Stories & Tales
Zaafaran, the Cat

Once upon a time, there was a little cat called Zaafaran.


Zaafaran used to sit and whine to himself:


Miaw…Miaw… I can’t stand this. Everyone annoys and upsets me. I approach my friends, but they stay away from me and refuse to play with me.


One day his mother overheard him and said: “Do you know why your friends don’t play with you?”


“No, I don’t want to know,” replied Zaafaran.


The mother said: “You should know. Maybe then you will change your behavior.”


“Okay, tell me why,” said Zaafaran.


The mother said: “Because you are very nervous and don’t let anyone joke with you. Moreover, you don’t forgive your friends for their mistakes.”


“I don’t know. It’s just the way I am,” replied Zaafaran.


“You should change,” said his mother.


“I can’t. I can’t. I wish I could,” replied Zaafaran.


The mother said: “Try Zaafaran, try my little cat.”


Zaafaran’s behavior became worse. He became more aggressive and started to hit his brothers without any reasons, and refused his parents’ advice.


The father said: “Why do you hit your little brothers, Zaafaran ?”


“I can’t stand them. I don’t love them,” replied Zaafaran.


The father said: “Everyone avoids you because of that behavior.”


Zaafaran replied: “I noticed that. Even my mother doesn’t tell me funny stories at night anymore, and my brothers avoid me.”


“You should do something then,” replied the father.


Zaafaran asked: “What should I do? I feel I’m abandoned, I’m all alone.”


The father replied: “Listen my dear, you should find a solution for your problem.”


Zaafaran said: “Help me dad.”


The father replied: “Think of something, my dear.”


The mother said: “He’s making an effort.”


“May he find a solution,” added the father.


Zaafaran said: “I found it !”


“Tell us. What’s the solution?” replied the father.


Zaafaran said: “I will promise myself not to get nervous for one day, no matter what happens.”


“It’s a great decision,” said the father.


“Start trying from now,” added the mother.


The next day, Zaafaran woke up and looked through the window. He saw the sky full of clouds, but decided not to get nervous or upset and instead he smiled.


After that, he decided to have breakfast, but found that the tea was cold. He remained calm and went to the kitchen to heat it.


When he was ready to go to school, he found that his bag was opened, and one of his books’ covers was torn.


“It must be my little brother! How evil he is,” said Zaafaran. But he decided to stay calm and fix his book’s cover later after school. He smiled again.


The mother said to the father: “Our son was different today. I saw him from afar. He was observing the students and people on his way to school. He seemed happy, and I could hear him singing.”


The father replied: “Really? That’s great news.”


The mother said: “And there is more. When he was at the school gate, he bumped into a student who was running and even though he was hurt, he did his best to keep his temper and apologized to his peer.”


“But how did you know?” asked the father.


The mother said: “I followed him to school and saw him from afar. He smiled all morning long and wasn’t nervous at all, though the teacher reproached him because he didn’t do his homework, and instead of getting angry, he apologized to her.”
In fact, Zaafaran seemed very happy and his friends noticed that he changed, so they started to play and joke with him.
Zaafaran came back home and found his mother was preparing lunch.


The mother said : “Is that you, Zaafaran ?”


“Yes, it’s me. Good morning,” replied Zaafaran.


“Good morning.”


“Do you need any help?” asked Zaafaran.


The mother said: “You want to help me, my dear?”


“Yes, mom. I can do anything you ask me to do,” replied Zaafaran.


The mother said: “This is great behavior. Congratulations.”


Zaafaran replied: “Do you know, mom, that life is fun when I am happy, and annoying when I am upset?”


Meanwhile, the father arrived and was surprised to hear what Zaafaran just said.


“What did you decide to do now, my son?” asked the father.


Zaafaran said: “I will never be nervous again. I will always smile and face life’s affairs gently and calmly.”


“God bless you, dear son,” said the father.