(WRITER) Hessa Al Falasi
(ILLUSTRATOR) Mariam Fahed Yousif Obaid Al Zaabi
Between the shades of the oasis and the height of the dunes, a family lived in Al Ain with a really bossy daughter named Alia. She felt powerful each time she mocked other girls and made them feel uncomfortable.
Alia and the other children were not allowed to go out in the afternoon because their parents said that Donkey Noon would attack children who were out and about at that time of the day. Perhaps donkey noon was just an excuse for parents to enjoy their nap without having their children out of sight! One warm afternoon, Alia and her cousins were gathered under the palm tree enjoying the beautiful fresh weather and decided to play ‘Koosa Boosa’, where the winner of the game has to dare the loser.
Mouza, one of Alia’s cousins, won the game and picked Alia to do the dare. Mouza and all the other cousins disliked Alia and wanted revenge. “I dare you to go out to the desert, by yourself” said Mouza.
“You think I am scared of Donkey Noon?” said Alia as she ran towards the desert dunes alone. Standing deep in the desert without another person in sight, Alia felt fear for the first time in her life as a creepy creature came towards her. It looked like a human being but had a donkey’s head and legs. She could not believe her eyes, it was Donkey Noon! He came closer. Alia held back her tears and pleaded, “Please, don’t eat me!”
“Don’t worry, I will not eat you now. Be good to people around you, Alia or one day, I will be too hungry to let you go,” said Donkey Noon and then disappeared.
Alia let out a huge sigh of relief and raced home. Worried about her, her family was looking everywhere. They finally found Alia running back from the desert. They were mad but thankful for what had happened to Alia because in the months to come, she became a far kinder person to everyone around her.