Rihana & Old Woman

in Stories

Rihana was sad, sitting in her small room. She needed all the toys she could have at five. She had none.

Her parents wanted to bring her the moon and the stars, but they could not afford it.

Her father, a blacksmith, worked really hard to earn for his family, but all he could manage was to make their two ends meet; gifts and toys for children were a luxury he simply could not afford.

                                                                                                                                                  Illustration by: Danish Mir

All Rihana got every time she demanded a doll or a wooden horse was words of compassion.

“One day we will have everything you want. Do not be sad,” her father would say.

But sad she was.

One day, the blacksmith got lucky.

The mayor of the town came with a big assignment for him: repairing all his broken horse-carts.

The blacksmith needed more hands to complete the work, but he choose to do it himself to make enough profit to be able to buy Rihana a doll.

As soon as he finished the assignment, the mayor, overly happy with his work, handed the blacksmith his dues.

He rushed home to give Rihana the good news.

“Tomorrow, we will go to the toy shop in the market and buy you a doll,” the father said.

Rihana embraced him. She was over the moon.

The excitement did not let her sleep all night. And in the morning, she rushed to her father.

“Let us go now, please,” she said.

                                                                                                                                                              Illustration by: Danish Mir

Her father was happy. He grasped her hand, as they began their short journey to the market on foot.

The shop was packed with toys of all kinds. Dolls and horses; ducks and slingshots.

There was an old woman crouched on the pavement by the shop.

It was drizzling in December. She was damp, cold, and hungry.

“Father, why is she there? Why is she begging?” asked Rihana.

“Maybe she has nothing to eat. She is asking for help,” he replied, leading Rihana towards the shop.

“Wait, father,” she said.

“I do not want this doll. I want to give my money to this old woman.”

Her father felt proud.

They handed the money to the old woman, and walked home.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Tale by: Arifa Gani 

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