طيوب اللغات

Just a Tad

Younes Mahjoub

من أعمال التشكيلي محمد العارف عبيه
من أعمال التشكيلي محمد العارف عبيه

A wealthy man by the name of Omar lived in his own palace with many servants and a lot of farmers to tend to his land. Omar was never a cruel man, just stubborn, never fully content, never had a smile on his face, which made him look grumpy to the people around him, even his wife and six children left him to live in the nearby village.

The reason why he was so grumpy because he never trusted anything he saw or heard; a cynical man, he answered every question with “Just a tad.”

If someone asked him how he was, Omar would reply, “I’m fine, just a tad.” If asked about his food he would say “Just a tad delicious.” Even when asked about his children he would say “Just a tad of six.” And so that’s how things were, everything was just a tad good, no matter how perfect it was.

As time went by and Omar grew old, his health began to deteriorate. One cold night the angel of death paid him a visit, he asked the old man.

“Are you ready Omar?”

Omar looked at him and replied, “Yes, just a tad.”

“How much is this tad?” the angel of death asked.

“Not more than it should be, just a tad.”

Confused by his answer, the angel of death had to finish fast for it was almost midnight and he had to visit the China steppes, then the Alps before coming back to India and the African forests, all in a blink of an eye.

Omar was destined to pass away at midnight, so the angel of death stopped the passing of time to convince this human that his time had come and he must come along. The angel of death is the same as the angel of life, they cannot proceed unless the human consents, and that is how it was and always will be. If an unborn child refused to be alive, then he will be born dead. As for the angel of death, he only visits those whose time had come as shown in the book of fate. All the humans willingly accept when their time arrives, but not Omar, he seemed different from the others. 

The angel of death unfroze the time and took out a large scroll, “It says here that your time is tonight, you know this?”

“I know, just a tad.”

“So you should give up your soul.” The angel of death implied.

“Just a tad of my soul.” 

The angel of death did not understand. A soul must be intact and not fragmented, he thought and thought then realized that Omar was like this since he was born; but, the angel of death was persistent and wanted to take Omar with his consent. So, he decided to use his own way of speech with him, he came back to Omar and it was just a few moments away from midnight.

The angel of death finally said, “Very well, it’s also written here that you shall pass away after midnight by just a tad.”

Omar smiled for the first time in his life and said with a heavy sigh, “Yes, by just a t…”

The clock strikes midnight. 



From book: In the Land of Yamyam

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