The Farmer and his Son
Adapted from: Mahjubah, May 1988 pp. 17-19

One beautiful spring morning, a farmer and his son were taking their donkey to the market in order to sell him.

The father and his son were walking along together and the donkey was following them. They had not walked far when they passed a group of girls who were walking in the opposite direction.

"Just look at that," laughed one of the girls, pointing to the farmer. "What foolish people! They walk along the road when they could be riding on their donkey!"

The old man quietly told his son to get on the donkey's back and they continued towards the market. Next they passed a group of men sitting by the side of the road, talking among themselves.

"See what I mean?", said one of the men, as the farmer and his son passed by. "The young have no respect for their old parents any more. Get down you lazy boy, and let your father rest his legs!" The son jumped down from the donkey's back and his father got on the donkey. Soon they came across some women and children.

"Look at that cruel man!" they exclaimed. "He is riding so fast that the poor boy can hardly keep up with him".

The farmer stopped and lifted the boy up behind him. They continued on their way and had almost reached the market when they met a shopkeeper on the road.

"Is that your own donkey"" asked the shopkeeper.

"Yes," replied the farmer.

"Then I'm surprised at how you are treating him", the shopkeeper said. "Two people on the back of one donkey is too many. He is sure to die from the strain. You should carry him instead!"

By this time, the farmer was getting used to taking other people's advice. He and his son got off the donkey and tied its legs together. Then they put the rope on a long pole and carried the donkey. But their donkey didn't want to be carried and, kicking and struggling, he broke the rope holding his feet. The donkey fell into a river near the road and was drowned. There was nothing the farmer could do except return home.

"Next time," said the farmer angrily, "I'll please myself".

Dear Children,
What did you learn from this story? Can we really please everyone? If we don't decide for ourselves what is right we will always be troubled. As our Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said, "Anyone who is given wisdom will reach salvation.