C – Lily Pads and Pelicans

Posted: February 3, 2016 in Friday Fictioneers


When Anusha was six, Baba terrified her by saying, “Lily pads hold souls of the dead.”
When Anusha was eleven, Baba said, “Go to Lake Kolleru. Catch many catfish. Your family is hungry.”
Casting her line amid the tangle of lily pads Anusha prayed, “Don’t let Naana or Ajja rise up and take me.”
The day was kind. She returned – stronger – carrying many fish.

At seventeen, Anusha married Nayan because he told her,
“Spot-billed pelicans carry souls under their wings,”
and she felt safe.

Baba died. Nayan died. Now ninety-five, Anusha wades through the lily pads
at Kolleru
to feed the pelicans.



  1. Joy Pixley says:

    Lovely fairy tale feel to the sayings, and to her own life story. Well crafted!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awww, everyone left her.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Margaret says:

    This is a wonderfully atmospheric and touching story. The ideas are so inventive and fascinating, and I love the thought of the pelicans carrying souls. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. draliman says:

    I’m imagining someone believing (or choosing to believe) everything anyone tells her, but she outlived all of them! I like the idea of pelicans carrying souls, a bit like storks and babies but with a more magical and mystical feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Alicia,

    I love the other worldly feel to this story. I love the names that put me in a different country without going into lengthy explanations. Well done.



    Liked by 2 people

  6. Bloggeuse says:

    Beautiful story in so few words – very poignant and such a sweet, innocent voice.

    C: the last paragraph didn’t feel quite as strong to me; I feel like it lost a bit of the lyrical quality that the rest of the story captured so well, and I wanted just half a sentence more in the last line – maybe that’s me being greedy for more, though!

    Overall, gorgeous imagery, and it really does read like some ageless fairy-tale.


  7. gahlearner says:

    This is such a lovely tale, almost mythical. I like the contrast between the souls in the lily pads that terrify her, and the souls under the pelicans’ wings that make her feel safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a beautiful, beautiful story! You masterfully weaved almost a hundred years in just a hundred words.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sandra says:

    I liked the almost fable-like nature of this tale. It has a charm all of its own. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Firs of all the names placed me somewhere else (just like the lily-pads and pelicans). I love how you hinted at a life’s story without really telling it… like a fairy tale indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. athling2001 says:

    Beautiful story. Great job conveying the passage of time.


  12. plaridel says:

    great story. i enjoyed it very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Solothefirst says:

    Awwww this is very sweet

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I wish you had 100 more words I was so enchanted.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dale says:

    I have to agree with all the comments, it did have a fairy-tale feel to it! Lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. maria says:

    Lovely story. 🙂


  17. Lovely, returning for the souls that once terrified her. What we all choose to do sooner or later. Wish we could find them.


  18. Amy Reese says:

    Love it. Your story has a circular and mythical quality. I have a feeling Anusha is going to be fine on her own. Great story, Alicia.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. That’s lovely. She had had a wonderful life, I suspect.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. A really nice story line for the prompt photo. Tha names bring a fantasy feel to life.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  21. subroto says:

    Beautiful. A very mystical dream like feel to this story. On a more real note I see that Lake Kolleru is facing serious challenges of pollution these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Lovely fairy tale, Alicia. Older people should be careful what they tell children. Small children have difficulty telling fairy tale from reality. All turned out well, though. Good story with great description. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  23. erinleary says:

    Lovely story….

    Liked by 1 person

  24. An utterly beautiful, beautiful story! So glad I finally made the rounds today (been crazy busy all week) to read people’s stories, and now, yours is the perfect one to end my day with (well, it’s 3:27 a.m.., so it’s the start of the NEXT day)!
    I like your use of Indian names. Did you do a lot of research, or did you just make up the whole thing about the myths of pelicans and so on? I’m curious to know.
    (And thanks for stopping by my blog!)

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Steve says:

    Wonderful piece, Lish! What a nice touch you have!

    Liked by 1 person

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