One summer day a writer and a painter were sitting in a room looking through the window. The writer said: “Let’s do something!” The painter asked: “What?”
The writer said: “I write a story and you do the illustrations!” The painter accepted. He took out his tools from inside a closet and put them all in his front. The writer thought for a while and wrote: “Once upon a time there were two white, fluffy and plump sheep. They had gone to the pasture to graze. They had no names. That is why people called one of them ‘The First One’ and the other ‘The Second One.’ The pasture was all green and the weather was wonderful. They were joyfully eating the sweet grass when all of a sudden a wind blew and the shadow of a cloud fell on the Second One.
Startled, he raised his head to see what the shadow was. Then he shouted suddenly: “Oh Good Gracious! Look there!” The First one raised his head and gazed at the sky. The Second One pointed to the clouds that looked like sheep and said: “Look at those two sheep whirling in the sky!”
The first one said: “How nice! Just like you and I.”
The Second one said: “Tell me what is nice about it! Just look carefully! A wolf is hiding for them. He wants to eat them.”
The First One who had just noticed the wolf got scared. In a trembling voice he said: “It see see m s as i i if you’re right. The sheep don’t know about him.”
-We have to warn them.
-We’ll scream and yell.
They tried very hard making all the sounds they knew but it was of no use. Their voices did not reach the sky. Now they were talking about what to do and what not to do.
A lonely ass was passing there by. They talked to him about their problem and asked for his help. The ass glanced at the sky and said: “Where are they? My big beautiful eyes don’t see anything. Furthermore, I’m an ass and what do you expect from a vagabond ass? It’s better to ask the tree’s help.”
Then he started off again walking leisurely. The sheep cried and begged the tree to help them with the problem. The tree said: “I’m short and my feet are rooted in the ground. What on earth can I do? It must be their destiny.”
The wind was blowing the wolf closer to the sheep every moment and the sheep were moving along like two yummy bites unaware of anything.
The hearts of the First One and the Second One were beating loudly.
Little by little they were loosing hope because they could not find a solution to help the sheep.
The Second one said: “I don’t believe in this story at all.” And angrily he said: “You should do something Mr. Writer. You have to help those poor creatures somehow.”
The writer raised his pencil from the paper and said: “This is only you two’s problem. I’m only responsible for writing the story.”
Then the First One addressed the painter and said: “Ms Painter. Why don’t you do something for these poor creatures?”
The painter took off her brush from the canvas she was working on and said:”What for example?”
The First One continued: “For example draw a wall between the wolf and the sheep. Or draw a flock of dogs to run to the wolf and destroy him.”
With a pink smile on her face the painter said: “What a bizarre thing to say! My duty is to illustrate what the writer says.”
Then she lowered her voice: “Don’t you see the writer is sitting here. In kids’ stories the heroes are to solve their problems without other people’s interference.”
The Second One said: “You see that we’ve tried our best. But our voice doesn’t reach the sky. Furthermore what’s wrong if we all help each other? It will be a pity if this story has a tragic ending. At least, at least help us a little bit. Draw a bird for us!”
The painter felt sympathetic for them. She drew a sparrow on the treetop to make her drawing more beautiful. But the writer did not like the idea of a sparrow being there much. The sparrow as swift and agile as she was, started making noises as soon as she started to be. It was as if 100 sparrows were sitting on the tree branches chirping.
The First One said to her: “Don’t waste the time sweetheart! Fly as quickly as you can and tell those two sheep to save their lives!”
The sparrow flew and flew. She winged until she reached those two white sheep in the sky. She shrieked to warn them of the danger: “You naughty sheep. Don’t you know a wolf wants to attack you?”
The sheep stopped and said: “Where? Where’s he?”
The sparrow said: “Right there; right behind you.’
The wolf thought he was about to lose his yummy bites and attacked them. But the sheep turned into cauliflowers before the wolf’s paws could touch their wool and skin. They got scattered in the sky.
Seeing them like that the wolf melted out of shame and rained like raindrops.
Everyone felt relieved. The cauliflowers in the sky, the First One, the Second One, the nimble sparrow, the tree, the writer and the painter.
You might have felt relieved too. But do you think this story has ended?
The writer wanted to write ‘And they lived happily ever after’ and the painter wanted to wash her brush when they heard the shrill shriek of the sparrow.
She chirped in a way that it sounded like she had seen something strange from up there and was terribly frightened.
The writer continued the story like this: The First One and the Second One were so happy and joyful that they forgot what was happening behind them. But the sparrow’s shriek made them look at their back and they saw an ugly black wolf hiding for them down the hill and moving slowly towards them.
He was just a very real wolf with sharp teeth and eyes color of blood.
The Second One said: “Oh, good heavens! What can we do now?”
The First One said: “Help! Help! Does anybody hear us?”
Nobody heard them. There was no sound but the wind’s in the whole mountainside and the plain. The wolf was getting closer to the sheep step by step with no worry at all. The sheep’s hearts were beating rapidly and they could not talk.
The sparrow shouted at the painter and the writer: “Help Ms Painter! Help Mr. Writer!”
The painter shrugged her shoulders and said: “I can’t think of anything.”
The writer said: “I can help them. But why don’t you yourself do anything?”
The sparrow said: “But how can I? I have no force.”
The writer said: “Did you use your force that time when you helped the cloud sheep? Look at the sky! It’s getting stormy!”
The sparrow thought for a while and said: “I got it! The clouds! It’s now their turn to help.”
It was very hard to fly in the wind with those tiny wings.
But she tried her best to reach the cauliflower clouds. The same clouds that had the shape of sheep a few moments ago.
The cauliflowers started to move and called out to the wind. The wind heard them and blew more strongly than ever, and there was a storm. What a storm! The sky was full of pieces of clouds before the nimble sparrow put her feet on the earth.
The pieces of clouds took each others’ hands and became one. They had turned black out of anger and they became more and more in number and quite tangled every moment. When they hit each other there was a thunder and lightning. And what a thunder and lightning!
The black wolf looked at the sky with his red eyes. He had never before seen the sky so fierce and stormy. He looked at his two yummy bites too who were hiding behind a tree. It was a big surprise. He did not see any rain or clouds above the sheep’ heads. All the clouds were gathering above his own head and were making all the rain and hail they had in them fall nonstop on his head.
He moved a little to the left. Then the clouds followed him to the left. Then he moved a little to the right. The clouds followed him there too. Then he decided to move forth. As soon as he took the first step the clouds sent a thunder and lightning down.
The lightning lit the whole sky like a sword and fell on the ground right before him.
The all soaked wolf got terribly frightened. He thought: “No. It seems as if things are happening here. Everybody’s united to keep me from reaching my two yummy bites.”
Another lightning set the grass under his feet afire. It was no more possible to walk forth. He then thought: “It’s better for me to get back home before I’m all burnt by this thunder and lightning.” He changed his way and disappeared from the sheep’s sight under the whipping rain.
The story had come to an end. The painter and the writer exchanged smiles. They were happy because of the story’s happy ending. The painter painted a beautiful rainbow in the last illustration to change her mood. And the writer Wrote: “The End.”
By: Farhad Hassanzadeh
Trasnlated by: Fatemeh Abtahi