by Ahmed A. Khan © 2003

Once upon a time there was a world leader who was adored by his followers for his wise sayings and for the fact that he was quite accessible to the common people.

Among his admirers was a poor factory worker.

One day, the factory worker approached the great leader with tears in his eyes.

“What’s the matter, o poor factory worker?” asked the great leader.

“I have been fired,” cried the factory worker. “After twelve years of dedicated service I have been fired.”


“Because I complained to the manager about the toxic wastes that our factory was producing.”

“When you came out of the factory after being fired, did you notice that it was a bright day and a balmy breeze was blowing?”

“What has that got to do with my being fired?”

“Every cloud has a silver lining, my friend,” replied the leader sagely.

The poor factory worker was stunned by the wisdom of the great leader and went away.

A year later, the ex-worker came to the leader.

“What now, my friend?” asked the leader.

“The doctors say that I have radiation poisoning.”

“Do you have a beautiful and loving wife?”


“Then you have cause to rejoice.”

The ex-worker came away, rejoicing.

The next year, the ex-worker came to the leader once again.

“The radiation poisoning has affected my genes. My wife gave birth to a dead and deformed baby,” he wept, “and she died of after-shock – my beautiful, loving wife.”

“When you went to bury your wife did you notice the chirruping of the birds in the green trees?”

“What has that got to do with the death of my wife?” shouted the ex-worker.

“There are several beautiful girls around,” replied the leader. “Go find another wife.”

The ex-worker gave a cry of rage.

“MAZASH,” he shouted – and immediately turned into a super hero, dressed in red, green and blue spandex and with bulging muscles.

He grabbed the leader by the neck and started squeezing.

“What are you doing?” gasped the leader. “Let me go or I will die.”

“But look how bright the day is!” replied Mazash. He then punched the leader in his face and broke his nose.

“O my nose,” screamed the leader in pain.

“Don’t you notice how bright the color of your blood is?” asked Mazash.

Letting go of the leader’s neck, Mazash grabbed his arm, twisted it and broke it like a dry twig.

“My arm,” sobbed the leader.

“Look at bright sunlight and the beautiful birds in the green trees,” said Mazash and went away.

From that day on, super heroes are persona non-grata in the world.

x x x

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