The secret story of ibra.., p.1
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       The secret story of Ibrahim, p.1

           Anna Russo
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The secret story of Ibrahim

  The Secret Story Of


  The boy of the field




  * * * * *




  The Secret Story Of



  Copyright © 2012 by Anna Russo






  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, events or locales is entirely coincidental.




  The Secret Story Of


  The boy of the field




  Ibrahim owned a field.

  He had a field all to himself and this made him also extremely happy since no other child of his age and of his neighbourhood owned one.

  Ibrahim’s field was right behind his house or rather, his house stood right in front of the field - depending on how you looked at it. In any way, from whatever angle you saw it, Ibrahim’s field was just wonderful. It was big enough to play football, small enough to become a secret island with sufficient stones and mounds to play hide and seek; some parts of it were yellow, others brown or green and all these colours changed according to whether there was rain or sunshine. Destiny had probably assigned that field to Ibrahim since he had already claimed it before he was born - even before his mother knew she was expecting him.


  He had hardly been on this planet a week; no one knew of his existence, not even his mother, when he had already spotted his field.

  In the meantime, he had quietly chosen a comfortable spot to settle down and peacefully sway within his mother’s warm, soft tummy and even if he was no larger than the nail of a little finger, his thoughts and emotions were already at their place and they constantly filled him with joy: when his mummy spoke, when the wind blew… and when it was hot or cold and all the sounds echoing from outside and in… and then…when finally everything turned quiet, the sound of heartbeat, and those were the most beautiful sounds of creation.


  And so the days went by with Ibrahim making more and more discoveries and experiences until one day, that fantastic Friday, he made the most important discovery of his life, the one that would have never left him: the day his mummy decided to go to the market.

  At the beginning the trip was not very pleasant for Ibrahim with all those bumps and jolts; the heavy bags made his mummy go breathless. Ibrahim didn’t like the sound of that heavy breathing, just as he didn’t like that bumpy road full of holes.

  He was about to take refuge in a soft cosy corner, when suddenly everything changed. Not only had his mummy started to breathe normally, but she was also walking smoothly and softly.

  It was as though his mummy had suddenly begun to dance, it felt as if she were flying. And we know this was impossible, as mummies don’t fly, especially his mummy, who a strict and serious manner, yet she was now walking on something very soft that seemed like the carpets at home.


  At this point, Ibrahim did three things: he thought that, first, wherever he was, this was the most beautiful place in the world to be; second, he stopped being attached to his mummy’s tummy like being on a crowded bus and, third, he let himself go.

  So now Ibrahim had just spent his first week on earth. He still didn’t know that he had already walked through his field just as he didn’t know that people walk, eat, breathe and love one another. Some own a lot and others own nothing at all… but to discover all this he would have to wait another eight months and three weeks.

  In the meantime, his mother had arrived home and Ibrahim began to perform the most incredible somersaults and pirouettes in her tummy.


  Eight months and three weeks went by quickly and since Ibrahim was very eager to see the world, he was as punctual as a Swiss clock.

  He was born at sunrise and it took him no more than fifteen minutes.

  He wanted to see everything and everybody, but ended up seeing nothing as all appeared blurry.

  One month later the fog had lifted and Ibrahim could finally see how lovely his mother and sisters were. He understood where all those nice fragrances were coming from, how robust and strong his brothers were. He could see how much wisdom there was in his father’s eyes.

  How wonderful… but what interested him most of all was the world.

  So… where was the world?


  He would have had to wait another month before seeing it. In the meantime, life consisted of relatives coming and going to meet him. When they finally stopped visiting, and there had been many, his mummy, who had had many tasks to do. entrusted Ibrahim to his oldest brother, Ishmael, This was not the wisest decision, but convenient for Ibrahim, for Ishmael was a real pest.

  He was about nine years old and his angelic face revealed nothing of his true character.

  He had an attitude that would have made anyone suspicious, except his own mummy, who was too busy to notice certain details. Ishmael pretended to be delighted to take care of his baby brother, but in truth he had a diabolical plan in mind: thanks to Ibrahim and the big house with high ceilings they lived in, he could start to play football again.

  And so it was...


  Ishmael had calculated everything: how high the house was, how much time his sisters and mummy would take to clean the house from top to bottom. So Ishmael chose to set up his headquarters on the ground floor and as soon as his mother and sisters disappeared to the upper floor with their brooms and dusters, he knew that, from this moment, he would have had a good two hours of freedom.

  Quickly, he threw a ball made of rags into an old bag full of holes, and in this bag on top of the ball stacked little Ibrahim. He left, closing the door very gently behind him. Then, without any consideration for his little brother who was in the bag, went racing across the field, jumping on each and every stone found on his path.


