“The day is done,” breathed Kashim to the horse. “And so are we. Let us walk.”
Majar was a tired steed whose steps were sure but sedate. The years had not been generous to the animal; his threadbare tail and mane hinted at a life of labor for unkind hands.
Kashim guided his new friend away from the bazaar at a compassionate pace. He had certainly not intended to forfeit the week’s food purchase for a horse, but the call of God is unpredictable. Mother had said that a man who hears God’s voice is a man who will one day himself be heard.
The boy tried not to think of what the coming week would bring. There was a loaf of bread at home, some dates. He could hunt, if needed, in faith. God would surely not overlook his good turn.
When the sun fell, the desert vanished with it into the night. Kashim shivered. Home was still far off, but he knew the path well. He could hear the distant howl of a duststorm awakening, and prayed that he and his horse could make it home in time.