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The Old man and the Young Girl
A Tale
By Isma'il abd al-Haqq

     An old man was walking down the road one day, when his attention was drawn to a very young and beautiful girl. The girl was washing clothes in the river, and working very diligently. The old man stopped for awhile to watch her. He recalled the days of his youth, when as a strong young man he pursued the flower of his wife's beauty. He remembered the enthusiasm with which he courted her, and the longing he had for her before the years began to quench the fire of his passion. It was at this time that the young beauty noticed the old man. She didn't stop working, and didn't greet the man, but seemed to work even harder. After an hour or so, she quit her chores and came up to the old man.
      Embarrassed by her presence, the old man began to make excuses why he had stayed on so long watching her. She merely smiled, and took the old man by the hand, and kissed him on the cheek. "You have done your share of work old man," she said "and now it is time for me to continue mine". She went back to the dirty clothes by the river and began washing them again. The old man knew what she meant and left her in peace. That night he died in his sleep lying next to his wife of forty years.