Habits Die Hard
“Habits Die Hard” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Hadee Fayyaz Jaffer, Al Muntazir Boys Primary School, Tanzania.
Habits Die Hard
Once upon a time, there was a king who lived in an enormous palace. His palace was in a small village. He was not only wealthy but also kind hearted. People used to love him and share their problems because of his humble nature and down to earth personality. He was also very generous. His name was John.
There also lived an old man and his beautiful blue eyed daughter with blonde and long hair. When she smiled, her teeth shone as if light reflected snow. Her face would glow like a shining star. Her name was Aliya. They lived opposite the king’s palace.
It so happened once the king was sitting and was eating his breakfast in the garden and enjoying the birds’ sweet singing when suddenly he saw the beautiful girl coming out of the old man’s house and plucking vegetables in her small garden.
The king was stunned when he saw the beautiful girl in the opposite garden. Immediately after finishing his breakfast the king went to the old man’s house with two guards and a chest containing 1,000 gold coins.
When he reached the old man’s doorstep, he knocked. When the old man saw the king at his doorstep, he was shocked and surprised. The old man welcomed the king to his house in the best manner he could.
The king immediately came to the point! He asked the old man to allow him to marry his daughter, in return he would give him 1,000 gold coins and make his daughter a queen.
The old man humbly responded that we are not worthy of the proposal. You are so high and we are so low. He told the king give me a day's time to think. The old man pondered a lot over the night. He asked his daughter if she would like to marry the king. The daughter responded in affirmation.
The next day the old man told the king that his daughter agreed to marry him. The king gave the old man a chest of 1,000 gold coins. The king and the old man’s daughter got married soon. The queen took time to adjust herself in the palace because she had come from a very poor family and directly went into a wealthy family.
As she was settling herself, she had to undergo several changes in her personal and social lifestyle. Such changes included but not limited to dressing, table etiquettes, appearing in social gatherings and making new friend circles of the elite. At the beginning, she was intimidated with the change but as time passed she coped up well in majority of the change. She loved to spend certain times of the day in the garden behind the palace.
One day, the minister reported to the king that someone from the palace begs for food by sticking out a hand from the palace’s back fence. The king was very astonished to the report as he was a very kind and noble king who even took good care of his servants. The king decides to investigate the matter personally and secretly with his minister.
The next day the king tells the queen that he is going for hunting in the jungle with his minister. The king and the minister left the palace. Once outside they disguised themselves as normal citizens and hid near the back fence of the palace. After sometime, they saw a hand sticking out of the palace fence. The king ran and grabbed the hand and asked his minister to go inside the palace and arrest whoever it was. When the minister reached the palace, he was shocked to see that it was the queen.
The queen was brought in front of the king in his courtyard. The king asked the queen to explain her behaviour. The queen fell on her knees with tears flowing from her eyes apologizing for disgracing the king. She admitted that she overcame and changed most of her habits but couldn’t kill her habit of begging for food which she had developed at home when they were poor.
The king hugged her and promised her to help her overcome this habit.