Gopi stood watching the sunset with his cousins Deepak and Urvi in the city, when they heard the neighbor shout, “Hey! Hello! Don’t do that.”
They saw him talking to a boy on a bicycle who had just thrown a bag of garbage on the vacant plot next to his.
Gopi told Katch, “So many get away with it because no one sees them do it especially after dark.”
“Are you speaking to me Gopi?” asked Urvi.
“Yes…er…yes,” replied Gopi as he winked at Katch.
B-Zee had buzzed down to get closer to the scene and now she was back. The neighbor told the boy to pick up the bag, and he did. Just as they were about to applaud his civic sense, they were shocked to see the boy throw it at the street corner.
Gopi was angry. “Let’s tell your neighbor he can’t do that Deepak?”
“Oh! He won’t listen,” said Deepak, “he argues with anybody who tries to tell him anything. We call him ‘Civic Sam’ because he’s always telling people not to litter… not to waste water.”
“And he does the opposite?” asked Gopi, “We have to tell him. Come on!”
Deepak and Urvi were emboldened too and joined Gopi. B-Zee scared Sam by flying close to him.
“Uncle, no one should throw garbage at the street corner,” Gopi said.
“Then where should they throw it?” he asked angrily. “This is not a garbage dump,” he said, pointing to the vacant plot.
“Nor is that the dump Uncle,” said Deepak, pointing to the street corner.
Urvi called the boy on the cycle and told him to pick the garbage bag from the street corner. Gopi told him to look for a bin or hand it to the collectors on their rounds in the morning. ‘Civic Sam’ meanwhile had walked away indignant. The boy rode off with his bag of garbage and the cousins went upstairs again.
“Hope ‘Civic Sam’ won’t do as he pleases again Katch,” said Gopi as they did their customary high five.
“Wow! He can do a high five?” said a surprised Urvi, “can I do one?”
Urvi did just that and Deepak followed suit before Katch doffed his cap and slunk into his shell.
Know what these words mean?
Applaud: to show praise
Emboldened: became confident
Indignant: angry, irritated
All characters created by Dominic D’Cruz & Jerusha Lawrence-D’Cruz
Profile Image: Gopi; Previsualization Storyboard: Jerusha- Lawrence D’Cruz; Illustration & Animation: Sithesh Govind