Once upon a time, there lived a guy named Saad in a small village. Saad was very a kind-hearted and pious person. Saad had a best friend, Shahmeer, whose mother had died and he was living with his aged father, who often used became ill.
One day, when Saad was playing with his friends, Saad’s neighbour, Uncle Mairaj came over and said, “Son, Shahmeer’s father has suddenly become very ill and I have called Dr Ahmed to check him. I think you should come over too.”
As soon as Saad heard of Shahmeer’s father illness, he immediately rushed towards Shahmeer’s house and found Shahmeer sitting beside his father, pressing his hands and feet.
Saad asked the doctor, “Dr Ahmed, what has happened to Shahmeer’s father?”
Dr Ahmed replied sadly, “Son, his illness is quite old. For treatment, he needs special kinds of herbs, which are not available in this village. These special herbs can only be found in the forest. Without these herbs his treatment is impossible.”
Saad announced, “I will get the herbs from the forest.”
Shahmeer, also added, “Saad, I would go along with you.”
They both started off together towards the forest. As soon as the forest came in view, they were suddenly surrounded by indigenous wild people who inquired, “Why have you come here? And these herbs, you cannot take it from here!”
These people caught both Saad and Shahmeer and took them up to their chief. On the chief’s orders they were both put in a sort of prison, at different places.
The next day, in the morning, their chief spoke to Saad, “I could have released both you and your friend, but due to your village leader’s order of diverting the direction of our canal’s water, depriving us every single drop of water, I have locked both of you in prison to take revenge from him.
“Boy, the only way to go back is that you should show me that you are brave by having a sword competition with me and, if you would win this competition, I will leave you.”
Saad and the chief started fighting. In the beginning all was going in favour of Saad, but suddenly the entire game changed. The chief snatched the sword from Saad’s hand and was about to attack Saad when suddenly, Saad saw that there was a snake lurking near the chief’s foot and was ready to bite the chief. Saad quickly picked up the snake and threw it away from chief’s legs.
When chief saw this action, he was extremely impressed and said, “Boy, I was ready to attack you, and at this moment I was your greatest enemy, then why did you save my life?”
Saad then said, “My mother always says that evil should not replaced with evil, but with good.”
Chief was impressed by these words so much that he clapped his hands three times and stepped aside. Saad saw that behind him Shahmeer was standing.
The chief then said, “Boy, you are great. I am very happy today. Take away your friend and the herbs, and return home immediately.”
Saad said, “Thank you, chief! These herbs are very important for us as they are the cure for my friend’s father’s illness. We need it to save his life. And I will talk with my village leader regarding your water issue. They would certainly listen to me.”
With this assurance, they returned home and handed over the herbs to the doctor. Shahmeer’s father treatment started and soon he recovered from his illness. Saad also talked with his chief about the canal water issue and soon the direction of canal water was diverted back to the forest.
Now, Saad and Shahmeer often go to the forest together to meet the chief and the chief is always happy to see them.
Published in Dawn, Young World, November 26th, 2022