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    Hi... thanks for voting in the August elimination.
    I submitted one of my stories "One Happy Meal" into the contest.

    As you ahve alreday read the story, I'd be highly grateful if you could take out time to comment on it in the follwing thread-->
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    Hi Check out a new publishers and short story selling website.
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    beroq my friend, nice to see you posting again. interesting end to your bird story, I'll comment when I find the time.
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    I have read The Last Birthday before. I think it was the first thing of yours I read, I remember being impressed.

    I am sure I left some comments on it then. You have changed it since?
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    Here you go Beroq.

    I really like this story, I didn't want to change the feel of it. I may have misunderstood what you meant to say in places, so ignore my suggestions if they change the meaning at all.

    The Lost Goat That Taught a Spiritual Lesson

    On the rough road, I tried to think over what I had lost so far. But I soon realized how impossible it was, I did not know where to start from. I thought back as far as possible. My father had a farm and wide lands. Then things started to go wrong. My father had to sell off what he had. Then I remembered him mending shoes in his small shop. He was a poor man. He still had two houses in the town and one hundred acres by the river, these could have made him rich, but he was a poor man. Poor inside.

    This is nonsense, I told myself and bowed down my head to the dry brown earth, where a cloud of dust rose up to my waist, and let my eyes rest from the sunshine. I had gone back to my farthest memories, yet was still unable to find the beginning. What was that if not nonsense?

    The worst of it was that I knew it was not nonsense, Maybe my memory had shortcircuited, but all the signs showed I had little knowledge of that part of my life. I must have been too busy all through those long years to keep my records right. In fact I had never bothered to remember anything, as my friends knew very well.

    I lived in a country where a man strolling on a road that goes through a billowy land, was not condemmed for having such thoughts. A country where people could think, and what they gained from thinking, was no greater than what they sacrificed. I guess it was my turn now, I should take a little rest and put my long-tangled thoughts into an order.

    This is related to self respect, I murmured. None in this world can ask me to list what I lost. I ask myself. I have always abhorred the thought that I was a weak person. This is a show down. Maybe in time I will be able to leave this behind. But no, I must tackle it now, I will leave it behind now .

    I smiled to myself and looked up at the sun shedding its light on me. I looked for only one second and it helped me see many things.

    I saw the man, fifty yards away, at the point where the road was too lazy to climb a small hill and went around it instead. He was doing something, crouching.

    I went towards him, the fifty yards took me less than two minutes, I thought of nothing as I walked.

    The man by the road was a villager, who had set out the previous dusk to find his goat, and had not found him thus far, and who felt hungry and sat down to eat cheese, olive,tomato and a single cluster of grapes with bread from the town, and who was over forty. It took me five minutes to learn all this.

    “So you have had your goat escape, huh?” I asked again. “When did you first notice this.”

    “He was absent in last evening's count.”

    I thought for a moment. Then I said, “A lost goat. Ah, you are such a lucky man.”
    The man bounced to his feet. “What do you mean?”
    “You are lucky indeed,” I said, “You know what you have lost. This means you still have a chance to find it. You are a lucky man.”

    I was talking to him enigmatically and it bothered him. He was already upset because of his lost goat. He was ready to get angry, but I was too blind to notice.
    “I know what I've lost,” he said in a tense voice. “But it ain't making me any less unhappy. I don't know if I have the chance to find him or not.”
    “But you know what you've lost, don't you?” I went further. “If you didn't, this discontent you feel, could last for years.”

    “Well good,” he said , and shook his head in deep thought, a gesture peculiar to simple men. Then he lifted his left fist and hit me in the jaw – a perfect well thought out blow. “Maybe this will help you get over that philosophical nonsense.” he said.

    “I was just beginning,” I said

    “I can see you are a freshman, and I am only a villager.” He said.”But this left fist of mine helps you more than that nonsense stuff of yours.”

    I felt a little relieved, no matter how much it ached. It was a good quick start. There were people who must wait for a hundred years to end such nonsense. I could count myself lucky.
  6. Thank you so much for the constructive criticism. I'd love to read your works once they appear and I notice them. Kindly let me know if I fail to notice.
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    You complicate things and I am at a loss for words.
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    Thank you for the truth and not saying anything stupid or lying. I am not quite good at writing stories, they always turn out strangly. But, I enjoy and keep at it. Thank you for reading my story.
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ars sine scienta nihil


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