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Four weeks later, Mohammed's father and mother arrived at the farm to attend a feast in celebration of Achmed's recovery. The only visible evidence of Achmed's injuries were a leg cast and crutches. The entire family was there, together with neighbors and friends from miles around. A pig and a lamb were roasting in an open pit, and tables were piled with mountains of food and sweets. There were dancing and games and singing and toast upon toast. But the highlight of the festivities came when Achmed's father lifted Mohammed to his shoulders and, signaling for everybody's attention, toasted Mohammed as the hero who had saved his son's life. Mohammed flushed with embarrassment when the people applauded. He was even more thrilled when later his father shook his hand, congratulated him, and told him that he never had been as proud as he was that day of his only son.
Even Achmed treated him differently now. And when Mohammed left for his home at the end of the summer, Achmed tearfully told him that he owed him his life, and such debt could only be repaid in kind. Little did he know.
Originally published: Tuesday, March 20, 2007; most-recently modified: Friday, May 31, 2019