»Everyone has a passion or a habit. This was true of Uncle Salman, the gardener. If he felt sympathy for anyone, he had a habit of helping them in every way possible...«
»Now near Uncle Salman's orchard, there was an underground spring called »Saz Bulaghi« (Singing Spring), and during the hot summer, no traveler would pass by without drinking from the stream and washing his hands and face. But as far as resting for a while, there was not even the shade of a stone. With this in mind, Uncle Salman planted a willow tree there where the road separates.«
»For five years, he did his utmost to take care of that tree. The young, lonely tree spread its branches. Its roots had already reached water. It drank the stream water and received light and warmth from the sun; it grew tall and spread its green foliage, like clusters of beautiful white jasmine, over the heads of the travelers. It cooled the dry desert-like air and its shade greeted the passers-by. Even people who didn't know about the stream would come and rest under the willow tree. Seeing this would gladden Uncle Salman's heart, making him feel very proud, like a father who had raised a wonderful son.
»I have to see«, he thought, »if people appreciate the shade of this tree. I wonder what they are saying about it?«
We feel rather proud of our shade too and wonder what you will be saying about it.
Excerpt from »The Shade of the Willow Tree« (1937) by Mir Jalal from the book Dried Up In Meetings Azerbaijan International 1998, USA
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