The Water Girl

What if your life... was hers...

The photo that inspired THE WATER GIRL
The photo that inspired THE WATER GIRL
A little story I wrote for my daughters about life perspective and how different their lives were compared to the girl in the photo that sparked the story. I asked my daughters: “What if your life… was hers?”

“You have a wonderful talent. Your short stories captivate my mind and this piece reveals what I think almost every day, too. Wow!” -Miriam Omi

“Beautiful cover, insightful prose.” -Trudy Grossman

“Wow, this is really good.” -Roxy May

“This is outstanding.” -Beth Baker

Flashfiction by Dennis Lowery
THE WATER GIRL by Dennis Lowery

Every morning, it was Zahra’s job to bring water to wash, mix with meal to make flatbread and to drink. She followed the trail up and over the small ridge that shrouded and protected the homesite from an open range scoured by the wind.

The path had been created by countless years of bare feet. Her grandmother and mother’s before… and after her, likely a daughter’s; the child she would bear before long. Barely a teen, she was of an age for a husband. It would be soon.

It was not what she wished for. The missionary had taught her to read before she died, and the traders had left a few books. Some with pictures of a world and life she could not fathom.

Seeing them… reading the words left her changed with a vague feeling of discontent.

It was quiet and cool by the river; there in the still sleeping darkness before the heat of the sun—already felt on her back as she descended the bank—burned it away.

Zahra paused for a moment but couldn’t take more time than what was expected. She thought of how the missionary had told her of cities and far lands. Of the world and how large it was. With a sigh she didn’t realize had come from her, she stooped to fill her jug.

The sun, higher on the horizon, was in her face as she trudged back to her small existence. All she knew.

In that last serene moment, she wondered how other girls—in the so very big world—started their days.


Zahra wearing The Water Girl t-shirt
Zahra wearing The Water Girl t-shirt

Take a walk down by, take a walk down by the river. There’s a lot that you, there’s a lot that you can learn. If you’ve got a mind, that’s open, if you’ve got a heart that yearns. —Hidden Treasure, Songwriters: Jim Capaldi / Steve Winwood