Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Be Friends, Not Enemies

Zaheer was playing cricket with his friends in the street when he saw Babar and his gang come their way. Babar was big and strong and a bit of a bully. 

He liked to tease other kids. Sometimes he would take away their cricket ball or bat and not give it back. No one liked to get on his wrong side and tried to avoid him if they could. 

Other than the children, Babar and his friends liked to tease the old gardener who came to their neighborhood every evening to tend the gardens. Sometimes they would hide his gardening tools or wreck his carefully prepared flowering beds. 

At times, one of the boys would keep a look out while Babar punctured the old man’s bicycle. Once he had even cut the gardener’s watering hose in half.

“He complained to my father about my behavior. How dare he? I will teach him a lesson.” Zaheer heard Babar angrily talking to his friends.

Zaheer guessed that Babar was talking about the old gardener, Chiragh Deen. Fed up with his constant pranks, Chiragh Deen had finally complained to Babar’s father. Zaheer wondered what Babar was planning to do. Nothing good it seemed!




“I am going to steal his gardening tools and destroy them. “ Babar said spitefully. “Without his tools, he won’t be able to work and buying new ones will cost him a lot of money.”

Zaheer was horrified. He knew Chiragh Deen was poor and had a large family to feed. Just then he saw the old gardener cycling over. His satchel which contained his gardening tools was strapped to the back of the cycle. As Chiragh Deen dismounted and went to Babar’s house to begin his work, Babar and his friends also walked casually towards his bicycle.

Their plan was to steal the satchel when Chiragh Deen was busy watering the plants. 

Zaheer was afraid to confront Babar when the big boy was in such a bad mood. But then he made up his mind. He quickly walked up to them.

“Don’t do this, Babar. He is an old man who works hard for his living.”

Babar laughed. “Who is going to stop me? I am not afraid of anyone.” He boasted. 

“I will stop you. I won’t let you take his satchel.” Zaheer said bravely.

There was silence all around them. Some of the children were amazed by Zaheer’s courage. Others thought him to be an idiot to get in trouble with Babar for a gardener.

The two boys stared at each other. Babar shrugged and turned towards Chiragh Deen’s bicycle again.

Zaheer caught hold of his arm. “I said I won’t let you do it. You better leave the old man alone.”

Something in his voice made Babar stop. He noticed a steely determination in Zaheer’s eyes. Like all bullies, he was really a coward at heart. He looked at his friends. None of them wanted to pick a fight and get in trouble with their parents.

“Stealing someone’s things does not make you brave or popular. Babar. It makes you a thief.”




Shame-faced Babur turned away. He knew Zaheer was right.

“Why not come and play cricket with us? It will be much more fun and we could use a big, strong batsman.”

“Yes, let’s play cricket, Babar,” chimed in one of his friends, Yasir. “Nobody plays with us and it is not much fun to be alone all the time.”

The mood of the whole place changed in a second. All the boys enthusiastically made new teams and had a great game of cricket. 

It is more fun to make friends than enemies…don’t you agree?





1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always love to read this terrific story.

Leigh

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