Ibrahim Khan and the Mystery of the Roaring Lion, page 1
and the Mystery of the Roaring Lion
THE ISLAMIC FOUNDATION
Copyright © The Islamic Foundation, 2009/1430 H
MUSLIM CHILDREN’S LIBRARY
IBRAHIM KHAN SERIES
Ibrahim Khan and the Mystery of the Roaring Lion
Author Farheen Khan
Editor Farah Alvi
Illustrator Sharelle (Shahada) Haqq
Cover/Book design & typeset Nasir Cadir
Coordinator Anwar Cara
THE ISLAMIC FOUNDATION
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A Cataloguing-in-Publication Data record for this book is available from the British Library
For Ibrahim, Nur-ul-Huda, Sulaiman & their Papa. Couldn’t have done it without you!
CHAPTER ONE A New Case
CHAPTER TWO A Lion in Your WHAT???
CHAPTER THREE Day One of the Lion Hunt
CHAPTER FOUR The Midnight Visitor
CHAPTER FIVE Day Two of the Lion Hunt
CHAPTER SIX The Cat’s in the Bag
CHAPTER SEVEN Confessions
CHAPTER EIGHT Another Case Solved
A New Case
“Ring, ring… Ring, ring”
“Hello?” Ibrahim answered.
“Ibrahim? Ibrahim Khan?” asked the low voice on the other end.
“Yeah, it’s me. Who’s calling?”
“Yusuf Ali, from school,” came the nervous reply. “I… I heard you do detective work.”
“That’s right,” replied Ibrahim. “A dollar a case if it’s just me or two if I’ll need the help of my assistant, Zayn.”
“I’ll give you five if you get started right away,” Yusuf offered.
“Wow, if you’re sure. Where would you like to meet?”
“My place,” Yusuf answered, “and hurry!”
After making a quick call to his cousin Zayn, Ibrahim ran to his room to change. Pulling on an orange t-shirt and jeans, he checked the time. It was 4:45, almost time for Asr prayer and Ibrahim knew he had to be home before Maghrib.
Ibrahim, Zayn and Yusuf were all in third grade together, but the Khan boys, as their teacher Mrs. Morris liked to call them, didn’t know Yusuf very well. He was the quietest boy in class, maybe even the school. No one had ever been to his house, but they all knew where he lived, the large grey brick house at the end of Stanley Lane. It was larger than the other houses in the neighbourhood and had a lot of great climbing trees. In the Autumn, when all the trees began shedding their colourful leaves, Yusuf’s house was the envy of all the neighbourhood kids.
As Ibrahim rode his old yellow bike towards Yusuf’s house, he could see Zayn waiting for him on his shiny red bike, at the end of the long driveway.
“Do you have rocket boosters on your bike?” Ibrahim yelled as he came closer. “How’d you get here so fast?”
“I can just pedal faster than you, that’s all,” Zayn shrugged.
“Don’t you think it’s a little suspicious you became a faster pedaller right after you got that new bike last Eid?” grumbled Ibrahim.
Zayn just laughed as he followed his cousin to the enormous front doors.
“Have you ever been to Yusuf’s house before?” asked Zayn.
“No, I don’t think anyone in our class has,” Ibrahim answered.
“It’s kind of a shame to have so many great climbing trees but no kids around to climb them,” Zayn commented. “Why do you think Yusuf doesn’t have anyone over?”
“I don’t know, maybe he’s just shy,” Ibrahim suggested.
“Yeah, maybe… ” answered Zayn. Neither boy noticed the dark pair of eyes peeking out of a nearby hedge.
A Lion in Your WHAT???
Ibrahim was about to ring the doorbell when the front door flew open.
“Took you guys long enough!”
Ibrahim and Zayn looked up to see a rather annoyed-looking Yusuf standing in the doorway. “Well, don’t just stand there, get in!”
“Right,” said Ibrahim.
“Assalamu ‘Alaykum,” mumbled Zayn as he entered the house.
As Yusuf led the boys up to his room, Ibrahim could tell that like him, Zayn was also feeling uncomfortable.
“You have a nice house, Masha’Allah,” Ibrahim politely commented. Getting no reply the boys quietly followed Yusuf into his room. The room, a little bigger than Ibrahim’s, looked like a tornado had just swept through. The carpet, which looked like it was probably white at some time, could barely be seen under comic books, Transformers, cars and lots and lots of Lego. As the boys made room for themselves around the room, Ibrahim took out a notebook and pencil.
“Listen guys,” Yusuf sighed. “I’m sorry if I seem uptight, it’s just that… well, this is really serious.”
“It’s okay, just tell us what happened from the beginning,” said Ibrahim.
“It all started last week. I had just brushed my teeth and was making room on the floor for my prayer-mat so I could pray ‘Isha’, when I heard hyenas laughing in the back yard,” Yusuf explained as he nervously fidgeted with his hands. Ibrahim and Zayn raised an eyebrow at each other but let Yusuf continue.
