THE SHORT STORIES OF ZAKARIA TAMER
The man of iron was flabbergasted. He stared at the young man. He reproached him: “Why are you laughing?”
The poor young man said: “Because my heart is full of love. I love the stars, the sun, the green grass. I love books, birds, music. I love my mother, father, brothers and sisters, and my friends. I love my city.”
The man of iron did not approve: “What is love? And what use is love, anyway?”
The young man said: “Real happiness comes only from love.” The man of iron was shocked – he had a cold heart that could not love. He said to the young man: “I am better than all humans. There is nothing I do not know. I will try to feel this thing you feel.”
A clamor rose from the man of iron’s insides; a turmoil and a confusion overcame him. Then, all of a sudden, he exploded. The man of iron was blown to bits and scattered across the land in tiny pieces.
The sun was sad when it woke up, but it did not give in to being lazy; instead, it went straight to lighting up the earth with radiant gold rays. It cheered up a bit when it spotted a songbird skipping from branch to branch. “Sing for me,” the sun blurted out.
The songbird was quiet, so the sun thought that his voice must not have reached the songbird’s ears. So he said again, in a loud voice: “You, songbird, sing for me.”
The songbird’s reply was terse: “I do not sing on command.” The sun said: “Don’t be angry –” “And why do you want me to sing for you?” the songbird cut in.
170 BANIPAL 53 – SUMMER 2015
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