By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, October 25, 2012
Ironically, all children tend to befriend the sheep few days before their slaughter. The Eid seems to be a unique opportunity for those who have never been allowed to keep a pet to satisfy their need for nurturing and companionship.
Haj Mohammed was fully aware of his sons’ yearning to fondle the sheep. Therefore, he assigned them the task to fetch the fodder and feed the ruminant for the two remaining days.
Ali and Omar felt proud and glorious with their new duty. Each one wanted to get closer to the sheep and take the fodder to his mouth. Ali would step forward cautiously, alert at any impromptu move made by the animal in defiance of the two intruders.
Haj Mohammed has always settled for a sheep with a strong gregarious attitude that would entertain his two sons and keep them engrossed in animal pampering routines.
The two boys became growingly oblivious of their friends, their meals and even their most favorite leisure: soccer. They would scrutinize the animal’s each single behavior, his mood swing and even his gazes. The poor animal grew weary of the boys’ persistent presence. He chose to sit in a corner, folding his slender legs and looking aside dodging their piercing stares.
But for their mother, the sheep’s presence was a constant reminder of the endless list of tasks and chores to be done without any further delay. Her schedule was loaded with errands ranging from buying spices and plastic recipients to storing food for the few coming days.
Few hours after his arrival, the animal became forlorn shunning away from the fodder and water supplied by the boys. He would not make a single move despite the enticement of food. Frustrated, Ali and Omar rushed to their father complaining “Dad, the sheep does not eat, he does not drink and he stays motionless for hours.”
Haj Mohammed sat Ali on his lap and drew Omar closer to him “My dear sons, sheep are flock animals. When they are separated from their flock members they become distressed. Don’t worry, he will get incrementally used to you.”
Ali looked at his father with despair. A twinkling tear remained trapped in the corner of his hazel eyes, he said “Dad, please don’t slaughter the sheep, please Papa.” Haj Mohammed kissed his son and said: “Let’s go to the market now, we have some shopping to do.”