Riza’s Promise

in Stories

Riza was a grocer in a small town in Persia.

He worked very hard, but earned only enough to feed his family.

Riza wasn’t happy. He wanted to earn more. He wanted to be wealthy.

There also lived a rich landlord in Persia. Kind, the landlord wished to share his wealth with someone who needed his help.

So, one day, the landlord left his mansion on a horse to look for the person he could give his wealth to.

“I must look for someone who doesn’t just need my wealth but also deserves it,” he told his wife.

The landlord’s search took him to Riza’s town, where put on a ragged cloak to sit in a busy street like a hungry beggar.

He appealed to every passerby for a loaf of bread, but no one paid him any attention.

Returning home in the evening, Riza noticed the beggar.

“What do you want?” he asked affectionately.

“A loaf of bread and somewhere to spend the night,” he said.

Riza took him home and fed him.

“You can stay here tonight,” said Riza.

                                                                                                                         Illustration by: Danish Mir

After learning about Riza’s life, the landlord thought his search ended.

He told Riza he was unable to feed himself.

Riza promised to bring him food every evening.

The next day, the landlord returned to his spot in the lane, ready to tell Riza about his wealth. But Riza didn’t turn up.

The landlord thought something serious must have stopped Riza from keeping his promise. So, he waited for Riza the next day and for many days after. But Riza never returned.

Curious, the landlord went to look for him.

Riza was doing business as usual at his shop.

The landlord asked a friendly man leaving Riza’s store if everything had been alright with Riza.

The man laughed.

“Yes, he is alright. He is just not in the habit of keeping his promises,” said the man.

The landlord was left disappointed.

He went to Riza and told him how he waited for him to bring his food.

“Why did you not keep your promise?” he asked.

Riza didn’t seem to have any regrets.

The landlord told him who he was and how he intended to give half of his wealth to Riza.

“But I do not think a man who doesn’t keep his promises deserves my wealth. So, I will keep looking until I find someone,” said the landlord, as he walked away from Riza.

Riza knew he had lost his opportunity. He could only cry at his loss.


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