My son was about three years old, and had a little problem saying the letters ‘S’ and ‘F’. He would substitute the letter H for those two letters. For instance whenever a kid would ask him what his name was, he would promptly say “Hayeed” instead of Sayeed. The other kid, not knowing that Sayeed had this problem would say “Hi Hayeed, and then Sayeed would get upset and emphasize to him that it was Hayeed and not Hayeed like the little boy was saying! He expected the kid to say Sayeed like we all did.  It was too cute, and he got over that problem too soon in my opinion.

I was the pathologist in the local hospital in those days and my husband would come home earlier than I did in the evenings; he would set the kettle on for his tea and relieve the governess of her duties and take care of the children. One such day, he came home and after playing with Sayeed for a while he went to the bathroom. Sayeed was in the family room that adjoined the kitchen and was watching the ‘He-Man’ show.

Within a few minutes after the show had started, he heard some sounds coming from the kitchen and he stood up on the couch to see flames rising around the skillet on the range. He ran to the bathroom and started banging on the door, “Papa, hire in the kikkin, Papa, come out, hire in the kikkin”. My husband washed up and came out and asked him what was going on, and Sayeed dragged him out of the bath room and the bed room and ran to the kitchen. By this time, the flames were licking the wall behind the range.

Fortunately my husband was able to put the fire out, and put the skillet with the flames in the porcelain sink and covered it with a lid. The heat buckled the sink into waves and bubbles; but anyway, to make a long story short the whole kitchen had to be redone.

When I came home a little later, I saw them standing in the garage, my husband holding a charred shapeless skillet in his hand. He had inadvertently turned the back burner on which had the skillet with a little grease in it, instead of turning the front burner on with the tea kettle to make his evening tea.

Despite the problem with the pronunciation of the word “fire” our little son was able to avert a major catastrophe.

{Sending this to the Sun Magazine for publication in their “READERS WRITE” section. Don’t have much hope, because they have returned some of my stories that I had sent last year. SO, I thought I would post it here.}


About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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12 Responses to Fire

  1. mrswrangler says:

    What a smart kid you have.

  2. This sounds like something my sister would do in the kitchen. She’s always impatient and will try to get something else done while cooking. Aside from a few ruin pots and pans, we haven’t had any significant damage. I’m glad Sayeed, even at that age, knew exactly what to do.

  3. digitalgranny says:

    Cute story about your son and he was a very bright young man. Beautiful orchid and reminds me of a beautiful, energy filled, summer day.

  4. For the longest time Damon would replace his Fs with Bs. One day we were at Walmart looking at the goldfish, and Damon squealed out “Mommy, look at that bish!”
    Unfortunately, there was also an extremely sour-faced woman looking at the goldfish, too. You can see where this is going. 😉

  5. Aw, what a powerful memory!
    I’m so glad Sayeed was so smart and quick thinking! Wow!
    When my youngest was 3, her “b”‘s sounded like “p”s…and she went through a phase were she made innocent comments about people she saw in public, like “Look at the pald man!” And “Look! That lady has pig preasts!” Ha. Fortunately you had do know her well to understand what she was saying! 😉
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  6. christao408 says:

    What a charming story!

  7. neegee says:

    He could at least get the message across to your husband. That is scary.
    Glad it turned out ok.

  8. Humor_Me_Now says:

    This in and odd ways reminds me of a class that I was forced to take by my employer—Communication. They explained how communication works and how difficult it is for anyone and especially managers.

    I was also a claim adjustor and handled many kitchen fires. They were fortunate.



  9. Smart kid.

    My son had a lot of pronunciation issues until he was about 4. He would react the same way when I couldn’t understand him and pronounced words back to him the way he said them.

  10. I agree with everyone, smart kid. Go Sayeed!

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