Fatima and Her Umbrella
by Yunus Mohamed
(Durban South Africa)
Fatima walked out of her class and to the gate with her friends just after the bell rang to end her day at school, Fatima was very happy today. She had done well in her English test and her ‘maam’ Miss Khan told her before giving Fatima her prize, a kit Kat chocolate.
Fatima looked up at the sky and saw that it was raining, now making Fatima feel very glum. Luckily Fatima’s mother insisted that she take an umbrella to school that morning. Fatima’s mother heard in the weather report on radio that there would be afternoon thundershowers.
So, Fatima opened her umbrella as she stepped onto the pavement outside her school and began to walk towards home through the pelting rain. Luckily Fatima lived just a few streets away from the school .The rain came down so hard that even her glasses got so wet that she could not see very far ahead of her.
Fatima had to stop every now and again to wipe her glasses with the pleats of her dress, because the tissue her mother had given her in the morning got very soggy from all the rain. Suddenly a gust of wind blew Fatima up and towards the sky and through the clouds with her umbrella. At first Fatima was very frightened because she was very afraid of heights. Fatima kept her eyes closed as she soared higher and higher up towards the sky.
A gust wind suddenly made Fatima fly all around. Up and down, left and right but she held on to the umbrella with both of hands tightly. ‘There is my house ‘Fatima shrieked opening her eyes suddenly as she saw her cream and red house next to the park where she lived. And there is my puppy Jewels, and there is my bike and there is mum hanging the washing.
Suddenly two birds landed on Fatima’s umbrella. At first Fatima was very frightened to see such wide wings and sharp beaks so close. “Do you like the view below one of the birds asked Fatima in a very friendly voice?
“Yes I do, but everything looks so tiny from here” Fatima replied.
“Come let us take you to a magical place” the birds said together.
Soon Fatima was flying over rainbows of magical colors. She could see below her Unicorns dancing in a meadow with little girls in white and pink dresses in a circle holding hands laughing and singing happily.
The sun waved at Fatima and said “Hello Fatima, I saw that you were upset by all the rain so I asked the wind and the birds to bring you up to the sky to visit me. Do you
like it here Fatima?’ the sun asked.
‘Yes Sun, thank you for making my afternoon so special. Yes, I love everything over here, especially the color of your face” Fatima said. The sun smiled and began to dance in the sky.
The birds lowered Fatima gently to a merry go round, and when all the other girls saw Fatima they ran over to hug her. ‘Come Fatima you must play with us’ they said holding her hands taking her away. After a while they made tea and baked a chocolate cake for Fatima. Fatima had never eaten a tastier chocolate cake before. The children sang, danced and played all sorts of games, for hours, still the sun shone so brightly.
A little teddy bear came along on a train making a choo, choo sound. The train stopped alongside Fatima. “Fatima, come on hop on my train I will take you for a ride. The teddy bear said ” Fatima got on the train shrieking with delight as she took the last bite of her chocolate cake and suddenly as if my magic flowers on all the trees began to sing , “Fatima we love, you. Fatima we love you. Fatima we love you’.
Fatima was so happy, never before had she heard so many voices saying ‘we love you’ to her before, especially the voices coming from flowers.
They rode over mountains and beautiful bridges, over waterfalls and rainbows, till they reached another merry go round, with even more wonderful rides. Fatima got off the train and joined other children, boys, and girls from Uganda, Somalia, Mozambique Nigeria, Germany, Iran, and so many other countries.
They played together on all the different rides, eating ice cream chocolates, and cakes to their hearts content. Suddenly Fatima thought of her brother Yusuf at home and felt sad. “What is it?” the other boys and girls asked why are you looking at Fatima?”
“I miss my brother Yusuf,” Fatima said sadly.
Just then the birds arrived with Fatima’s umbrella. “Come Fatima, let us take you home now its getting late’ they said. The birds handed Fatima her umbrella and lifted her with their beaks high into the sky for a while longer.
‘Bye sun, and thank you again’ Fatima said to the sun. The sun smiled and waved at Fatima.
‘See you in the morning Fatima’ the sun said before the birds lowered her gently to the ground just outside her house next to the beautiful park. Fatima waved at the birds as they flew higher and higher into the sky.
“Yusuf, Yusuf, you won’t believe what happened to me today,” said Fatima as she ran into the house. Yusuf smiled, and hugged Fatima. ***