Children's story: The day I traded my brother for a crazy live doll

My brother would have never eaten my lipstick or torn my tutu. I missed him desperately, but I had given him away.

Zahra Peer Mohammed November 02, 2012
It was a hot summer day. I stared gloomily at my little brother, who was sitting joyfully on the ground, cleaning his trains. Trains were all he ever cared about. All my dolls were old and boring and I needed something new to play with. I decided to jump on the trampoline and do some thinking.

I jumped up and down nibbling anxiously on my thin pink lips. Suddenly, while I was up in the air, my dark eyes caught a glimpse of a little girl with beautiful, brown curly hair. I was completely enchanted. She must be the new neighbour’s daughter. If only I could buy her, she could be my new, live doll! We could play dress up! We could have tea parties! The possibilities were endless. Then a huge thud brought me back to reality as I had fallen hard on my bottom.

Picking my lanky legs up from under me, I dashed into my house. Grabbing my brother by his shirt, I rushed him in front of my dressing table. Hurriedly, I brushed his dark brown hair down. Then I dabbed some cologne ─ okay, lots of  cologne ─ on his blue shirt. If only I could make my brother look irresistible, the neighbour’s boy might want to trade his gorgeous sister for my boring brother! I ran wildly to the neighbour’s house, my black, long hair flying behind me.
“Trade me your sister for my brother,” I gasped to the neighbour’s boy. “I’ll even throw in some of my brother’s trains.”

Streaks of sweat glistened on my anxious, sun-tanned face. The neighbour’s boy shrugged and pushed his sister towards me.
“Natalia?" he said. “Sure, she’s all yours.”

I was absolutely ecstatic! I skipped all the way back home, with my new sister’s pudgy fingers tightly gripping my hand. Natalia’s bright blue eyes sparkled in the sun as she smiled sweetly up at me.
“This is the best day of my life,” I thought to myself.

Inside the house, I sat her down on my bed. Natalia’s round cheeks would be perfect for my new blush-on! I put my makeup box on the bed next to her.
“My oh my!” I said as I looked at her glistening brown hair. “Let’s put some curlers in your hair too, Natalia.”

I sped to my mother’s room to borrow her curlers. Dashing back in to my room, I stopped dead at the doorway with my mouth hanging open.
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” I screamed. "Natalia! What did you do?"

Natalia’s pretty mouth was smeared with red streaks and as she saw me, she smiled widely.

All of her teeth were blood red! It looked as though she had been chewing on an animal. I shuddered. Then I caught sight of my favourite red lipstick in her chubby hand, all chewed up! Natalia had eaten my lipstick! I wailed in despair and grabbed it from her hand, but she shrieked so loudly that I let go at once.

Startled, I asked her if she wanted to colour. She spluttered out “yes” and flecks of my lipstick flew in my face. Sighing loudly, I brought my crayons and put a colouring book in front of her. Alas! Natalia had other plans. She plunged for the crayons and started scribbling furiously on the walls of my room! She giggled with glee as I tried to pry the crayons out of her hand. I begged her to stop, and started picking the crayons up from the ground. Suddenly, I felt my head swinging back and forth like a yo-yo.

Natalia had grabbed a fistful of my hair and was yanking on it furiously, screaming “me colour!” over and over again. With the lipstick still in her teeth and her face hot with fury, she looked like a monster. Trying to distract her, I asked if she wanted to play dress up. She immediately let go of my hair and started clapping.

I loved to play dress up! My brother hated it. The day could still be saved! Excited, I pulled out my fluffy tutu from the closet. It was made of beautiful white satin with pearly beads on the front. It was one of my most treasured possessions. I pulled it over Natalia’s head and let out a gasp. She looked like a princess.

Natalia loved it too. She squealed with delight and ran in front of the mirror, gazing at herself in awe. Suddenly she turned towards me and said,
“Natalia no like beads.”

To my horror, she began gnawing at my beloved tutu with her tiny fingers, yanking the pearly white beads off! I leapt off the bed, screaming at her to stop and trying desperately to pull the tutu off Natalia. She fought ferociously against me, screaming and squirming the whole time. Then there was a loud rip. My tutu’s strap had come right off and Natalia was gripping on to it like it held her life.

I sank to the floor in utter despair and began to sob. I had lost my best lipstick, my bedroom wall was ruined, and my favourite tutu was in tatters. My brother would have never eaten my lipstick or torn my tutu. I missed him desperately, but I had given him away. I was left with a monster of a sister, who was still clutching the strap of the tutu and smiling at herself in the mirror. The best day of my life had turned in to the worst day of my life.

Suddenly I heard the doorbell ring. It was the neighbour’s boy and my brother! I ran to the door and clung to my brother. The neighbour’s boy thought the trade was only for the day and he had returned to collect his sister. I was delighted and relieved that he had misunderstood the deal.

I had my brother back, and would never ever give him up; not for all the dolls in the world! I had learned my lesson - never ever give up on your family because they are precious just the way they are.

Read more by Zahra here or follow her on Twitter @ZahraPeer
Zahra Peer Mohammed Former Blogs Desk Head and Senior Sub-Editor at The Express Tribune. She is a business graduate from the Queen's School of Business who tweets @ZahraPeer ( She blogs at
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


zehra | 11 years ago | Reply how hard is it for people to understand poetic license? brilliant read!!
Nandita. | 11 years ago | Reply Shuja : You confused mental and physical age there my friend !
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