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This is the story of a boy who knew he was not an adult. Children have not been recognized their rights until the last century, neither have children been treated as such but as 'miniature adults without the right to be heard'. My name is Khalid. I was born in Toledo in the year 1436.
Toledo is called 'the City of the Three Cultures' because Jews, Castilians and Arabs live. I like that a lot because you can spend hours and hours watching people go by with different clothes; transporting different foods and speaking different languages. Nobody collides with anyone and if they cross paths, they give each other smiles that are worth a thousand words.
I am quite happy, I cannot complain about the life I have. From the window of my room you can see the Alcántara bridge; on the table in my house there is always cous cous; I have even learned to read and write. But sometimes things happen that I don't understand and that I would like them to change. In a city like Toledo I see it less, but as soon as you leave Toledo through Puerta del Sol ...
My father is a potter. Sell your pots, plates and other pots through the towns of La Mancha. I accompany him and help him. Sometimes while we are going on the roads, I sit in the back of the car and look. I look at people passing by and I see everything that happens. I see people my age walking barefoot, carrying bags bigger than them.
I see very young women carrying a newborn in their arms. I see many people working in the fields from sunrise to sunset. They don't complain, nobody complains. When we get to the market I see men and women shopping accompanied by their daughters and sons. You can tell they love them, but it strikes me that neither the girls nor the boys choose the fruits, but they do carry the purchase, but they do clean the animals, but they don't look me in the eye. They also don't speak to me and I can't guess what they think.
In the late afternoon, when the market is over, we return home and otherwise we wait in town for the next day to arrive. I like to stay in the villages because so I can discover wonderful things in the merchandise of other sellers, on the streets and I can even meet new people.
And it is that the greatest treasure that I have discovered is the friendship with other boys and girls who, like me, travel, come and also speak. We can spend all night telling each other things that escape the eyes of adults and is that boys and girls are like cats at night. We see it all. One night with a full moon, someone said:
- And what do you say, have you discussed it with your father?
Silence fell and we all realized that we were not talking to adults. We had never considered that there was a possibility that they would listen to us. Today I am nine years old. As we drive home, I think about how they will welcome me.
I know my mother will have prepared my favorite food; that my grandfather will have built me a toy; that my older sister will tell me my favorite story. What I don't know is whether my father will give me the gift I most desire:
- Dad, I'd like to tell you something.
- This is Khalid, I can hear you.
It has done. My father, without knowing that it is the best gift you can give me, He has given me his listening. Thank you dad for treating me like a child with a voice.
This story has been taken from Hopscotch, a website dedicated to children's rights - www.rayuela.org
You can read more articles similar to Khalid's wish. Stories for children, in the category of Children's stories on site.