Short StoryWorld Literature

The Eid Treat – A Short Story from Uzbekistan

Muhabbat Yuldasheva, a writer, journalist and scriptwriter based in Tashkent, shares a short story.

The story of a girl who missed her father after his death and always dreamt of him. On the Eid night she again saw him offering gift of white lamb. At the wee hours, she heard father calling her and on waking up, finds white lamb lying beside mother sheep.     


Muhabbat Yuldasheva 

Dressed like he was going to a wedding, his father held a small white lamb in Sanobar’s hand as she stood in front of the gate.

“Honey, it’s a treat for you! Be a good girl and look after your brothers when the mom goes to work, right!”

“Daddy, take me with you!”  – said the girl, who missed her father. She could not hold back her tears.

“I’m going away, girl, I’ll take you with me later …”

At that moment something hot burned Sanobar’s face.  She was frightened and realized that she was lying in her bed, her mother was standing over her head.  Sabohat, whose tears were washing her face, hugged her daughter tightly and repeated these words: “Daughter, open your eyes!  Don’t scare me, dear! ”

“Dad…” she whispered, still unconscious from the dream, and headed for the door.  “My father is leaving!”

Sabohat’s eyes were also filled with warm tears. It has been a year since her husband Nizamjon died prematurely due to a serious illness, and her daughter could still not get used to losing her father. She would wake up crying very often when she dreamed of her father, then she felt lifeless, looked faded for a day or two.

“Oh, my God, why we come across with misfortune so much!” She thought sadly, and at the same time the alarm went off.  She woke up: it was four o’clock in the morning, she had to go to work.

Sabohat got up, brought a cup of cold tea from the kitchen, and forced her daughter, who was in tears and drowsy again, to drink.

“Sanobar, my honey girl, you’re a smart girl. Please don’t frighten me!”  She said, stroking her daughter’s face and hair. “I have to go to work!”

“All right, go,” said the girl, hugging her mother’s neck.  “Mom, I’m your smart girl!”

“My good girl!”  Sabohat hugged her. “That’s enough, I should not be late for work, my daughter.  It’s still early, sleep until your brothers get up, okay?”  When she reached the door, Sabohat remembered something and came back to her daughter. “Baby, when you get up in the morning, take a look at our white sheep, will you?”  I waited all night thinking that it may give birth to a lamb today…

Sanobar, whose eyes were already falling asleep, nodded in response to her mother, Sabohat felt satisfied, and she went to work. She was used to work at a farm, so she left her three children alone at home and went to milk the cows early in the morning. Luckily, nine-year-old Sanobar showed herself as a devoted, kind and smart girl, waking up her siblings on time without telling them that mother wasn’t there, sending her older brother to school, taking the younger one to kindergarten, and also could catch up her classes at school on time. In the evening, when her mother came home from work in the dark, she would sat down without crying or expressing her fears to his brothers. Just, it felt a bit bad when she was dreaming her father so often…

Sabohat, as usual, devoted herself to milking more than twenty cows, forgot everything, and at that time she was unaware of what was going on in her house.

Sanobar, who had fallen asleep while her mother was leaving, was suddenly awakened by a knock on the window. The girl, at first, fell asleep for a moment and did not get up, then came to consciousness and jumped up.

“Now, mommy, I’m getting up!” She shouted, and barefoot ran out into the yard.

Because of being asleep, she didn’t realize that her mother had gone to work, so she thought that she was asking her to lock the gate. Sanobar saw that her mother was gone: she had locked the gate from the outside and had already gone to work. It was snowing all the night, it had already reached the height of knees, and it was very cold. The girl shivered as she ran out of the warm house, the snow fell on her, her legs trembled, and her sleep was instantly extinguished.

Sanobar ran into the house and went to her bad which was still warm enough. She lay down for a while until she regained consciousness, her eyes slowly closed and she began to fall asleep. At that moment the window slammed again, and a crackling sound was heard from the garden side. It was dark in the house, so the girl was frightened, she was afraid to get up and turn on the light. Suddenly, she remembered the giants and demons in fairy tales. She felt her feet freeze in fear. She pulled her legs under the bed, snuggled up, and stared out the window in fear. There was no one. The window was dimly lit, and the night sky seemed to be slowly fading, but the house was too dark.

As Sanobar listened to his brothers breathing, she suddenly heard her father’s voice calling her by her name: “Sanobar!” She jumped out of bed … and then suddenly remembered that her father had died a year ago, and so he would never call her again. Involuntary tears began to flow, and the girl burst into tears. She felt humiliated, and tears of longing flowed from her eyes, and now her father’s voice was clearly heard from the courtyard:


The girl forgot everything and ran to the porch. Standing on the porch, she glanced at the level of the courtyard in the dim darkness. It was as if her father was standing by the door of the cattle barn on the other side of the kitchen. The girl opened her eyes wide and stared: yes, her father was opening the door of the barn…

At that moment, Sanobar forgot everything in the world, and the heart of the girl, who missed her father so much, began to beat strongly. She hurried down the porch and ran towards the barn. In fact, the barn door was wide open, and even the lights were on. The girl followed her father with longing eyes as she stood at the door, but when she saw that no one was here, her heart grew more and more empty.

