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The Story of a Beggar

Najati Al-Bukhari

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Once, in a shining day, and I think it was almost late in the afternoon, I had the strong and he persisting desire to go to the nearest place where the beggar was standing. Two of my small friends agreed to accompany me in this venture. The three of us, we walked towards our destination with care, precaution and prudence. As soon as we were near to the small beggar we began, with some hesitation, to pose for him the following questions in a very rapid way.

"Please tell us from where have you come? Don't you feel that you should play with us instead of standing here night and day? Please, tell us what is your name? I am Amin, this is Kareem and the third of us is Sami. All of us are friends and we play together every day from sunrise to sunset."

Smile under the Hat 1
Above artwork is by the author's son Nawaf Al-Bukhari... See more!
© 1980-2017 by Nawaf Al Bukhari, Amman-JORDAN and Dubai-UAE

We continued to ask the small beggar questions and to talk to him in order to tell him some information and facts about us and about the community at large. However, we were enormously surprised to find out that the small beggar was completely silent. He did not give any answer, any reaction. He remained silent as a statue. There was no life in that small boy. The beggar did not utter a single word.

In facing this strange reaction, on the part of the beggar, and in confronting such an ambiguous situation, I suddenly thought that this small boy could be deaf and dumb. He could not react to any question. Such a boy could not have any dialogue, or communication, with the others who tried to talk to him. On the basis of this possibility, that is the boy being deaf and dump, the three of us talked to the beggar in a very loud voice as if we were shouting in a high and a resounding voice. We were absolutely surprised to see that the small beggar did not give any reaction. He kept being silent as if there was nobody before him. Certainly, after that we came to the conclusion that small beggar did not hear what we said to him. He kept silent and he was tranquil and did not make any movement. Strangely enough, I noticed that his eyes remained open as if they were deprived of life.

All of a sudden, I thought that this small boy could not see us at all. I was telling myself that this boy might have been blind. He was living in a world full of darkness and obscurity. In staring at his open eyes, I thought that these eyes did not show any sign indicating that they were seeing us. Of course, blind eyes could shed tears, a lot of tears. These eyes of the beggar were blind but they were pouring a lot of tears. At that moment an idea came to my mind as a way for solving the riddle and finding answers too many questions that we had in mind.

First, I was about to touch him, to touch the small beggar. Even I had the idea, or even the temptation, to put inside his small wooden bowl a small pebble, a piece of a little stone to see what would be the reaction of the beggar. However, after much consideration I changed my intention and decided with conviction that I should leave the small boy in tranquility.

I decided that I should not disturb the beggar at all. The position and the reaction of my two other friends was the same like mine. They did not want to disturb him. The two supported my position regarding the small beggar. We the three of us, Amin, Kareem and Sami, decided at last to leave the small beggar to himself.

It was late in the afternoon. Each one of us told his mother what happened to us when we were standing just near to the small beggar.

Evidently, the most important aspect of our venture of going nearest to the beggar was that I did not see anything in the wooden bowl. I expected that the bowl contained some pieces of money given by the generous people of the quarter.

The bowl was really, and to our surprise, empty. Not a single trace of any piece of money could be seen inside the wooden bowl. This simple observation was to me very important. I had the feeling that I should investigate more this important finding.

I asked myself, why was this wooden bowl empty? Was it always empty, or what? To me, this was a riddle and a puzzle which I should investigate in the coming few days either by myself or with the aid of some of my friends, the small boys of the quarter.

During the days in which I was completely occupied in playing and in amusing myself with the other boys, I had the new habit of withdrawing from the group of friends to go to the hidden corner of the small beggar. I wanted to see whether his bowl was really empty or not. I had the inner impulsion to go and see the wooden bowl which became in these days an important thing in my life. I wanted to be sure that the bowl was all the time empty and that nobody gave the beggar a single small piece of money.

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The Story of a Beggar

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© 1980-2017 by Najati Al Bukhari, Mont de Marsan, France

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