When I was a child I listened to the radio announcer saying before the Sultan’s speech “whenever the Sultan speaks, water springs gush, the land becomes green, and palm trees yield dates”, so I prayed longevity for the Sultan.
When the Sultan began his speech through our old radio, I climbed over the roof and gazed into the field, and palm trees, while my mother carried her bucket searching for the water spring.
The Sultan finished his long speech, though the fields remained barren, roamed by sand storms, and my mother’s bucket returned empty, but our old radio kept repeating “whenever the Sultan speaks the land becomes green…”
* Ahmed Yousef Aqila: (1958) is a renowned Libyan short storyteller, has several published short story collections and also published several books on Libyan folk tales and poetry. 
* To read the original short story in the original Arabic click here