Stealing a Cucumber ئاروو دزین

Ali Bag from Rwandiz

عالی به گی رواندزی

The title in his name as with the names of many other residents of Rwandiz suggested an aristocrat but Ali Bag was a poor modest man and a small grocery-shop owner. He mainly sold vegetables, fruit but you could find other small articles as well. The [a] in his name Ali was spoken very long Aali.

We, the children of  the town, used to play or walk in the only street that practically run in the middle.  Whenever we passed the grocery the fresh fruit displayed made our mouths water but of course we didn´t have the money.

One day I decided on buying one of his wonderful cucumbers although I only had a penny in my pocket. A cucumber cost five pence and I thought of handing him the penny and declaring it for a five pence coin. I knew poor men of his like couldn´t tell the difference quickly. They used to fix the coins with their eyes for some time to prove their value. In the same way they told the time when you asked: it´s – it´s ……. 10 …. past twelve.. They were often amazed to see how children could tell the time at a glance.

I hurried to Ali Bag´s shop, took a cucumber, put the penny in his hand and ran away as fast as I could. Poor Ali Bag after he found out it was a penny and not five pence asked people whose son I was.

When my father came back home from his daily town teahouse meetings he started an argument with my elder brother accusing him of stealing a cucumber from Ali Bag. My poor brother swore by all saints repeatedly to convince my father of his innocence. Only then he turned to me but I kept speechless and dumb as a stone.

As destiny would have it Ali Bag´s daughter Halim Xan got married to my maternal uncle so his daughter was now my aunt and later their daughter got married to my elder brother to qualify her as my cousin and sister-in-law at the same time.


Bremen, 4 April 2017