Amazing Kids! Magazine

Gaurika and the Crying Bridge

By Aashna Garg, age 5, India


Once upon a time, there was a girl called Gaurika. She used to live in a small town with her parents. One day they decided to visit her relatives in the city. They were travelling in a taxi towards their relative’s house when they got stuck in a traffic jam on a bridge.

Suddenly, Gaurika heard whining noises. Somebody was crying. She could hear someone going, “Ooh! Aah! Ouch!” very clearly. She asked her mom but she told Gaurika not to make up stories, and that there were no noises coming from anywhere. It was true, Gaurika loved making up stories, but she could hear these voices for real. She turned to her dad, but he was too busy looking for directions to her cousin’s house. She decided to go exploring while they were stuck on the bridge.

The noise was coming from somewhere below them, so she took a boat and went for a ride in the river. The noise then moved to above her head. She called out but got no response. She had to get to the bottom of this. She called again and this time she got an exclaimed response,

“Can you hear me?” it said.

She replied “Yes, I can. Who are you? And why are you crying?”

“I am what you all call the bridge,” said the voice.

“The bridge? But they don’t talk!”

“Yes we do. But I have not heard of anyone like you hearing us ever.”

“Anyway,” said Gaurika. “Why were you crying?”

The bridge replied, “I am too weak; I can’t take this weight anymore. It hurts, please help me.”

Gaurika asked the bridge, “Why do you think it hurts?”

The bridge replied, “I have been helping humans cross the river for over a hundred years now. I am too old.”

Gaurika didn’t know what to do. Nobody would believe her if she told them that she spoke to the bridge. She was not an engineer like her dad and she was just a child. Nobody listens to a child, they need a lot of convincing. She could stop the traffic but she couldn’t stand there forever! She wanted to meet her cousins. She had to do something, for she could not leave the poor bridge hurting and all alone.

She went back to the car and thought for some time before coming up with a great idea. She started singing her favorite nursery rhyme, “London Bridge is Falling Down”. She stopped suddenly and asked her father, “Papa! How do you know if a bridge is about to fall down?”

Her dad looked at her and said, “Why are you asking me that?”

“Because,” she replied, “I just want to know, Papa.”

Her father explained to her that a bridge becomes weak if:

  1. The road or the deck is filled with potholes, making the water reach the iron bars;
  2. The iron bars have become weak and brittle, or
  3. The foundation has eroded because of the river.

“How long can a bridge normally stand without becoming weak?” asked Gaurika.

“About a hundred years,” replied her dad.

She went home and started researching about the bridge. Her findings told her that the bridge had already become 100 years old 20 days back and nobody had checked on it. She showed her research to her dad, who read the sheets of paper that Gaurika had printed, and notified the traffic police. They stopped the movement of heavy trucks on the bridge until the repairs were done.

One comment

  1. Himanshu /

    Great story Aashna, so proud.