Bibi Djan: Part 13

Average age back in the day before child labor laws, about twelve.

Bibi Djan, The Rug Weaver

Introduction   Grandma Helen (Heghineh) Davidian spent early mornings at her writing desk.  She didn’t sleep as much as the rest of her family, and the extra time was invested in telling stories about the lives of young Persian women in the early 1900s.


Part 13   The nurse seized the old woman by the arm, and led her out of the room. Then with Habib’s help she sent out all the other women and children and latched the doors, although they crowded at the window and tried to peep in.

At last Bibi Djan lay down and the nurse held the chloroform to her nose. When Bibi Djan was unconscious, the woman bent and lifted her gently in her arms and carried her out.  Habib picked up the bundles, chased everyone out of the yard, and locked the street door.

Alone in the waiting room of the hospital, Habib paced the floor, rubbing his hands together nervously.  He tried to sit down a moment, but he could not.  Then he went and stood by the window.

The day was almost gone. In the garden below, the pomegranate trees bent under the burden of their cracked fruit.

But Habib saw nothing. He stood, motionless, staring.  “Why did I bring her to the hospital against her will?” he thought “If she dies, how am I to account for her on the Day of Judgment? But no, they told me she would not die.  They have saved many lives.”

He went and sat on a and pulled his knees to his chest and rested his head upon them. In his heart he made promises to God and the prophets. He pledged a part of his belongings to the poor.  He vowed to go upon a pilgrimage to the holy city of Meshed.


(to be continued)



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