The village (cont’d)

October 14, 2009

Sevinch worked with Shithead in the village of rogues and bandits for several years, the situation gradually going from bad to worse. She was putting in long hours in a run-down workshop that didn’t belong to her, paying the wages of workers that were not contracted to her, and desperately dodging the dirty little tricks that Shithead was playing.

TB0731

By now we had a respectable portfolio of clients in America and Europe, and our work was beginning to be appreciated. Conversely, the more business we put Shithead’s way, the more he was emboldened to hold Sevinch to ransom, by deliberately slowing down production, and by increasing the contract price halfway through. He was even copying our styles and selling them to Cairo showrooms.

But there were other moments. The village, unbeknown to us at the time, appreciated Sevinch’s kindnesses, and the story of the toys – and of Shithead’s theft of the toys – was known everywhere.

One day, when she was at the village, Sevinch had a malaise; she couldn’t breathe and experienced chest pains. She was rushed down to the small local hospital, where she was confronted by huge queues of very poor people who had been waiting all day to see a doctor. To her astonishment and further discomfort, she was ushered into a young doctor’s consulting room without any wait. As he examined her, she said:

“Doctor, I am embarassed, all those poor people waiting outside – and yet I get attended to instantly? I am sure there are those in more urgent need?”

“Madame Sevinch. Do you begin to realise how much you are appreciated in this village? Can you imagine the grief I would get from the people, if anything happened to you while you were in my hospital?”

Alright, so perhaps the rogues and bandits have a sentimental side…

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