The Shoulers Decent

Within the marsh areas of South Eastern Mesopotamia there lives a type of duck commonly referred to as the Northern Shoueler. The area in which it resides is a water bird paradise for many numerous species of animals. While many visitors travel to the Black Sea, the Shoueler chooses to remain in the marsh for some time.

Within the city of Bagdad there lived a seven year old boy by the name of Baja. Like the majority of the Iraqi people, he was of Shia decent. His father, Aamir, was a colonel in the Iraqis military. Baja spoke Arabic and he resembled his mother, Aisha. She was a frail like woman with arms the width of a twig.

A thunderous knock was heard at the door. Aisha opened it to find a short stature soldier holding a worn yellowish envelope. He showed no expression as he handed it to her. As she read its contents, beaded tears flowed over her brown skin. After some time passed Aisha sat on the rickety coach with Baja. She explained that his father was missing and that it was his duty to locate him. They mapped out the route of which Baja was to go. His father was last spotted not far south of the city. Aisha gave her son a thick envelope. She proclaimed that he must not open it until he reached the location where he would begin to search for his father. Obeying his mothers request, Baja placed the envelope into his pack. Aisha kissed Baja on the forehead and said Ma’salama tifla. Uhibuk. (Goodbye child. I love you). Uhibuk Um (I love you, mother),he replied.


After venturing several miles Baja came across a marsh. He decided to rest there. He soon spotted a beautiful duck that he recognized to be a Northern Shoeler. It was portrayed with a head of aqua color as well as a brown and white wing. A black streak was visible on its back, extending to the beak. Although it was well into December and most birds had gone south, the Shoeler remained in the marsh. Baja compared the Shoueler’s perseverance to that of his father. Despite what was said, Baja knew that his father was a noble man and would not give up. Baja laid on the tattered blanket and slept.


The next morning Baja set off on his journey. A dust storm distorted his sight and made it difficult to focus. As the crystal grains began to burn his eyes, he saw soldiers in the distance As he approached the soldiers, Baja discovered that they were not of Shia decent. Baja had heard of these people. They spoke a peculiar language. They were known as Americans. Why did his mother send him here? Baja remembered the letter tucked away in his pack. He anxiously tore through it. The letters contents revealed that Baja’s father was killed at war. Aisha could not bear to see her son live the life that she had always known. She explained that he must go with the soldiers. They would take him to where they came from, the strange land of America. It was his mother’s wish that Baja would be able to live a life that she could only dream of.




A uniformed man approached Baja. He was tall and slender. He handed Baja a piece a chocolate candy, a wonderful substance that he had never before tasted. Despite the kind soldiers action, Baja would not leave. He must stay with his mother. He would show perseverance such as that displayed by the Northern Shoueler he had seen in the marsh. It was at that exact moment that something caught Baja’s eye. A Shoueler, just as the one he had seen in the marsh passed by him. It had journeyed south.



Baja then realized that although the Shoueler had admirable perseverance, when its survival became threatened it would uproot and travel to safety where it would remain until it could return home. Baja then knew that until his home was no longer threatening, he must go to America where he would be safe, just like the Shoueler.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback