Oldooz was sitting in a room, all alone, looking outside. Her stepmother had gone to take a shower, and locked Oldooz inside. She had told Oldooz not to move a muscle until she got back. If not, she would hurt her. So, Oldooz sat, and she looked out. She thought. She was deep in thought like a grown woman. She didn't move a muscle. She was so very scared of her stepmother, you see. She was thinking of her big doll, too. Oldooz had lost that doll recently and she felt down. She counted her fingers several times. Then she sneakily got up and went near the window. She was bored out of her mind!
Suddenly, she saw a crow as black as coal, sitting on the edge of the fountain and drinking from it. Her loneliness forgotten, Oldooz watched as the crow slowly lifted its head and stared at her. It wanted to fly away, but once it saw that Oldooz meant no harm, it didn't. It instead opened its beak slightly. Oldooz thought it was laughing and so felt joy creeping up her chest. "Mr crow, the fountain's water is dirty. You'll get sick!" The crow let out another laugh and answered: "No darling, it doesn't make a difference for us crows. We drink worse than this and we're fine. Also, do not call me "Mr. Crow." I'm a female! I have 4 little babies. Call me "Ms. crow" "
Oldooz didn't understand which part of the crow was female, but the crow was so sweet she wanted to squeeze it tight and kiss it. It was true that the crow was nothing short of ugly, but it had such a kind heart that if it even came an inch closer, Oldooz would have grabbed it and kissed it.
Ms. crow came closer and said: "What is your name, child?" Oldooz said her name. Then the crow asked: "What are you doing in there?"
"Nothing. My stepma has left me here to take a shower. She told me to not move a muscle."
The crow said: " You think like a grown woman. Why aren't you playing as a child should?"
Oldooz remembered her big doll and sighed. She then opened the window further so her voice could be heard better and said: " Ms. Crow, I don't have anything to play with. I had a big doll, but it got lost. It was a talking doll."
Ms. Crow wiped her tears with the tip of her wing and flew over to the windowsill. Startled, Oldooz jumped back, but when she saw Ms. crow she rejoiced with joy and walked over to her. Ms. Crow said: "Don't you have any friends to play with?"
"Well, there's Pashar, but I rarely get to see him. He goes to school."
Ms. Crow said: "Let's play together, then."
Oldooz grabbed Ms. Crow and embraced her. She kissed her head, her cheeks. Her wings were rough. Ms. Crow had tucked in her legs as to not dirty Oldooz's cloths. Oldooz even kissed her beak. Her beak smelled like soap.
"Ms. Crow, do you like soap a lot?"
Ms. Crow answered: "I die for soap!"
Oldooz said: " My Stepma hates it, otherwise I would have brought you some."
"Sneak some out. Your Stepma won't know a thing."
"You won't go and tell her?"
Ms. Crow answered: "Me? I'm not a tattletale."
"But my Stepma says that whatever I do, the crow will go and tell her."
Ms. Crow laughed wholeheartedly and said: "She's lying, my dear. I swear by my black head that I'm not a tattletale. I make drinking water by the fountain an excuse for stealing soap and fish."
"Ms. Crow, why steal? It's a sin."
"What sin, my dear? Don't be silly. The real sin is when I don't steal, and me and my children die of hunger. Now that's a sin, my dear. It's a sin to not be able to feed myself. It's a sin for soap to drop beneath my feet and still starve myself. I have lived so long that I know these things. Know this, too, that with this dry and empty advice, you can't stop stealing. So long as people fend for themselves, there will be stealing."
Oldooz wanted to go and get soap for Ms. Crow. Stepma put the snacks in a chest and locked it, but didn't hide the soap. So she left Ms. Crow on the windowsill and went into the storage room and brought soap for Ms. Crow.
But alas, children, Oldooz saw that Ms. crow had ran away and that her stepmother was walking towards her with a red face. Oldooz was stuck badly. Her stepma shouted from the window: "What's happened now? What are you looking for? Didn't I tell you not to move a muscle?!"
Oldooz didn't say anything. Stepma went to unlock the door and get in. Oldooz quickly tucked the soap bar under her shirt then went to stand in a corner and hang her head. Stepma came in and said: "You didn't tell me what you were looking for?"
Oldooz suddenly said: "Ma, don't yell! I was looking for my big doll."
Stepma hated Oldooz's doll. She grabbed Oldooz's ear and twisted it, then said: Didn't I tell you a hundred times to stop thinking about that cursed doll! Do you understand?"
Afterwards, Stepma went to make some tea for herself in the storage room. Oldooz made bathroom an excuse and went into the backyard. She looked this way and that, and saw Ms. Crow seated on the roof, her eyes worried looking. She went and put the soap in the bushes and winked at Ms. Crow as to tell her to come pick up the soap. Ms. crow came down, all calm and collected, and hid in the bushes. Oldooz asked her whether she could bring one of her kids to play with Oldooz.
Ms. crow whispered: "Wait for me after lunch. If my husband is alright with it, I will."
Then she grabbed her soap and flew away.
Oldooz gazed at the sky until the crow was out of sight and then started to jump up and down in excitement. it was as if she had found her talking doll. Suddenly her stepma yelled: " Child, why are you dancing around? Come inside. You'll get a heat stroke. I'm really not in the mood to take care of you.
It was time for lunch. Oldooz went and sat in the room. A few minutes later, her dad came home from the office. He was frowning and didn't even answer Oldooz's hello. He washed his hands and then sat at the table and started eating. His boss had probably yelled at him again...
The smell of fried potatoes was about to knock her out. She watched her father eat and swallowed her saliva. She couldn't eat anything. Stepma always said: "a child has no right to grab food for themselves. The grown ups have to put food in a child's plate so they can eat."