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Lamenters at the river bank

Life is a mirror, it only reflects what is being shown to it.

By Salomé SaffiriPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 2 min read

Two women were lamenting at the opposite banks of the river:

“How I wish you could understand the woes of living on this bank” Cried one, while washing her dirty rags in the water.

“Your misery is nothing compared to mine over here” Cried another one, pouring the used water into the river

“Just yesterday..” carried on the first one “I lost my baby in this river! He crawled out of his basket onto the bank, slipped and the water carried him away”

“Just yesterday..” Answered the second woman, the river carried a baby right into my laundry basket as I was wringing my clothes out. Now I have another mouth to feed!”

“Do you see these rags?” the first woman lifted her clothes out of the water angrily. “I have been trying and trying to rinse them, but all they do is remain stained!”

“Would you look at this!?” the second woman kicked her basket in despair, “No matter what I do, this river keeps washing out the dye out of my clothes every time”

After thinking in silence for a moment the two women waded into the middle of the river.

“Let us trade then!” Suggested the first woman with a hopeful twinkle in her eye.

“We can come back here in two days and talk again. If you like living on my bank…” Said the second woman,

“And you like living on mine..” finished her sentence the first woman,

“Then we can just switch the banks and none will be the wiser!” They said together clasping hands and dancing giddily in the water.

In two days time the lamenters returned to the opposite banks of the river.

“This foolish river” Began complaining the first woman, “Stole my baby again. I went upstream, began my laundry, when suddenly, the waves picked up my child and carried it down and away!”

“Argh!” Groaned the second woman in frustration “Just as soon as I stopped being worried about feeding another freeloader, a baby floated right into my arms! What a foolish river!”

“And will you look at these rags!” Yelled the first woman “As dirty as ever! Even more stained now!”

“Awful river!” The second woman shook her fists in anger: “I dye and dye my dresses, but the river takes all the color out as soon as I rinse them!”

Dissatisfied and only further angered the two women grabbed their baskets and waded into the middle of the river to trade place again. A baby wailed in the basket of the one who didn’t want it and the basket was empty of the one, who did.

“Foolish river” thought the women, passing each other. They peered with jealousy into each others baskets, and heavy, bitter tears rolled down their cheeks.

They climbed out onto the opposite banks of the river, sighing and lamenting about their lives.

What about the river, you might ask?

The river flowed. Clean and smooth like an unbiased mirror, it gave to those, who knew how to take and took from those who knew not how to give.

FableShort Story

About the Creator

Salomé Saffiri

Writing - is my purpose. I feel elated when my thoughts assume shapes, and turn into Timberwolves, running through the snowbound planes of fresh paper, leaving the black ink of their paw prints behind.

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Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (1)

  • Frank Ezernack IIIabout a year ago

    I thoroughly enjoyed this short story! It was very well written. Good job! 🥰

Salomé SaffiriWritten by Salomé Saffiri

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