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Mohammad Ahmad

The daughter of feudalist - Mohammad Ahmad

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The daughter of feudalist

A story written by

Mohammad Mahmud Ahmad

However, this story is fiction but it includes between its pages some of reality of the previous period between 1950- 1960, the later decade of Iraqi feudalists who they control on the neck of poor people. Indeed, It is not the slavery itself but it is similar to it in some aspects.
Of course, it is the dark point of my childhood period since poor men could not send their children to school then I am one of them.
Moreover, there is no modern school on villages but the last majority of them is made of mud and covered with wood.
Either rich men or who owns at least fifty head of herds can do that.
Indeed, it is opaque period, you could not recognise who is your real friend or the hostile one especially between those feudalists, but on the other hand, people are kind and helpful. This story discloses and throws light on some of its dark turning points. I would you like it...
Part one

One day I was in the age of seven particularly in the age of primary school. This was almost in 1960s when the schools of that time were built by mud and each school has one door, two or three classes not more. I am slime has flimsy body, pale face may be due to the malnutrition of that days. Since we are in a village far away from the cities, the general state is worst further than the cities, but some cities in anyhow did not have the best life than villages especially those located in south of Iraq. The variants of lifestyle between villages and towns has not worthy to contrast in aspects of eat or bathing or wearing, but the contrast is of worthy if we had to imagine the general relation between people themselves. Feudalists have not noticed control on town although some of them had limit influence there, but their remarkable influence and control is especially on countryside. The feudalists would be settled on towns but sent their attorneys from time to time to collect the yielding harvests forcedly from poor villagers' people. On countryside, people almost are farmers or sheepherders on the other hand some people who live in towns are either merchants or small owners, but the majority are also suffering the poverty. Sometimes the owner himself attend to manage with farmers in his sever cruelty and rough style his own purposes. The farmers are toiling hard all seasons on tillage and harvesting while the feudalist at the end share them half the yields effortlessly as a constant percentage. Some of feudalists treat farmers as slaves, their wives and their sons working hard just to eat and wearing clothes even sometimes are barefoot. If one of them got sick, the feudalist will bargain him to compensate the broken-down days of workdays.
One day of those dark gloomy years one of the feudalists who was self- important decided to leave the town forever, and built a new mansion contains a big courtyard to live in adjacent to our house. It is the ominous day said my father. On that time I was on the forth year of my schooling and still little boy, but the acceptance feature I had, stung everybody knows me. Something I was accustomed on our lifestyle behavioural is the doom, which everywhere we joined or matched. People often have said to my father look after your son because they expected that one day his poor son will be a teacher or a doctor and is capable to develop their village. Two or three years after I had finished the sixth primary class and was qualified to continue my learning in the town since there is no intermediate school or secondary school in the villages on that previous time. Momently I had faced the real problem in how could I manage the residence affairs and the adapting of my new lifestyle.
One day my father visited the feudalist as a converse of nightly chatting. The feudalist himself has a young son who has continued his learning in the town but the son never comes to the village. Yet I did not see his visage to be acquainted with him. My father had asked the feudalist about his son , the feudalist turned astonished, my father told him about me, and how he is turbid and upset in that how he could send his son to the town, no room to rent , no one is confident to leave his son on his custody. It is the very critical moment; my father always discusses this story to us in order not to forget the gloom days.
The story that never have I forgotten yet. No longer had the feudalist come to visit us, and noticed the books on my hands then asked me to show my progress in the school, and immediately he wrote a message to his son to be careful and pleasant with me.
No longer had we become friends, each one of us taught the other, but although he was preceding me in one year, I was equal with him or preceded him in some lessons.
The son also was astonished and sending his father a letter, that he has found advantage on me. His father the "feudalist" immediately has rented my father two sacks of money.
Still I am remembered that we became close friends in short time and no one of us can abandon his fellow.
One day we decided to go to the village by riding horses during the voyage he told me about their standard of living, and how his father has gained his wealth as he said that his grandfather had served in the Turkey army. Moreover, it is familiar that Turkish during the time of their dominion period would bestow each one who has served them faithfully prosperities and estates. .
No longer had we accustomed the ordinary families visiting through days or nights. No one has told me his sister name, but I knew her name from the pillow that was decorated by her name; the Linda H-T and two pictures of sparrows were decorated near to her name. She is on nineteen of her age, yellow – red check, never has she turned aside what the matter is and all of the time she is busy in decorating and sewing small peaces of cardboard decorations. Although her visage reveals she is very young, but she is two years older than I am.
In the first time, I saw the girl I did not have any concern toward her or engaged my mind in anything pertaining to her, but one day suddenly I find tinny paper was painted by thick green color clasped to my book.
As soon as I opened the paper, small green emerald peace fell from it. Disordering I went home entering and told my mother about what I have seen. My mother was afraid and said to me do not tell anyone, because if the feudalist knows he will be anger and won’t believe you if you said that you found that jewel, or may be thinks that you stole it, then the matter will be complicated and you lose his support , and you may son keep this secret.
Month after we return back to the school flourishing again in our study discussing and asking ourselves how much progress had we got. Our life was quiet although trivial accidental event disturbed my friend temper as on day he was riding a bicycle then fallen down and one of his teeth was broken. Nevertheless, what happened again still we exchange our friendship confidently and no such trivial things would break down it.
The days passed quickly and we began to start the final examination.
One day when we returned home my friend asked me to know whether I still have determination to complete my learning or not. Of course, I could not answer him immediately, but I keep on silent. Still I have remembrance as if it is as dreaming when my friend awakened me suddenly one day nearly to the midnight saying to me that he would be a lawyer and he made decision to resume his study abroad. I kept on silent again refusing to engage with him the speech, but he urges me to discuss the obstacles would confront me, saying to me if the matter is… materialistic don’t worry and he assured me that he will argue his father to help me when he meets him.
Although the discourse stops to this point but the confusion still persuades me, and the cloudy mysterious of misfortune has been accumulated on my sky. Shutting our door, we recline to sleep…

