Tag Archives: wealth

On The Outside Looking In (Pt. 2)

22 Jul

ox cart

 

Link to Part 1: goo.gl/xig689

 

The naked man had not moved, save the jostlings of the cart over the rough terrain. It would be difficult to tell that he were alive if it weren´t for sporadic labored breaths. Makmood had taken a sheet off of a basket of apricots to cover the man so he would not suffer any more burns from the sun than he already had.

The cart dustily rolled its way into town and made its way to the first of a series of military checkpoints. The driver bowed his head to the soldiers as he slowed to cart to a stop.

“Good morning gentlemen” the driver said.

Makmood, without taking his glance off of his new friend offered a hand in the air and a “Hello”.

Four soldiers flanked the cart, as per protocol. “What do you have in the cart?” the tallest of the soldiers asked.

“My usual, apricots and nuts for the market. And a beggar!” he said with a chuckle as he amused himself.

“And who is that?” the tall soldier said with a horrified look on his face.

“Who?” the driver asked, puzzled by the question. He had forgot about their earlier heroics.

“Is that man dead? Uncover his face at once, beggar!” The soldier ordered Makmood.

As Makmood pulled back the sheet there was a loud gasp from all four of the soldiers.

“You two are under arrest!” the tall soldier declared.

“For what?” the driver asked with a cold feeling in his stomach. His mind was scanning for reasons for this declaration. He had paid duties on the apricots. The nuts were from a new vendor. Could they be contraband? Makmood had a cool calm to him. It´s hard to rile a man who has nothing to lose.

One of the soldiers, dumbfounded, with a single tear rolling down his eye gasped “Sheik Masoud, what have they done to you?”

Makmood realized what was going on and piped up “Gentlemen, we found him on the road many miles back. We saved his life! He was unconscious in the sand. He would have baked in the sun. We just gave him a lift. In fact, we had no idea who he was. It was our honor to help this man, be him a sheik or be him a lowly beggar such as myself”

The tall soldier, who appeared to be the leader of the squad, seemed to buy Makmood´s story, at least momentarily. But there was protocol to follow.

“Beggar, I would like to believe you but there are rules to follow. We will have to take you to the magistrate to see if your story checks out and to record all of these happenings” the soldier said.

“Will there be lunch?” Makmood asked.

“If everything checks out, sure” the soldier said.

“Great” Makmood said.

“No! Not great!” said the driver of the cart. “I´ll lose a day at the market! My family will go hungry!”

“Easy, man, you have apricots and nuts. They surely will not spoil. You´ll have tomorrow” the soldier said.

The driver shuffled, dejected, towards the magistrate building with his cart in tow. Makmood rode upon the cart elated knowing where at least one of his meals was coming from.

 

Link to Part 1: https://ryanimpink.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/on-the-outside-looking-in-pt-1/

On The Outside Looking In (Pt. 1)

21 Jul

“You’re better off living in the hole looking out to the palace than in the palace looking at the hole”  Karl Pilkington

 

palace

 

Makmood was born with deformed legs. Just beyond the knees were  flipper like flaps of flesh. He joked that we was born too late. If he were born a few hundred thousand years earlier, he´d do well as a water born creature but as a desert dwelling creature, they didn´t help him get around on the sand very well. Makmood made his way through life on the kindness of strangers and his community. He was a beggar. He felt he was fortunate to have meat on the table every night so for him, he had it all.

Sheik Masoud on the other hand was born a perfect physical specimen of a man. He was a natural athlete, a natural scholar and had angular good looks. Growing up in a royal family, he had access to everything, the best schools, the best athletic training, the best health care, etc. Masoud was not born perfect though. His deformation was unseen to the naked eye. It was in his brain. He suffered from crippling depression. He had everything the world had to offer at that moment at his very disposal, yet wanted none of it. At night he would slide his feet, adorned in satin slippers, across the marble floor to the edge of the second story balcony of his palace and look. His eyes were met with tiny flickers of light coming from tiny holes in the rock faced mountainside. He would curse the wretches whom occupied these primitive dwellings before turning the curses onto himself.

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Makmood was hoisted onto an oxcart bound for the town square where he would try to earn his day´s wages by evoking sympathy in passer byers. On the way to town, he saw a man face down in the sand off the side of the road. The man was completely naked and his back was slightly sunburned. The driver had already seen the man and began to slow down.

“What do we have here?” Makmood asked the driver.

“Probably just a drunk who couldn´t find his way home last night” replied the driver.

“Might be” Makmood replied and added “regardless, we´ve got to get him out of the sun. He won´t last long like this”

“Makmood, you´re always trying help people when it is you who needs the help!” the driver said.

“Well, I´ve been blessed so I feel I owe it to the world to do my best to help others less fortunate than myself”

The driver tried to hide his puzzled face for fear it would insult Makmood. How on Earth could this guy think he is blessed? And how could he possibly be of help to others in his condition. He is a beggar. He lives off the generosity of others. He lives in a cave carved out generations ago by primitive people. These thoughts spun around the driver´s head in a circular motion until Makmood uttered “I will need your help helping this gentleman. Certainly I cannot lift him onto the cart myself.

The driver thought quietly to himself “I guess it is easy to offer help when it is not your own back you are offering” as he hoisted the unconscious man unto the cart.

 

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