Friday, September 7, 2012

The Young Man and the Girl

There was a young man who used to live with his father rearing their sheep in the desert.  Years later his father died and all that he left for him was 200 pieces of silver coins besides the sheep.  He was wondering what to do with the money and kept thinking for a while.  One day he went to the market area where people sell and buy sheep and other goods.  He heard an old man shouting "who is going to buy these pieces of advice?"  The young man stood there perplexed.  Can advice be sold?  He headed to the old man and asked "are you sure you are selling pieces of advice?"  The man answered "yes. would you like to try some?  He thought for a moment and then said to himself "why don't I see what these pieces of advice that can be sold are?  The young man paid all his money and bought two pieces of advice.  After the young man paid the money the old man released the two pieces of advice to him.  The first one was "everyone has his own way of choice," and the second one was "whenever you are offered a good favor, do not reject it."  The young man thought for a moment, "do these deserve the two hundred?"
   After a couple of years the young man, having no money, decided to work with an ameer of a nearby tribe.  The ameer had a very beautiful girl.  Her father wanted to send her with some women to buy certain goods and supplies for the tribe.  He found nobody as honest and kind as the young man to escort and take care of his daughter and the other women.  They set out their journey and walked for a couple of days on their camels.  The girl was keeping her eye on the young man.  She was impressed by the young man's kindness and charm.  She started to talk to him gently but paid no attention.  One night as their were sleeping, she tried to make a sexual relationship but he refused since she was not his wife and the ameer was kind and generous to him and he can not deceive him.  The girl was very angry at the young man but she did not express this feeling.  She decided to get rid of him since he might tell her father then she would be punished.  On their way back she asked him to bring them water from a certain well that she knew.  He said that the well was abandoned for years and nobody got their supply of water from it anymore.  He knew that anybody who ever got into that well never came out.  But she insisted.  Finally he went down through a rope.  As his feet touched the ground, he was shocked to see a huge bald man with sword in his hand and two girls.  One of them was white and the other was black.  Immediately the huge man asked pointing his sword at the young man "You tell me which is more beautiful this girl or the other or I will kill you?"  The young man was horrified and thought for a second then remembered the two pieces of advice that he bought years back.  So he replied "everyone has his own way of choice."  The huge man looked at him in amazement.  Then said you deserve to have water.  After that the young man went out of the well.  The girl was shocked when the young man went out.  She was sure he would never go out.  At that moment she did not show him that she wanted to get rid of him.  Then they continued their journey.  When they approached the area where the tribe lived, the girl wrote a letter and told the young man to hurry up to her father and give him the letter and she ans her other escorts will follow.  The young man took the letter and hurried toward the ameer.  As he approached the tents of the tribe, a man who was keeping his eye on the young man called for him and invited him to have some coffee.  The young thought for moments: "shall I go this man and take a cup of coffee but the letter has to be delivered as soon as possible."  Then he remembered the pieces of advice he bought earlier from the old man:  "Whenever you are offered a good favor, do not reject it."  He went to the man's tent and sat.  The man gave him a cup of coffee and asked him about the letter.  The young man told him that it was from the ameer's girl to her father and it was urgent.  The host thought for moments and then said: ok then just stay here, have your coffee and I'll take the letter to the ameer since it's urgent and I'll be back."  The young man's second piece of advice was still in his mind "whenever you are offered a good favor, do not reject it."  He agreed and gave the letter to the man who hurried to the tent of the ameer happily hoping that the ameer would reward him.  As he got there the ameer opened the letter and read it then ordered that this man be killed right away.  That was what the girl had written in the letter in order to get rid of the young man.  After waiting for sometime, the young went to the ameer's tent.  He was shocked when he saw the man dead.  The ameer welcomed him and asked him about his daughter.  The young man did not know what to say then he told the ameer that the girl gave him that letter.  The ameer understood that there was something wrong and asked the young man what went wrong.  The young man told the ameer the whole story.  When the girl came she could not believe her eyes that the young man was still alive.  She cried and cried and offered her apologies to her father and to the young man.  Her father agreed to accept her apology but on the condition that she accepts the young man as her husband.  The ameer thanked the young man so much and decided to reward him for his honesty and kindness and declared that his daughter will be the young man's wife.  The young man was very happy and realized that pieces of advice can sometimes be as precious as life.

   -Awad Al Mohy

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