A dream is not a dream if you still a wake.
The mystery journey covers me up to neck.
My dream, my future is still unknown.
The doom persuades me with its ugly tone.
My body suffers the pain and my eyes cannot sleep.
But my sole fooled around with my soul on each leap.
I got away to inhale the air freely.
Down the upstairs, I finished my journey
Returning to bed, the gloom covers me.
Dawn is about to break, yet I do not see.

Next day my friend tries to speak with me in another way, he said; the harvest will start on the next month, and we shall visit the harvestmen seeing them gain the yields, the crops will ripen in less than the expected period.
You will see them, my family, and you will be one of us, we will dancing and make some mess near them , interesting ourselves and forgetting the toils of school, now and after, I remain worried, frustrated, waiting the promising day.
The school was finished and we were returning back, my parents gathered asking me about the marks, the markets, they spent the night wondering how I am being the intimate friend of the feudalist son, my little sister began to grasp my beard, giving her some sweets and she begins startled crying for a while.
Let her drop your books and she will be satisfied, said my father.
The family was gathered a round a mud stove to prepare their meal including tea, they have not special kitchen and the chickens share them their food.
On the next week, the feudalist informed my father to be present for harvest. We have; three horses, two oxen and one mule, and my father should prepare all of them. My father ordered me to be with him in the next day saying to me be simple with them, they are aristocrats , and this man does not trust any person, further more he is sensitive toward his daughter, he is quite exaggerated and more proud about her. "Linda", whom he maid her as his soul, and he often said to her my dearest , my heart , your visage is similar to the visage of my mother , your grief hurts my liver and when he saw her smiles, soon he fills his special tobacco- pipe and turned on laughter cheerfully to his knee.
The man obviously is stern on his thoughts that he inherited deeply from his aristocratic grandfathers, who they often do not smile to the poor men. He is more strict and firm in his visage, always putting large pistol on his middle and sometimes grasps a long stick, which it is very rough, and it has a bulb on its end. One day he uses it to separate two quarreling- farmers, but has hit one of them in mistake over his head, the man soon has been put in a hospital for two months.
The day after tomorrow the harvest maybe started and crowded of men might be busy with their wives and children, and everywhere you can see throngs of them walking alongside through the wilderness.
Most of the time they were singing to help themselves in this toiling- work, but exactly they work all the day and sometimes they work until the stars appears shiny in the gloomy darkness.
Moreover, they were frightened if someone of them is absent and the feudalist came suddenly and asked about him, so they work vigorously to win the peace of this cruel person or only can ask him to get the rest on the midday.
I was there and contributed them their grief and their enjoyment, the flocks of wilderness birds came back and forth as if they welcome us, they were interested on the ripen ear of wheats.
The cruel man always makes mess trying to forbid the birds not to eat any grain though knocking on a large metallic rough shape can by the stick making noising and crack to drive away those innocent birds, there fore I hated him everywhere I have met him.