  So at hardly three months, Ibrahim started coming to the field and not because he had chosen to. At first he could barely see out of the holes of the bag, not to mention the jolts and dust. As soon as he became a bit bigger and managed to crawl out… a miracle occurred…

  Another month had gone by and Ibrahim had doubled in size - to the great joy of his mummy; on the contrary, his brother was not as delighted as he had to carry him, and this also meant that Ibrahim had become stronger.

  One day, when finally arriving at the field and being thrown into a corner of the bag for the umpteenth time, he started pushing with his arms and legs.

  He pushed and pushed so hard that he felt reborn again.

  For the second time since he had come to the world, he was surrounded by a powerful light.


  He had come out of the bag all by himself. The light was so powerful he had to close his eyes, and when he reopened them, he felt so big and strong that he was no longer afraid as he gazed upon that large yellow field; not even when he realized how the yellow was being swept by the wind towards the blue sky mingling together with the shout of his brother and friends and creating a small cloud, right above his head.

  Ibrahim never forgot that moment and decided that he would, one day, own that field, despite his brother. That day Ibrahim was four months old and had just taken the most important decisions of his life. His enthusiasm was interrupted when a gust of wind shifted the little white cloud, a silent witness to what had happened. T
hen the sun slowly turned dark.


  At that same time his older sister had opened the small bathroom window on the first floor indicating that mummy and sister had almost finished.

  Ishmael noticed and rapidly picked up Ibrahim and the ball, threw them both into the bag full of holes and rushed home. He entered quietly, just as he had done two hours earlier.

  This situation went on for another seven months, finding it amusing at times, but also uncomfortable when it rained and made the ball soggy wet. Then Ibrahim decided it would be better if he learned how to walk. So he learnt.

  From that day he walked to the field by himself and his life now had changed.

  Not that he really knew how to walk well, it was kind of a crawl.

  One day, Ishmael was busy doing his homework and the house door was left open.

  Ibrahim noticed this and all of a sudden the door and everything that was beyond it became the only thing that mattered to him.

  Ibrahim crawled and rolled until he was finally out the door but above all… his brother hadn’t noticed anything!

  To be out in the world, alone, without seeing it through the holes of a bag was a very different experience.


  Ibrahim made his way down the alley that went from the house to the road, he got to the corner, turned the block, crossed a street and… suddenly… everything else disappeared… the roads, the houses, the cars, the people: he had reached the field.


  It was the first time that he saw it on his own. To pay respect, he decided that the right thing to do would be to stand up, acknowledging the occasion.

  It took him almost an hour to get up on his little legs who were reluctant to hold him. But his determination was strong: and he slowly pulled himself up.

  The little cloud that always hovered above the field observed him: Ibrahim appeared like a very determined little man with ideas bigger than himself. The cloud hoped for his sake that the world would someday understand those ideas.

  Standing under the cloud and feeling totally carefree, after having made the tremendous effort to stand up on his own feet, Ibrahim remained immobile and nothing of him moved; meanwhile, the field had just granted him the wonderful power to transform things: his imagination.

  Ibrahim, who until then had never received anything and was bursting with joy decided to immediately put his gift to use.

  First he transformed the field into a yellow sea – a sea so large and deep that the sky seemed small.

  Then he transformed the cloud into a camel, a bucket full of dates, a flock of birds, and with his imagination he spread out his arms and followed them in flight.


  His family had found him after having looked through the house, calling his name, searching the neighbour’s homes, the bars, the streets. His brother Ishmael got an earful for not even finishing his homework.

  Finally, someone thought of looking in the field and there he was… right in the middle of it.

  He was standing with his back to them and flying, but they hadn’t noticed that; they thought he was only gazing at the sun, but they did realize that he was experiencing a magical moment.

  So they didn’t shout at him or went to pick him up, as they would normally do. They just looked at him while he gazed at the field and the field gazed at the sun.

  They didn’t understand what was happening, but everyone understood that there was something between Ibrahim and the field.

  They were right because from that day on Ibrahim and the field never left each other.


  At the age of two, Ibrahim spent every morning there, come rain or come sunshine.

  At the age of four he also spent the afternoon there, he ate, and if the weather was fine, he slept there, too.

  At the age of five he found a rock that made him feel like a king, so for a whole month he didn’t return home.

  The bond between Ibrahim and the field was so strong that not even his strict parents managed to scold him. Neither his relatives or neighbours said anything: for everyone in the village Ibrahim had become - the boy of the field - .


  At the age of seven, Ibrahim was old enough to go to school, something very important for his father.

  At the beginning he cried desperately for he didn’t want to be separated from his field.

  His teacher, a kind and intelligent man, promised him that, weather permitting, he would give lessons twice a week in the field.