Suddenly Sanobar heard a sad moan from the corner where a white sheep was lying in wait for a lamb.  She looked in that direction … her eyes lit up with joy.  In the corner was laying a cotton-white, curly-haired lamb, and his bead-black eyes were fixed on her, and he gave a moan in a thin voice. The white sheep, on the other hand, for some reason was stuck in a dark corner, stomping on the ground with its sad moans and relentless feet.

For some reason the sheep’s behavior seemed interesting to the girl, and she looked up at the corner where the sheep was staring.  As you can see, something white was lying in the pit where the cow’s dung had been dumped, and now it had been swept away. The mother sheep, on the other hand, kept her head down on the top of the pit. Sanobar walked in that direction to see what was inside the pit, and saw that what was typing below was a white lamb. The weak, feeble, white hair of the wet lamb trembled incessantly, whether from the cold or for some other reason.

Before Sanobar realized what she was seeing, she seemed to be encouraged by something, and involuntarily fell into the pit, took the lamb in her hand, then lifted it and walked upwards – towards where another white lamb was lying.  As soon as the girl put the lamb on the ground, the mother sheep, who was following her, hurriedly licked the baby.  A minute or two later, the lamb’s trembling subsided, and he slowly closed his eyes and put his head to the ground, the lamb had a coin-black spot on his forehead.

Sanobar watched them for a while as the mother sheep was lying next to the twin lambs, then left the barn. As she closed the door tightly, she felt now that she had been walking in slender clothing since the beginning, and so she was trembling incessantly from the bitter cold.  She was on her way home, and there a warm breeze flew behind her and stroked her face.  As the girl hurriedly turned towards that breeze, she saw large footprints that had fallen on the thick snow that had been falling all night.  But the girl did not pay much attention to it, and ran into the house, and went into her bad, wrapped herself in a blanket, and fell asleep again.

When Sabohat returned from work late in the morning, her daughter and sons were fast asleep.

“Wow, my girl, get up!” She urged Sanobar.  “Are you still asleep?”  After all, today is Eid, you wanted to go to see the bride with your friends, after all!

Sanobar jumped up and immediately started helping her mother make breakfast. Then she went in to wake her brothers, and returned halfway, and hurriedly told her mother about what had happened early in the morning. Then Sabohat remembered that the white sheep she had bought a month before her husband’s death, was supposed to give birth to a lamb sooner or later. She immediately gave up what she was doing and ran to the barn, saying, “Oh my God, the door to the barn remained open at night! It was very cold yesterday, didn’t the lambs freeze…”

But it all turned out as Sanobar had said: the lambs were still lying on the top with the mother sheep, in a warm place near the cow barn, and the traces of the man’s shoes from the barn had stopped near the gate.

Sabohat didn’t think about it for a long time. She looked at her sons, who were very happy to see the white lambs, and involuntarily said, “Look, your father has left you an Eid’s treat!” She said, and saw how her children’s eyes lit up with joy, and realized that she was right.  Even Sanobar, who had been smiling since she woke up, smiled involuntarily:

“Mommy, in my dream my father gave me a white lamb!”

Sanobar tried to hide the tears behind her children’s eyes in order not to spoil their joy, and decided to pretend to be busy preparing breakfast…

After this Eid, Sanobar didn’t dream of her father anymore. But every year, when a white sheep gave birth to identical white twin lambs, they remembered the incident.  Although Shodmon and Javlon were much older at that time, they still called the lambs of the white sheep “my father’s treat…”


Mohabbat- Uzbek-Writer-Sindh CourierMuhabbat Yuldasheva is an Uzbek writer, journalist, scriptwriter, movie translator. Born in 1964, she studied at Tashkent Polytechnic Institute. She is a member of Uzbekistan Writers Union. She was awarded ‘White Tablet’ short fiction prize for her fairy tale “Great Dairy River” in 2010, in Moscow, Russia. She gained the 1st place of the International Central Asian myths, fairy tales, legends prize for her screenplay “The Koh-e-Kaf prince” in South Korea in 2013. Muhabbat Yuldasheva is the author of 35 books. Her stories and fairy tales have been translated into Russian, English, Kazakh, Ukrainian, Korean, Belarusian, Indian, Bengali, and Chinese and Vietnamese languages. She translated more than 23 serials, 400 movies into the Uzbek language.

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