On Her Own Little Feet

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Written by: Hajra Aslam Motiwala

Sohaib was scribbling confidently in his notebook as he didn't have much time and he had a deadline to meet in an hour. Sohaib was a regular writer of Sunshine magazine and in order to get his story published every week, the editor had asked him to mail it every Tuesday before 5 p.m.

Sohaib wasn't surprised when he glanced at the clock, he had written a story in just 7 minutes. He smiled with satisfaction.

"Bhaiyaaa!" came the urgent voice of his little sister. Everything was urgent to her and her beloved Bhaiyya was always there to listen to her.

"Yes Gurya?" he asked.

"I have to submit a story for English class tomorrow. Can you write it for me?"

"No, you have to write it yourself. It's your homework," Sohaib refused gently.

"I thought you would help me," Gurya's lips quivered.

"And I will but first you need to write it yourself then I will correct it," he said.

"I can't. You've got to help me, now!" she demanded in a loud voice.

"Well if you can't write a story then I am afraid I can't help you at all," he said.

"Then I will copy it from somewhere," Gurya said angrily.

"That wouldn't be good at all. That would be cheating and you won't feel very happy when the teacher gives you a 'Good' on it. Taking other people's stories and passing them off as your own isn't a very nice thing to do. Try and write it yourself evn if there are a hundred mistakes in it. There's a good girl."

"I'm not a good girl," Gurya said crossly and stomped out of his room. Sohaib turned back to his laptop as he had yet to type his own story.

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"Ammi, where is Gurya?" Sohaib asked after dinner.

"She is asleep. I made her go to sleep early today as she found it difficult to wake up for school yesterday morning," his mother replied.

Sohaib tiptoed into Gurya's room and started poking around. He soon found the copy he was looking for and slipped out of the room.

A smile came to his lips as he saw that Gurya had finally written a story by herself. No matter how many mistakes she had made but she had tried, she had written it herself and that was what he had wanted her to do… because doing your work yourself is a hundred times better than depending on others to do it for you. Gurya had tried to stand on her own little feet.

Reminding himself to discuss the story with her later, he sat down to correct the mistakes.