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Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Little Boy and his Goat

Category: Life Winners, Issue 3

It was on third of February 2004, the second day of Eid, a day that religionists celebrate in the memory of the myth of Abraham taking his son to slaughter in God’s name and ending up in the sacrifice of a lamb. I was reading Tolkien’s novel The Lord of the Rings along a path in the fields close to our house. While reading, my sight wandered from the book and I saw a little boy of about 10 years leading a goat by a rope across the field. I smiled to see a little kid scampering behind its mother. The natural closeness of a young kid to its mother was a scene delightful to my eyes and my heart. A silent relationship of trust seemed to bind the boy, its pet and the kid. For a moment I was absorbed in the peace of the scene. And then a dark shadow of apprehension took over my heart. Was the goat going to be sold for slaughter? It seemed likely for it was only the second day of Eid, and by tradition the sacrifice can be offered for three days. If the goat was going to be sold and slaughtered, the kid would certainly be left alone, without a mother. This was a somber thought; one that drove my delight away in a second for the dismal scene of blood clouded the clearness of the peaceful scene before my eyes. Suddenly, I had this wish to make sure that the goat will not necessarily be slaughtered. So I went toward the kid and asked him whether the goat was his.
‘Yes,’ he replied.
‘Are you going to sell it?’ I asked with a faint heart.
‘No,’ he returned innocently. ‘I will not sell it.’ And he led the goat into a field to graze it there. The kid followed its mother friskily. My apprehension was washed away with a sigh. The boy grazed his pets in the field. I watched them for some time with a reassuring heart. And that was the time when I knew man not for his cruelty but for his kindness.