A boy named ‘Alee accuses his sister ‘Atikah of showing off and their grandmother helps to settle the matter. A nice story by Huda Kazmi with a nice moral. Enjoy!
‘Alee and ‘Aatikah Husain were a brother and sister; ‘Alee was eight years old, and ‘Aatikah was six.
These two youngsters lived in a small country house; it had old, weathered, grey stone walls, a red tiled roof and rectangular windows with flowers climbing up. There was a small, grassy garden running around the house with a white picket fence around it. ‘Alee and ‘Aatikah lived with their mother, father, granny and grandpa, and their baby sister Aneesah and their ginger cat Marmalade.
One day ‘Alee came running into the kitchen. Granny was making a salad.
“Granny,” cried ‘Alee, standing angrily in the doorway, “‘Aatikah has gotten such a bad habit of boasting!” Granny stopped cutting a pineapple slice and gazed at ‘Alee gently.
“Where is ‘Aatikah, dear?”
“She’s in the drawing room.” ‘Alee stood there, still fuming.
“‘Aatikah! ‘Aatikah! Where are you, dear?” called Granny.
There was a nervous shuffle of feet coming from the hallway. And there was ‘Aatikah, standing in the doorway, tugging at her dark blue skirt and chewing on the loose string of her red blouse.
“‘Aatikah,” said Granny gently, “what’s the problem? ‘Alee here tells me that you boasted.” ‘Aatikah blushed and looked shamefully at the floor.
“I told him that I was able to climb all the way to the top of the guava tree . . .” she mumbled.
“And?” asked Granny.
“She could only climb a bit near to the top!” finished ‘Alee angrily. “She’s such an exaggerator and boaster!”
“‘Aatikah, honey,” said Granny, washing her hands at the sink, “I don’t think it’s a very good idea boasting . . .”
“But it was a mistake!” blurted out ‘Aatikah.
“Yes, I know,” said Granny. “But it could start leading to lying as well. So please, next time avoid it.” ‘Aatikah nodded her head and skipped out of the kitchen.
Granny turned to ‘Alee. “Would you like some salad I made?”
Granny took out a small, white dessert bowl and filled it with the salad and white sauce. ‘Alee took a teaspoon, dipped it in and sucked it away, enjoying the savory tastes.
“How is it?”
‘Alee grinned. “It’s lovely; I can taste pineapple in it too; but the onions in it make it a bit spicy.”
Granny smiled. “See? Every salad will have a bad side but if you look at the good side of it you will enjoy it.”
‘Alee frowned. “Has this got something to do with ‘Aatikah?”
“Yes,” replied Granny, “‘Aatikah may have a bad side but if you look at the good side of her you’ll enjoy her company.”
‘Alee smiled widely. “Jazaak Allahu khairan for the advice, Granny! and for the salad and white sauce!”
Granny beamed. “Wa’iyyaaka!”
By Huda Kazmi