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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

"Therefore, you are neither a beggar nor a poor boy. You are not of a poor and humble origin as all the inhabitants of the quarter believe you are." I said to the small beggar.

"It seems to me you are rich, very rich. You are the richest person on this planet, the Earth. No one can claim that he is richer than you are. Even I could say that you are the richest person in the history of mankind. This is for the first time that I see a treasure like the one I am seeing now. This is a marvelous treasure. No doubt my dear friend, the small beggar; you are a real magician who comes from a very far country, from an unknown land."

I stopped talking to the small beggar because I came to the conclusion that what I said has no meaning and no significance to this little boy. I could not say anything to him. I decided to keep silent in respect to the richest and the most precious and valued treasure which was there inside the wooden bowl. I stopped talking but I said to myself that I was now in a new world which I could not understand or explain.

Then abruptly, the small beggar put his hand in the wooden bowl and took out of it a handful of precious stones and jewels. This action on the part of the beggar made me lose my equilibrium and my faculty of reasoning. Immediately I embarked to rub my two small eyes in thinking that I was in a world of imagination and fantasy.

But in spite of all my thinking and my reasoning, the treasure remained there inside the deep and the spacious world of the wooden bowl.

The extremely bright light continued to come outside from the depth of the wooden bowl. At that moment I wished that my mother was with me so that she could see this magnificent treasure. Even, I had the wish to have all my boyfriends with me now in the square so as to see this miraculous wooden bowl.

I could not go on living in my dreams with my mother and with my small boyfriends, because suddenly, the small beggar told me the following:

"Listen to me, my dear friend Amin. This wooden bowl is the source of happiness. Really, I come from a very far country. I was ready to give a lot out of this unlimited treasure to anybody who would give me only a small piece of money as an offer of alms and an act of charity. Look here, my dear friend. I have been standing here in the square of the quarter and in the dark corner, for almost three years as a small beggar waiting that someone would come and give a very small part of what he has. If somebody had given me a small piece of money as an act of charity and love I would have rewarded him in return a great part of my richness, of my treasure. Unfortunately, no one in this community knows the meaning of the word charity and love."

While the beggar was speaking to me calmly and in tranquility he suddenly disappeared in the bright smoke that was coming out of the wooden bowl. Since that time, I never saw this small beggar again in the square of the quarter.

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The Story of a Beggar

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