New York, USA
I still vividly remember the story of “The Fox and The Crow“, a poem we students in the 3rd year of middle school were asked to learn by heart.
It is believed that there once was a crow who was looking for something to eat as he was hungry. After many attempts flying over the trees in the forest, he finally found a piece of cheese beneath a tree. “ Lucky me,” said the crow. Quickly he swooped down upon the piece of cheese and flew to the top of the tree. A starving fox saw him holding the cheese in his mouth.
“ Yummy,” said the fox to himself. “ Although the crow is clever, I must get that piece of cheese for I haven’t eaten anything all day,” he added.
After he sat under the tree, the foxy fox used all his cunning means to get the cheese from the crow’s mouth. “ Hello, Mr. Crow!”, said the fox politely. He added flattering the crow, “ You are a lovely bird and charming, too!”
The crow remained silent for he knew that the fox wanted nothing but the portion of cheese. “ I have been told that along with being beautiful, you have a sweet voice. Please, sing a song for me.”
At this point, the crow started to believe what the deceitful fox was saying. I must be the most beautiful bird in the world. I will sing him a song. The crow said to himself.
The piece of cheese fell from his beak the second he started to sing. The fox caught the cheese in his mouth and swallowed it down. For his dullness, the crow paid a heavy price.
Much later after I read this narrative poem, another story came to my mind. The details are different in each case, but the roads they both have traveled look very familiar.
Hind is 22 years old and lives in Morocco. She is one of my best friends in the virtual world. Sending text messages every now and then to check on me was one of her habits. Hind is part of a conservative family. Educationally speaking, she dropped out of school after finishing her first year of high school. It is because her parents wanted her to stay home waiting for a promising husband, as she stated. Instead of mentioning her real name, I will refer to her as Hind for confidentiality purposes.
It was on a Wednesday afternoon when Hind sent me a text message checking on me as usual and saying the following: “ I have a lump in my throat. I need your help, Ayoub! I am placing my trust in you. I need to share with you some things that brought me to tears.” She added.
I had to see what made her ghastly tormented. “ I am all ears, Hind!” I replied unable to contain my curiosity. At first, she was a little bit reluctant to divulge the very secret aching her. She finally spilled the beans. She told me that she had known a man whom she loved so much though he was nine years older than she was. He used to stop her on her way back from school for a word. She accepted after many attempts from the guy refusing to take No for an answer. He asked for her phone number so they could both keep in touch.
After a few months of getting to know each other, and after asking for her hand to be his fiance, Hind was so attached to the guy as love sneaked into her heart with no prior warning. He was so tough with her, as Hind told me; he asked her not to go out by herself until she got his approval and not to talk with other men stating that he was such a jealous man. He was playing the role of a boss, a tyrant one!
One day, as they had an appointment, they both argued on some stupid matters. To show that he was the one in charge, he slapped the poor girl to the extent that she passed out for a couple of minutes; everybody was watching them. He left her alone lying on the ground without helping her.
“This guy doesn’t love you, Hind!” I said to her.
After she woke up, she called one of her friends so she could help her go home. “ I could barely walk, Ayoub!” she said.
On that day, the guy kept sending her many honeyed mobile SMS messages pretending he regretted what he did. Hind told me that she cried that day like she can’t ever remember crying. She was so depressed and weak. She vowed never to meet him again-a vow that is usually broken in a couple of days. She said that in spite of what happened, she still loved him.
A month later as they both were outside in a café, the guy invited Hind to go to his apartment stating that he forgot some stuff. The candid girl believed his words. She ended up at his house where she was forced to have sex with him. She reminds me of the crow who once believed the fox and then paid a heavy price!
Yes! Hind paid for her dullness as well. After shouting at the guy who tried to take off her clothes by force, he slapped her violently this time, and she eventually passed out. The guy, I mean the fox, took all she had: her honor. In other words, she wasn’t a virgin anymore. It was taken by a man who never even cared about her. I was so mad when I heard this because I don’t want the same thing to happen to my sister. This can happen to any girl!
From that time forward, Hind told me that because of what happened to her, she hates all men. She can’t forget; she stated that the details of that tragic day remain in her memory, unchanged by the passage of time. Honestly speaking, I blame Hind and I feel sorry for her at the same time. I put the blame on her for trusting a man readily saying that he was her fiance. To me, her judgment was not firing on all cylinders. I feel sorry for her because she tried to commit suicide twice. The poor girl told me if her parents knew about the incident, they would kill her. It is this guy and men like him who should be punished with death. I really believe they deserve that!
As the days rolled by, Hind found out that the guy was not single. He turned out to have a wife along with a daughter. If I tell you that Hind felt as if the weight of the world was on her, that would be understandable. The sole advice to anyone who has experienced this is to beat against the current and be strong as life doesn’t accept the weak. I really congratulate Hind for still being alive emotionally.