  At first, this rather crazy decision puzzled everyone, however the children liked it and the weather remained pleasant, and with the help of the little cloud that had asked the wind to blow away the others clouds, instead of twice a week it shortly became three times, then four times, until finally the school benches became something of the past.

  It was a joy for all to go by the field and see the children study without their notebooks and pens: they were all writing on the sand. And when they would leave at the end of the day, the field appeared as a huge book open to the sky whose thousand of pages narrated the story of each and everyone.


  Time went by and the schoolmaster was teaching his small pupils how to read, write and count, while they would take notes in the sand; and even the people who occasionally walked by and who had not been able to study or those who were just curious, also took part at the lessons and by the end of the day, everybody returned home having learnt something new..


  So not only had the school changed, but it also had changed the people, the country and the same Ibrahim, who now had a lot of friends.

  The children loved the field and at the end of the school-day, while the teacher returned to his home, Ibrahim and his friends remained on the field to play.

  They played everything possible and their imagination didn't set any limits. But what they mostly preferred was to play ball and in that case imagination took the upper hand.

  They transformed the ball at every kick, making it become once a racing car, then a crocodile, then a glider. They were strange games, but all so very amusing that everyone wanted to take part.

  In this way, the bizarre ball grew along with the children, because it was made with all the rags that they were able to tie together, and all it took to make it round was to play with it.

  At each and every kick, at every throw, while it be rolling on the sand or down from a hill, the battered rags resembled more and more like a ball and every goal became true more and more.

  And all continued until Ibrahim's tenth birthday.

  It was the 15th of July and even if the sun was shining brightly, it was a day like no other, and not only because it was Ibrahim’s birthday.


  The little cloud already knew why, but couldn’t tell anyone being only a cloud. In fact Ibrahim, his sisters and mother only realized around midday, once they had prepared everything for the celebration, when they went to the field and found it … cut in half.

  Everything Ibrahim was carrying fell to the ground. The noise made by the falling jug was not nearly as painful as seeing the long, entangled, black, barbed wire spread across the field. It formed a strange unusual mountain which allowed you to look over the other side – but it was only an illusion.

  On the top there were some waving flags; Ibrahim thought they were put there by the person who had built the mound. Horrible black flags with white skulls that seemed to be laughing.

  “How can you laugh with such an ugly face?” thought Ibrahim.


  In the meantime mummy and sisters had recovered from the shock and, as usual, started to scream and run and run and scream again until they found their way home and disappeared.

  Ibrahim stood alone in front of the barricade, which was much larger than him and sensed a very strange feeling amidst the wide yellow sea.

  The little cloud, who was always looking down from above, this time seemed to be laughing. Ibrahim thought he was right and sta
rted laughing, too: “ How can you think of dividing up a yellow sea with a barricade that has flags depicting horrible faces?”

  The little cloud kept laughing, but laughing so much that he couldn’t hold back the tears.

  So it happened that the younger sister, who had been sent by the father, found Ibrahim standing and laughing in front of the barricade, while it calmly started to drizzle.

  Obviously, the girl didn’t know that the cloud was laughing, too; on the contrary she thought it was raining! Nor did she interrogate herself why it was only raining on her brother. Anyway, she didn’t ask any further questions as she grabbed Ibrahim by the waist and after scolding him for standing under the rain, she brought him home.

  From that day on, many things had changed. His father got into the habit of locking the door (something he had never done before).

  As a result, Ibrahim and his brothers started to sneak out by the little bathroom window, the only one that gave out to the back.

  These daily sprees soon acquired a special flavour not to mention the pure pleasure of escaping.

  They would wait for their father to fall asleep, in a deep sleep, and wait for their mother and sisters to be at work, that then off they would go! But there were others dangers ahead.


  The window they used to escape from was small and once they had gone through it they had to be really careful and jump on to the sand on the left side to avoid the sharp rocks on the right; this is exactly what happened to his brother Ishmael in a moment of distraction, but that’s another story.

  Between one escape and another, Ibrahim noticed that is father was becoming very peculiar. He rambled on in a delirious way; talking about God and how many names God had. Then he began to compare the various Gods and contemplate on which was better and which was worse. Totally mad.

  On the contrary Ibrahim, who knew very well that there was only one God, never bothered to give him a name and seriously though his father had gone insane.

  He tried to discuss this with his mother, but no sooner had he mentioned the subject he understood it was better to keep quiet - even his mother did not seem quite in shape.

  Ibrahim continued to go to the field even if the barricade had cut it in half, cutting also the village, the country, and who knows what else.

  In this situation, not only some of his friends were found on the other side, and this made it impossible for them to meet, but even the teacher and the school.

  So only Ibrahim continued to go to the field.

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