the tale of the water seller

the tale of the water seller

when I was ten years old, my mother shelved my hair, called me "Owis" and sent me out accompanied by my old donkey to sell the water.
I was thin, my donkey was thin too. my face bones were very obvious, my donkey bones were obvious too.
my mother was angry all the time because she has a daughter, she wished desperately that she could exchange me with a strong boy, but how she could? she always wondered, and our neighbor told her " you have to do nothing with that but feeling sorry to yourself."
when I was wondering about why my mother should feel sorry to herself?
my mother interrupted me suddenly, gazed at me violently and said " you are my son, not my daughter", and added in a very calm voice " you are my son, and you have to go alone and sell the water."
I shocked and stopped speechless because what I know is that I am a girl and my name is Marina, but I preferred to be a boy to keep my mother smiling.
in my way to Baidoa, I started many conversations with my old and poor donkey. I understand his silence, and he understands my gossip, now, we became a family, a lovely family who transfer from place to place in order to sell the water.
a very long time spent since I was very in my home, my old donkey passed away and besides my grief and sadness for my loss, I have no idea how to come back and tell my mother about the donkey death?
actually, I am afraid to go home and tell her that I figured out some blood in my underwear, I thought that I was sick, but the wife of our boss told me that you are a girl, then they fired me and said to me in a scary tone " never go back, only boys sell the water."
I am afraid not just because of my donkey death, and not because they fired me, but because of this blood, I have no idea what is it?
mama never told me, mama never told me!

Amirah Al Wassif

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