“Well, I was a little freaked out but I started praying anyway. I was about half way through my prayer when I heard it. The blood-chilling sound of a ferocious roaring lion! In my backyard!!” yelled Yusuf, with a frantic look in his eyes. “It took all my strength to finish my prayer before I ran to my parents’ room. My dad checked in the yard with a flashlight but he didn’t find anything.”
At first Ibrahim thought Yusuf was crying, but he quickly realized the noise was coming from Zayn, who was trying very hard not to laugh! Glaring at Zayn, Ibrahim turned his attention back to Yusuf.
“So… you’re saying there were hyenas and umm, a lion in your back yard?”
Ibrahim scribbled some notes, trying hard to be professional but it was difficult with Zayn in the same room. “Err, Zayn, why don’t you take a look around the yard for clues while I continue with Yusuf?”
Zayn nodded, without saying a word, and headed out of the room.
“Okay Yusuf, I’m going to be honest with you,” Ibrahim began. “It’s not that I don’t believe you, but I’m pretty sure there are no hyenas and definitely no lions loose on Stanley Lane.”
Just then a loud burst of laughter came in through the window, a laugh they both knew belonged to Zayn.
“You guys don’t believe me!” Yusuf shouted. “I knew this was a mistake! First my parents don’t believe me and now you two. I know what I heard,” Yusuf finished in a whisper.
“It was,” answered Yusuf, “until two nights ago. For the past two nights I’ve been hearing the lion again.”
“No hyenas?” asked Ibrahim
“Nope,” Yusuf answered, “just lions.”
Day One of the Lion Hunt
After a quick discussion with Zayn, Ibrahim called home to get permission to spend the night at Yusuf’s house. Zayn’s job was to research the surrounding woods both on-line and in his parent’s vast library. The boys rode home together since Ibrahim still had to go home and get his things. His dad had agreed to bring him back later that evening.
“Do you want me to drop off my fishing net?” Zayn asked his cousin.
“You want me to catch a lion with a fishing net?” Ibrahim replied, slightly out of breath. “Besides, I don’t plan on catching anything tonight.”
“You don’t?” Zayn asked, a little surprised.
“No, tonight I’ll be a fly on the wall. I want to hear what Yusuf’s been hearing,” Ibrahim explained. As he wiped the sweat off his forehead, he looked over at Zayn’s new bike. “Why is it you’re pedalling less than me but going the same speed?”
“If the famous detective Ibrahim Khan can’t figure it out, how am I supposed to know?” Zayn teased as he rode off to the right, heading to his house.
Ibrahim just shook his head as he continued up the street deep in thought about Yusuf, lions and hyenas.
“Call me in the morning when you want to be picked up,” Ibrahim’s dad told him, as he helped him carry his sleeping bag to Yusuf’s front door.
“Thanks Abbu!” Ibrahim said, as he waved from the front porch. Tomorrow was Saturday and Ibrahim knew he’d be missing his mamma’s famous waffles in the morning.
“Oh well,” he shrugged. “Being a detective isn’t always easy.”
Once again, before Ibrahim had the chance to ring the door bell, the door was opened by Yusuf.
“Assalamu ‘Alaykum,” Yusuf greeted Ibrahim with a small smile.
“Wa‘alaykum as-Salam,” Ibrahim answered.
“So you’re Ibrahim, eh?” came a voice from the kitchen. Ibrahim looked over and saw Yusuf’s big brother Kamran sitting at the kitchen table eating a bowl of ice cream.
“Just ignore him,” Yusuf whispered, as he carried Ibrahim’s sleeping bag in.
“I heard from lil’ Yusuf here that you’re going to catch the big bad giraffe in our yard,” Kamran teased, as he started laughing loudly.
Yusuf quickly dragged Ibrahim the rest of the way up before he had a chance to reply.
“I guess he doesn’t believe you either?” Ibrahim asked, as Yusuf closed the door behind them.
“No, no one does,” Yusuf sighed. “But you’ll see for yourself tonight. Then you can tell everyone I’m telling the truth!”
Yusuf had cleared up a little and there was now enough room for Ibrahim to set up his sleeping bag under the large window that overlooked the back yard. He pulled out his brown sack which carried all the surveillance equipment he’d need for the night.
“You don’t mind if I leave the window open a crack do you?” Ibrahim asked. “I’m going to have to run a few wires through the window,” he explained.
“Do whatever you need to,” said Yusuf. “Say, is that your famous brown sack?” he asked. “I heard the boys at school talking about it. One of the boys in grade two thought it was magic!”
“It’s a special padded bag actually, not magical at all,” replied Ibrahim. “I’ll have to ask you not to look in it though, a detective has to have some secrets,” he said with a smile.
Ibrahim continued to set up the delicate-looking equipment both in Yusuf’s room and out on his window sill, while Yusuf got ready for ‘Isha’. As the boys prayed Ibrahim thought he heard something outside but ignored it and continued his salah.
