The Milkman and The Milky Way

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a short moral story. The theme in my mind is to love your family. In tough times, COVID-19 especially, we have ample of time to spend with our family.

So why not to do something for them which we couldn't do until yesterday...

P.S. The doors of honest comment and criticisms are open. :-)

The Milkman and The Milky Way

by Harry Little

On his way to the city with his bicycle along with a big-heavy can-container on the backseat, the old milkman pours milk to his regular customers. He goes door to door. Some days he misses going to city. That’s because he is sick or his bicycle chain gets off which he can’t fix it at times. On other days, he gets no pay for the milk. This is not because the milk isn’t of good quality, but the lame excuses by few customers who are miser and greedy. The old milkman has to go top of a hill to enter the main city.

One day, he delivers the milk at the house of Noon. They are the middle-class family of five members. Namely, Mr. Raheel Noon, Mrs. Raheel Noon, Suraiyah Noon, Adam Noon, and Aamir Noon. Aamir is the youngest in family. He takes a two large sized bowl and gives it to the milkman. After he pours the milk, Aamir closes the door by saying a Thank you!  As he enters the home, his mother (Mrs. Raheel Noon) says,

“Oh dear, thank you”. She then asks her husband (Mr. Raheel Noon), “What are they saying?”

“They say that the government has raised the GST by 15%. Along with the prices of gas and food. Seems this year is also tight,” says with a slight laugh.

“What happened with the scheme you tried for?”

“Ah! The documentation is in progress. Hopefully, within two weeks we’ll get to know about that. But that wouldn’t help, still,” says in little dismay. Aamir intervenes by reminding his Dad about the school fees which is still due. He has only a week left.

“Why don’t talk to office? They may help with the salary,” advices Mrs. Raheel.

“Already I’m struggling to find orders. Unless I don’t get a millions order, I don’t find any reason to talk with them about that”. Suraiyah says,” Okay, Mummy. I’m leaving. Good bye”. Adam also leaves at the same time. Suraiyah studies at university; whilst Adam is at college. Aamir studies at home online. Though the COVID-19 cases are rising day-by-day, but still some colleges and universities are open.

At night when all the members are home, Mom asks, “How was your day, dear?”

“Good.” says Suraiyah.

Raheel seems worried. When asked what’s the matter, he says, “The seniors have removed four staffs today. They say it’s been six months; we don’t find any sales from your side. Luckily, they haven’t said anything to me. But they were warning us, as usual”.

“Don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll get that millions order, one day” comforts Mrs. Raheel.

The next morning, Aamir and his friends have a conversation, where it is revealed that the school will not allow those pupils to appear in finals who won’t pay the fees. This worries Aamir. He tells Mom about all that and then his Mother tells him, “Don’t worry. Daddy will speak to Principal today. I’m sure we’ll hear the good news”.

Mr. Raheel speaks to Principal, who through his requests, extends the deadline by two weeks.

One morning, Mrs. Raheel takes the milk. The milkman says, “Sister, from next month you’ll have to pay Rs. 500 more. You know… inflation is at peak”.

Adam says that he wants to reappear in two papers. He is short of three marks in one paper, and short of ten marks in other. He is to score more than 80% to get an A-grade. Dad surely agrees but is tensed as he finds difficulty to arrange money for expenses this month.

After two weeks, the scheme for financial assistance is granted to Noon family. This surely helps them; but the amount is only Rs. 12,000. They utilize the money to pay Aamir’s school fee and Adam’s fee. They are left with only Raheel’s salary: Rs. 15,000.

As the new month starts, the milkman arrives and is paid Rs. 500 more. He arrives too late. It is late afternoon. As the milkman leaves and reaches the service road, he is struck by a car badly. Fortunately, he is alive; but is badly injured. His left leg bleeds and his right foot suffers by the heavy weight that almost twisted it. And the right shoulder is badly scratched by the road. Leaving him in deep pain. Even the whole milk in the can-container is spilled. The driver argues with him. Aamir runs to help the old man, but is interrupted by the cars and his Mother who yells from the window, “Aamir, wait… wait. Come back here, at once”. Adam reaches out to door and brings Aamir back. Though he is scolded by Dad and Mom, he later convinces his elder brother (Adam) who reluctantly agrees to take him to the milkman. Both leave without informing their parents, and they tell Suraiyah not to tell anything about it.

Both boys, riding on a bike, don’t know where he exactly lives; but they know that he is far in the village down the hill.

“How will we find him?” asks Adam.

“Perhaps, we can ask those in the village”.

“Huh! I think we should return before we get caught” says Adam.

On their way, Aamir sees the side of the road is wet at some places. It didn’t rain, nor is there any sewerage fault, nor any water leakage. He even sees some little white puddles at some point. But the wet bicycle tires had catch the most attention. He tells Adam about that and both agree that it can guide them to man’s home. So they follow and follow. But in between Adam also keeps asking villagers about his address. Finally, they arrive at his home. Aamir then whispers in Adam’s ear, “The tires were rightly guiding”.

They see that his can-container is half broken. Both boys sneak a peek from the window. Aamir then knocks the door. Upon the door opening, Aamir asks for the milkman; and thus he meets him. The three have a conversation where Adam comforts the old man and Aamir gives him some cash for medicines. Aamir then asks, “How you people are living here?”

“Bad! It’s really hard to struggle. Especially when you are not paid what you really deserve. It’s people like you who can help the poor. Already the prices are high and business is low. I had to remove my son from school for I couldn’t afford the fees now. Anyhow, I’m happy living with my family. For me some things are free of cost, like the milk from those two cows, eggs from these three hens, water from the well far there. I even get some cotton in exchange for milk; with that she (wife) knits clothes. And we utilize some for ourselves and some we sell. That’s how we live. Thank you so much little boy” says the old man.

“Did you apply in the scheme?” asks Adam.

“I did. I got an amount from which I bought some one month groceries. But I need to have a proper source of income to live a quality life”.

Seeing how the man lives happily in this wall-stained house, with nothing more than a very small kitchen at the corner, and bathroom outside, melts the hearts of Adam and Aamir. Both return home and tell the scenario to Suraiyah. The three then hug their parents saying, “Thanks for everything you have given us”.

“Oh dear! You three still have to go way long”.

Submitted: October 24, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Harry Little. All rights reserved.

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