The International Writers Magazine
: Stories from Morocco

Who should you listen to, your mom or your dad?
Sidi Cherkawi Benzahra

My Grandmother, Fatna, was a blind woman who lived in an old farm in the Tadla valley of Morocco. Tadla valley is one of the richest, greenest lands in Morocco. It is located right north of the Atlas Mountains. It grows cotton and wheat and its animals thrive in its grass, shrubs, and crops. I don’t remember I ever saw my grandmother before, but I could remember I saw my grandfather.

One day my grandfather and my grandmother had an argument. It started as a common small argument but later on it escalated to a major fight. My grandmother wanted to leave the house and stay at her sister’s for a while, but my grandfather didn’t want her to. Since my grandmother was blind, she needed a guide to take her to her sister, who happened to live two miles down a dirt road between some bushes and a ravine. Nobody was around in the house except for my mom and my grandmother.
"Is your Dad around?" My grandmother asked my mom.
"He went on a donkey somewhere, mama," my mom responded.
"Are you sure, my bumblebee?" My grandmother asked.
"Sure, mama," said my mom.
"Are you positively sure?" My grandmother asked.
"Have I ever lied to you, mama?" My mom asked.
"Okay, Bumblebee. Take me to my sister now," my grandmother said and wrapped a scarf around her head. My mom knew that she would get in trouble if she did so.
"Sure thing, mama," my mom said.

They walked hurriedly down the path between the bushes and the ravine, and the sun was shining on their heads, and the wind was blowing in the field.
When my grandfather came back from his little trip, he couldn’t find my grandmother in the house. He became angry and started to throw things around in the house. He picked up an expensive vase from a nearby dresser and swung his body down, slamming the vase against the floor. He took a broom from a nearby wall and swung it against a knick-knack, making the knick-knack fly at roughly the speed of light. The knick-knack splashed against a wall like if it was made of water.
"Where is your mom?" he asked everybody in the house.
Nobody could say a word. My mom was shaking with fear. She knew if she told him the truth he would smack her hard, like he had done once to her before.
"Who guided her?" My grandfather cried. "Who helped her go away?"
Nobody said a word. Everybody was shaken.
"If you don’t tell me who did it, I will spank you all," My grandfather said, pulling out his belt from his pants. His belt was made of good Moroccan leather.
"Zahra did it," said the youngest sister, Elkbeera.
He walked towards my mom and my mom backed away and turned around and ran out, blowing open the door.
"You, piece of gunk!" my Grandfather cried and ran after her.

My mom was about fifteen. She could run like the wind. She had skinny legs and skinny torso. My Grandfather was also young and had very long legs and he could run as fast as my mom, or maybe faster. He ran and ran and so did my mom. My mom didn’t know where to run but my grandfather knew exactly where to go. He was running behind my mom as fast as he could. It was just a matter of time before he would catch her hair and pull it back. My mom kept on running until she reached a wall of prickly pear cactus. The wall of the cactus was high, spiky, and wide; and there was no way my mom could jump it. She stops and turned around and saw her dad charging at her like a bull. Before she could even register the look at his face he grabbed her and threw her into the spiky wall of the cactus. My mom screamed and screamed for mercy, but there was nobody around to hear, except the cactus and the lizards. My mom told me this story me and it is a true one.

© Sidi Cherkawi Benzahra September 2005
San Luis Obispo- California
The Mother who chained up her son
Sidi Cherkawi Benzahra on lost sheep

The Death of an Immigrant
Sidi Cherkawi Benzahra

A way to lose your Coat
Sidi Cherkawi Benzahra

More Stories in Dreamscapes


© Hackwriters 1999-2005 all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibiltiy - no liability accepted by or affiliates.