The Midnight Visitor
As Ibrahim lay in his sleeping bag under the window, the only sound he could hear was Yusuf’s steady breathing. Yusuf had asked Ibrahim to wake him up if anything happened and Ibrahim had agreed. However, there were no laughing hyenas or roaring lions. It was starting to get late but Ibrahim stayed awake, waiting for the lion to return.
It was almost midnight when Ibrahim first heard the sounds of hyenas in the back yard and they were laughing! He quietly slipped out of his sleeping bag and peered into the yard. Less than a minute later he heard a loud thunderous roar! He grabbed his binoculars and held them against the window. There was definitely something out there, something big!
“Yusuf!” Ibrahim called in an urgent whisper. “Yusuf, get up! The lion’s back!!”
Leaving the window Ibrahim went to shake Yusuf awake.
“Wha—?” Yusuf answered in a groggy voice. “What’s going on?” he yelled.
“Come see for yourself,” Ibrahim said, as he rushed back to the window. Now fully awake, Yusuf quickly joined him.
“Pass me the binoculars Ibrahim! I want to see! Let me see, let me see!” he pleaded.
“Shhh! You’re making too much noise!” Ibrahim warned, as he tried to find the figures he had seen earlier. After a minute or two of searching Ibrahim let out a loud groan.
“They’re gone,” he moaned.
“They?” Yusuf asked. “You mean there was more than one lion?”
“I… I don’t know. There was definitely more than one, but I didn’t get a good enough look,” Ibrahim explained.
“What do you mean, isn’t this your job? I mean, you are a detective aren’t you?!” Yusuf asked in disbelief.
“It was dark, so I didn’t really see much. I’m sorry,” said Ibrahim. He was frustrated and didn’t want to tell Yusuf it was his fault for making too much noise. “Listen, let’s just get some sleep. Hopefully, I caught something on my surveillance equipment. Zayn and I can check it out tomorrow. I don’t think there’ll be any more lions tonight. I’ll have to spend another night here, but this time with Zayn.”
“Sure,” Yusuf answered with a yawn as he got back into bed.
“And Yusuf?” Ibrahim continued.
“Tomorrow night it might be better if I wake you up after we catch what’s out there,” Ibrahim suggested.
“Hmm,” Yusuf replied, as his steady breathing quickly turned into light snoring.
Day Two of the Lion Hunt
Ibrahim spent the early morning hours after Fajr looking for prints in the back yard. Though he wasn’t sure who the culprit was, he had a theory. He’d have to wait till nightfall to prove it. After a delicious breakfast of pancakes with the yummiest syrup he’d ever had, Ibrahim called his dad to come pick him up. He had packed most of his things but left his sleeping bag and toothbrush behind. He had a busy day ahead of him which included an afternoon nap. Ibrahim knew he needed to be extra alert tonight.
“Thanks for breakfast Yusuf,” said Ibrahim. “The pancakes were delicious.”
“You’re welcome,” Yusuf replied. “We have a couple of maple trees in the back. We collected sap from it last spring to make that syrup.”
“That’s really cool!” Ibrahim exclaimed. “You should tell Mrs. Morris, I’m sure the kids in class would love to help you guys turn the sap into syrup. It would be like a field trip!”
Ibrahim watched as a look of horror passed over Yusuf’s face.
“Bu-but all those people in, in my back yard,” Yusuf stammered. “Climbing on my trees, playing in my tree house. No, I don’t think it would be a good idea.”
“It would be so cool though,” Ibrahim explained. “Can you imagine how much fun it would be with the whole class in your yard!?”
“No,” Yusuf answered in a small voice. “I can’t.”
After a quick shower Ibrahim headed off to Zayn’s house. The boys analyzed the recordings from Yusuf’s window sill as Ibrahim told Zayn all about the night’s events and Zayn told him what he’d found during his research.
“You should have just left Yusuf sleeping,” Zayn suggested.
“I know,” Ibrahim agreed. “But what’s done is done. We need to pack the brown sack for tonight. We’ll need both image and sound recording equipment as well as a really, really big net.”
Zayn looked surprised but didn’t question his cousin as the boys headed down to the garage for a net. Zayn’s dad loved to fish so he had many nets of different sizes. The boys were allowed to borrow what they needed as long as they put it back where they found it.
Both the boys’ parents supported their detective work as long as they kept their grades up and let their parents know where they’d be.
“I looked in our library and on my dad’s computer to see if there was any information about the woods behind Yusuf’s house,” said Zayn. “But couldn’t find much.”
“Did you find anything at all?” asked Ibrahim.
“Just a couple of old newspaper articles. The only wildlife mentioned in them were squirrels, chipmunks and an occasional skunk,” Zayn explained. “The closest lion or hyena to Stanley Lane is a two and a half hour drive away, at the zoo!”
“That’s what I figured,” said Ibrahim. “But it’s good to be sure.”
Ibrahim and Zayn worked in the garage tying small weights around the edges of the net.
“Have you asked your parents about staying at Yusuf’s house tonight?” Ibrahim asked.
“Yup!” Zayn answered. “Did you let Yusuf know I’d be spending the night?”