When I was in Iran last time, my nephews were talking to me about everything and showing me their drawings, school work, etc. Suddenly, one of them, Avesta, asked me whether I liked to see his books. Naturally, I thought he meant the books he was reading as he is an avid reader. To my surprise, he brought me three notebooks neatly organized to look like books as much as possible. There was a title on the cover, and I asked him what it was. He looked at me very seriously and said, “Auntie, this is my first book.” I could not believe what I heard. I started reading; the first lines were an amazing description:
“The drums could be heard, the mountain grew darker every moment, the Iranian archers were trying to prevent …”
I tried very hard to prevent myself from expressing my adoration by making faces and continued reading. This was a story about the Iranians fighting off Romans and later … I asked him where he had got this, and he responded very sincerely,”It is my story, auntie. I wrote it. I have others.” He looked so serious. I read the whole story; I was quite fascinated. Later I asked him whether he would read the story to me so that I could record his voice. He asked what I wanted to do with it. I answered that I was not sure, but I might broadcast it on a radio program or something. He obliged with one condition: that I would not share the whole story as he intended to publish and sell it. So, I promised him to broadcast only part of it. I gave him directions on using the microphone and pretended to be busy doing something else to give him space to do it naturally. He got the microphone and though he could not hold it still all the time, he read the story like a professional. When he started reading, I had no idea it was the “Day of Family” in Iran! And perhaps to ensure his claim to his book, he did clarify that the story was written by him right at the beginning.
Anyway, here it is. I added some music to it. Before the literary critics raising eyebrows and start taking notes, I should emphasize that the story is written by an eight-year-old boy.