wiped the tray really well with my right
sleeve, and then put it back in its place.
“As I stated before, sir, I just want to read
it and see what happens in the end. I want to
know what happens to that poor boy who ran
away from his home.”
Mash Assadollah scratched his beard and
started to chuckle. He brushed me off lightly.
“Go on, son, and let me get back to work.
That book is no good for you.”
He was a hard nut to crack and couldn’t
be softened easily. But I was persistent! I took
the other tray out of the scale. There was
sparkling sugar dust in it. I brushed the sugar
dust into the palm of my hand. I wanted to
make sure that Mash Assadollah could see my
good deed, so I held my hand in front of his
face as I blew off the dust, which went right
into the poor old man’s eyes!
Mash Assadollah, who moments earlier
was in a perfectly good mood and laughing,
was caught off guard and didn’t have time to
shield his eyes. “What are you doing, kid!” he
said, rubbing his eyes. He was so angry that I
almost melted with embarrassment. He roared,
“Are you a total idiot? That was salt at the bot-
tom of that scale! Now my eyes are burning!
Who told you to do any chores for me?”
I really messed up. I wanted to do some-
thing nice for him. I wanted only to soften
him up so he would give me the book, but
it all backfired. I thought about apologiz-
ing, but what good would words do at this
point? The old man’s eyes were burning. And
I didn’t mean any harm anyway. It was just
bad luck. I thought I might bring some water
filled acopperbowlfullofwater.I heldthe
eyes!” (Saltyis a slangexpressionforcute.)
a bit ofbadlucktoday.Believeme.. .”
I stillhada fewmorewordsofencourage-
ment tosaytohimwhenallofa suddenhe
up intotheairandcamedownontoa burlap
It was notthenormalsoundofhealthyteeth
room fora moment,andI usedtheopportu-
nity toslipbehindthecounterina flashand
ANINFRACTION IS A
MISDEED, OR MISBEHAVIOR.
IN OLDEN DAYS, SUGAR WAS PROCESSED IN THE
SHAPE OF A CONE, ALSO KNOWN AS A SUGARLOAF.