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THE SHORT STORIES OF ZAKARIA TAMER

Along time ago, there was a horse who lived in a vast prairie. He loved more than anything to run fast like the wind. One day a rich businessman saw the horse and was impressed. Immediately he asked the horse to work for him. Aghast, the horse said: “What would you have me do?”

The businessman replied: “Your job will be to pull my carriage.”

The horse shot back: “I am no one’s servant, and I will not pull your carriage.”

The businessman said: “I will pay you lots of money.” The horse was shocked. “What can money do for me?” he asked.

The businessman explained: “You will be able to go to the theater, travel by car, and buy fancy clothes and illustrated magazines.”

The horse sneered: “I do not need your money. When I am hungry, I eat the grass; when I am thirsty, I drink the river; and when I am tired, I sleep on leaves fallen from trees.”

The businessman said: “But, oh how magnificent city life is. There you will eat in restaurants and sleep in a bed. There . . .”

The horse calmly interrupted: “Your words are hilarious.” The businessman, who was used to always getting what he wanted with his money, was angry. He accused the horse of poor upbringing. Then the man returned to his city, red-faced and threatening revenge. The horse did not give it another thought; he continued to live happily. That was until days came when the rain did not fall. The grass did not grow, the trees dried up, and the horse found himself needing food. He became emaciated, and his whinny turned into a long, sad wail. When the businessman learned about what had happened to the horse, he went to meet the horse, and said: “If you accept to pull my carriage, I will pay you in large amounts of barley.”

Ashamed and sad the horse replied: “I will pull your carriage.”

162 BANIPAL 53 – SUMMER 2015

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