The ever-smiling Elham


The ever-smiling Elham- Written by Nader Musavi- 21 July 2020

Yesterday, the ever-smiling Elham, her sister Elaheh, and their neighbor Amir Mohammad came to borrow books. When I entered the library, I saw Elham, as always full of energy and joy, laughing out loud. I asked her, “What happened Elham? Why are you laughing?” She answered “Nothing, Amir Mohammad laughed and so I laughed”. I asked Amir Mohammad and he said “I just laughed for no reason!” I asked them “But how is it possible to laugh without a reason? Maybe someone said something funny?” He replied, “No, we just laughed out of nowhere” and started laughing again that others joined him in the laughter. I wanted to know whether the kids knew how to tell a joke or not, so I asked them. Everyone answered no. I turned to Elham and asked her if she was able to tell a joke; she said no once again.

This time I told them “Whomever can tell us a joke will receive two Tomans in cash”. She then said “I know one!” I asked her “It’s not a rude joke, is it?” She replied no and told her joke very nicely and fluently. I asked the librarian if she had the money. When Amir Mohammad saw the prize was real, he started telling us another joke with a smile and others started to laugh. I gave them each two Tomans and told them “Even though you can’t buy much with it, since you knew how to tell a joke so well I had to give you some sort of prize!” And once again their joyful laughter that filled the room. The moment I walked out of the library I realised most of their laughter was not because of the jokes, but because of seeing my freshly shaved head – I myself had forgotten that I was sporting this amusing new look.



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