At the mid of the day I have visited my friend seeing him was helping his father in his employment, who he is also shouted to the harvestmen, but soon he noticed me he ran to greet me and bring to me a cup of water mixed with yogurt.
Awhile after I have seen his sister who she gestured in secret toward me and has winked by the end of her eyes, soon I was embarrassed and affected, but to disturb me more embarrassed she offers me a glass of juice, never have I tasted a like, she says to me welcome by faint voice.
Her father considered me as his son, but he stood a side making a sound of cough to feel others that he was present.
Of course I was enough frightened of his voice, but the girl ensured me that there is enough of time to exchange our greeting.
She is too passionate and funny to everything with her tumid –crooked cheeks, slim figure, but the lofty and the staidness apparently seen on her eyes.
She left me and went, I was affected totally, then I stood frustrated, obsoleted, sad, and the grief had burned my chest, she was beautiful enough to melt the breeze over the stung wound.
I did not see her when she leaves me, but she picked my hand saying to me next day is my birthday, and you should be there on our party.
I have not suitable "present" to gift her, nothing in my house would be worthy to give her, or being fit to the aristocrat rank family, what shall I offer her my book or my old watch? That's my father brought to me when I succeed on the sixth class about five years ago.
Nothing, nothing I have, still my garment was torn in many places , but her stubbornness force me to allow her advice, or makes me sure that I shall stand anywhere in their courtyard, dare not to say welcome.
On the second day, I was there; lonely although her figure still glimmers on my mind, but the difference are more and unacceptable to be compared in every manner and it is just transient dream fills your thought.
Meanwhile I was standing under their fruitless big tree in the middle of the courtyard of their house, gloomy and frustrated although the joy shakes me up to my lips and has settled desirously, bitterly encircling me from both sides.
I decided to escape and never have I considered myself as a human, alas to the poorness and hunger, went home trying to find suitable clothes, but find nothing to wear, I wish if only I could hang the freedom!
Let me ride my horse and escape away from this dim life, mourn, grief, sadness have torn my body parts and parts, if it is applicable and could leave this soul conflicting its doomed fate alone in wilderness!
If only I can console her, if only I can root them a way, but the warm blood still drawing fluently in my veins, still I am hungry to find the bizarre sensation inside my soul.
The books of love stories are not exactly enough to satisfy anyone who devoted and concentrated his ideas to be as an ideal person live in this world.
In that moment of absorption and consumption my disarraying ideas I felt as someone mentioned my name, which I forgot it in that gloomy world, the world which on itself has totally forgotten while the doom was concentrated on that poor soul clustered as thick trees and jungles twisted together on a wild forest.
I imagine that the human souls as a forest harbours wolves, peevish tigers, and wild cats and on the same time, it is the safety place to remove the griefs.
I said yes, yes to everything, let me said Heel! Is it possible to run away into any places to get rid of my life? However, the voice is tender and lovely brings the hope as the sweet sunshine in my eyes again.
She said come my lord, don’t worry, you do not make any mistake, but I am afraid of course from her father and about the reputation of my -family, feared the poorness, the influence power of her family and the familiar conventional customs in my village , but she urged me to enter.
In that moment I refused and was satisfied, to say for her only happy day or any term suitable to her.
When I decided to leave she attracted me from my neck, would not want me to leave indeed, I tried to evade and vanished from her, but in that critical moment her father was coming.
The girl immediately ran a way and the man noticed my confusion , but he didn’t blame me and the only thing he said to me; it is special party and no one have I invited, you can leave my son and in the next day I want to see you with your father on the harvest place.
Frightened I return to my home and my mother said that she had quested everywhere about me, and when she knew that I went there she was too much anger, saying to me do not recur this.
Although it is trivial transient event, but still I am worried and kept it in my heart not to see her or just think to approach their house again and considered this visiting as a forbidden red line.
Three days after or more the feudalist has come to our farm, to watch in closeness what we had doing in harvest, my father stood to greet him, but he insisted not to sit.
Immediately he asks us about what we had collected on the seven days ago, but he saw that some stacks are not gathered well, he said to my father on that afternoon you should come to me on night to ask you about the rent and something is obscure and vague to the children.
Really we did not sure whether my father went to the feudalist house or not, but when we heard noises as the uproar of quarrel we gathered out side.
Since it is too dark to perceive what justly had happened and we had not light or any electric devices or even simple torch, therefore we depended on our ears to reveal what had happened rather than our eyes.
At the end, we heard like triumphing joyful voice mixed with shouting.
We ran quickly barefoot, bare head until we are beside the edge of the big valley behind the mansion of feudalist and can hear the uproar origin clearly.
Soon we heard my father voice came closer to us, he is completely furious rising his dragger close to his shoulder, and the blood covered it saying I killed him, he is slain, he is slain, shouting in triumph the- feudalist is gone to the hell and never will he attack everyone again.
His haughtiness never would be seen again in our village, but we must depart, we must leave at once, we must hurry before the daybreak to take the cover of night as veil to escape.
It is truly that the feudalist was dead, my father stabbed him more than twenty stabs on his neck and chest, and he was slain certainly.
Everyone of the family took on his arm what could he carry whether blanket or quit or anything else of the necessary light stuffs as we finely decided to go away.
I ride one of the horses carrying my father gun and change the way in many times to camouflage the direction, my father follows me hand to hand with the rest of family.
After seven hours of continuous marches, we had reached a very deserted arid area hardly could see plants or human voice, even the Bedouins stay- there for a while and depart.
On that gloomy night we heard the noisy voice of the wolves' howling, and our dog began to reply, but soon I covered his mouth by a precise tighten piece.
We stand, get down of our animals and the place appears too much dark and frightening, but we stick together on equanimity and stability more than previous time.
We expected the danger everywhere could meet us, we are afraid and desperate to find someone who can help us, we forget the tiresome, and we have stretched our bodies on that solid bare area under the mercy of the sky and our doom mystery life and were subjected to sleep.
We kept on absolute silence except the little child began to cry in low voice; moreover, we cannot set fire due to the place was not raveling by anyone.... yet the story is not finished...!

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