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An Old Goat Talks
(A play for children)
(Ms Nada Awar, from war-tom Beirut, had sent us some interesting plays for the column. It was not possible to Publish all of them, so we decided to use one. Since the entire play was a little too long we published a portion and asked the readers to complete the rest. This is the play.)
Cast : A Goat
(The goat is trying to run away from the shepherd, who
follows her with a stick in his hand.)
Shepherd: running after goat) I'll give you the thrashing of your life. Just you wait till I catch you.
Goat: Suddenly stopping) Will you please stop abusing me?
Shepherd: Surprised, drops his stick to the ground) How can a goat talk?
Goat: It is better for me to talk than to keep giving in to pain. You have tortured me long enough without bothering to see how important I am to you.
Shepherd: Still surprised) What do you mean?
Goat: You use my milk to live on. My manure fertilizes vegetables in your fields. You use my hair to weave your tent, your clothes and your rugs. The skin of my ancestors was turned into drums and tablas. Can't you see, your life depends on my willingness to support you.
Shepherd: a, look at our great philosopher talk. I'm the one who is strong: I'l1 beat you to pulp if you stop supporting my life.
Goat: How wrong you are my friend. I am stronger than you think. From now on, whenever you treat me badly, I will fast to death.
Shepherd: You can't do that. You would not be able to control your hunger.
Goat:Well, Mahatma Gandhi could. His fasts were successful. I will be able to do the same too.
Shepherd:Did he go on fasts? Why? Was he also abused? And who told you about him anyway?
Goat:My great grandmother was his best friend. She gave him milk daily and he was really nice to her. And he fasted to resist both the foreign rule and the internal division among the people of his country.
Shepherd:(Seems interested):Was he successful?
Goat:Yes, he was successful. Moreover his fasting was peculiar.
Shepherd:Peculiar? In what sense?
Goat:Gandhiji's fasts consisted of three delicious meals.
Shepherd:Oh! you are talking about fast and then again about meals? Are you mad?
Goat:Oh God! The meals that I am referring to are not those meals which you have in your house. But, the meals which later became the steps for achieving our Independence.
Shepherd:Now do tell me what were those three meals?
Goat:They were "Willpower", "Peace" and "Simplicity".
Shepherd:But let me know what was the success?
Goat:Don't you know? Gandhiji, due to his will power, won the favour of millions of people. But, he never turned violent. He always embraced Ahimsa which was his greatest friend. Due to that my great grand mother spent her life in a bed of roses. She always used to say that the father of the nation was A Man of Letters and his name would be remembered until this world exists. Now don't you agree that the fasts are the peaceful ways of opposition.
Shepherd:Yes, that's true. Due to my ignorance I have given you many tortures. But from now onwards I'll never bring you in contact with my stick. Moreover I am going to preach to my fellow companions about the importance of you and other animals and will request that to be at peace rather than stormy.
(Then they went away happily.)