From a Mango Tree

Dec 2, 2012 by     5 Comments    Posted under: Fiction

Once upon a time, I was sitting on a tree. It was a mango tree;with its wide and far-reaching branches, strong enough to support my weight. The tree was neither young, nor too old; the color of the leaves was dark green and glossy, the trunk rough to the touch.I was sitting on a branch, a little closer to the ground but far enough that the leaves shrouded my form and anybody passing by could not see me, camouflaged by the thick leaves. The midday sun was hot and scorching, and there was not a speck of shade to be found nearby other than what was provided by the trees and bushes. High above from my perch, I looked down to see Him reclining against the base of the trunk on a patch of grass, a cloth draped over his eyes.


We had been travelling by foot since day-break, stopping briefly for a piece of toast and hot tea for him and fruit for myself. There were people everywhere, and the air was filled with the sounds of their chatter, of horns and of the braying of a donkey saddled close by. The sight, sound and smell of the town reminded me of earlier days, of hustling and bustling towns bigger than this one.I played with some children under the watch-full eye of him; my master.

After a while, my master said his good-byes to the owner of the tea-shop. We still had a long way to travel, because of which the owner lent us an old bicycle. The bicycle was strong and sturdy, and the metal surface behind the seat was cushioned, the cloth just beginning to fray and tear around the edges. He motioned for me to sit behind.

I remember a time; when my master was young of body, and rich in the blessings of life.It was a wonderful time, business was good and the people loved us. My master was a different man then, a good man. It was he; who taught me tricks, who gave me food to eat and clean water to drink. The earliest memory I have, is of him; he has been my one constant in this otherwise turbulent sea of noise, shapes and smells.

Our time has long passed by. My master is no longer young now, and I am starting to forget the tricks he taught to me. It bothers him that our income has stopped, yet he does not blame or strike me. He has a plan, and that is where we are travelling to. His home; his village and what little of land remains.


The sun dips low on the horizon, and one look at the light blue sky can ascertain the fact that it is evening now. There is a breeze flowing, which is pleasant and cool. The sound of birds chirping and the occasional mooing of cows grazing nearby fill the air. The picture is of peace and tranquility, as compared to the chaos of before.

He wakes up, and stretches. He stands up to his full height, and walks towards a bicycle resting against the trunk. Then he whistles; three shrill notes and waits. One minute passes, then two; when the man growing impatient calls out in a loud voice, ‘Ballu!’ there is a slight shift in the leaves of the tree against which he was resting. A small, brown head appears from atop the tree and then quick as lightning jumps down and goes straight to the man waiting. He motions to the seat behind him, and the monkey obeys. Soon; they are off again, on their way to the place where it all started, their home.

The End

Story by Sarah Mehdi
First Prize Winner – of the short story competition titled “Once upon a time, I was sitting on a tree…” organized by SZABIST Literary Club.

The Author

To promote the importance of literature in day to day life, to encourage the study of literature and to collaborate with societies abroad and within Pakistan who share the same views. To appreciate the mere existence of the literary word, to preserve its essence and to invite young individuals to a world that only literature can open up.

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5 Comments + Add Comment

  • great story well written

  • Great story! I feel like there’s more to it ;)

  • LOVED it! Great use of words. Simply loved it!

  • Great descriptive writing which immerses you in the perspective of the monkey. Well done Sara Mehdi! Maybe you can write a whole bunch of short stories centered around the monkey as the main protagonist

  • Very interesting and quite imaginative tale . Loved it ! ! . WELL DONE, KEEP IT UP . HOPE TO SEE SOME MORE SOON .

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