closer inspection it was revealed that the slipper was tied up with a slenderest of threads that exactly matched the carpet color. ‘Hurrah’, I exulted as if a hunter had just preyed on a rare species of Owl. And there she was, right next to the door, with a sheepish smile on her face, as to confess her innocent crime.

The case had been solved.