He had to find her. His innocent child that had been taken from him in the dead of night. Why? He had done nothing wrong and neither had his beautiful daughter Samira. She was still a mere child of ten and two, but these barbaric men would take children because they could. He tried not to think of what might be happening to her. He knew she would be terrified. Her poor mama died tragically. Samira was his only living child. He would have no meaning left in his life should he not find her.
The barbarians thought of little girls as ready for marriage, but Samira was not yet a young lady. This thought just nearly destroyed him. His tears ran down his face like rain; a storm of fear, anger and grief. He would find them, those who took her, and Allah willing, praise be to God, he would save her from the dirty hands of men.
He knew his journey would hazardous and long, with neither provisions nor weapons. They had horses, food, water, and weapons. They were from the north and often went on their raids farther south were poor farmers, like him, eked out a living that provided barely enough food for the two of them.
He would stop his search for the night before sundown. He would find a strong tree with branches strong enough to hold through the night. He would wrap his summer shawl around himself and attach it to the tree branch. His walking stick he would use to provide protection from the wild dogs, boars, and other dangerous creatures that roamed at night.
The moon would be full for a few more days until the new moon keep the night dark, except for the radiant light from the stars. Soon it would be time to rest. He had little food left and even less water. He knew how to starve and still live, but without water, the body shrivels and dies in just a few days.
As the sun was beginning to set on the horizon with brilliant colors jewels in ruby, amber, and gold. The day was ending soon, and he searched for a tree to sleep in. Trees were not numerous in this province, yet to his surprise he was very close to a tall tree with strong sturdy branches and leafy foliage. There might even be a fruit, nuts or seeds to eat. Fruit would give him fluid and energy.
He climbed the tree with his bare feet and hands, tied himself to a strong branch. To his amazement the tree had little red fruit of a kind he had never seen. He was aware of the danger of eating fruit unknown to him, knowing that some fruit, seeds and nuts where highly poisonous. If the tree were full of fruit it was a sign that the fruit was poisonous as birds would avoid the fruit.
Amar saw that some of the fruit had been eaten and there was no sign of dead birds, so he ate a handful. He made him feel full, but strange as well. He prayed for rain. As the night wore on Amar began to feel ill and he hoped the fruit wouldn’t kill him.
By morning, Amar was near death, but he was not aware of this change in himself. He was at his small farm with his daughter Samira and his wife was cooking over a small flame. Everything was going well, and he was happy with his family, his farm and his hopes for a good marriage for Samira when she was old enough. He felt tired so he lay down on the small handmade cot in their adobe hut and took his last breath.
A year later a group of military men stopped at the same place and camped under the same tree that was full of leafy branches and berries. One man climbed up the tree to gather and cook the berries to kill the poison that he knew was in the fruit.
He was shocked to find the skeleton of a man still tied to the fruit tree and he shook his head. It wouldn’t be the first time that he had seen what the poisonous fruit could do to humans.