Children’s Own Page: ‘Then I don’t want to Grow Up’

by Adonis

The Light (Pakistan), 1st March 1925 Issue (Vol. 4, No. 5, p. 6)

My dear Boys,

There lived once in Russia two little boys, Peter and Karl. They had a little sister called Mary.  

They used to talk to each other on many things. One evening, the following conversation was heard in the nursery:

Karl: Why does our Russia not permit the Prussians to take land from us?

Peter: Well, we say the land is ours because we conquered it first.

Mary: What do you mean by “ours”?

Peter: You are only a little girl; you do not understand. “Ours” means “our Empire.”

Karl: It is this way everywhere. Some men belong to one country, some to another.

Mary: Which one do I belong to?

Peter: The same as all of us — to Russia.

Mary: But suppose I don’t want to?

Peter: But you do want to. You were born in Russia; you are a Russian. Every nation has its Tsar, its King, or its Parliament.

Mary: But why are they so — so separate?

Karl: Why? Because every man loves his own country.

Mary: I don’t understand why they are separate. Why would it not be better for all to be together?

Peter: In playing games, it is better to be together, but this is not a game but a serious matter.

Mary: I do not understand.

Karl: When you grow up you will understand.

Mary: Then I do not want to grow up.

Now, dear boys! Do you know why Mary did not want to grow up? Her child-mind liked to see people live together. Her brothers had lived longer in the world. They told her that it was impossible for people to live together like brothers. She thought that when she grew older, she would also think like her brothers. This she did not like, so she thought it better to remain as she was.

Mary was the youngest of the children, yet she was the wisest of them all. They were born in a Christian home. The father and mother had taught the elder children Christian ideas. The Christian Bible calls God:

“the God of the Israels.”

The Holy Quran calls Him:

“the God of the worlds.”

Karl and Peter believed that God was good to their people only. They, therefore, disliked all other people. Mary believed that God was “the God of the worlds.” She believed that men were all brothers and that God was their common father. She was a Muslim, though she did not say so.

Every child, whether he be born in a Hindu, Christian, Sikh or Parsi home is a Muslim. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) has said so, and our Prophet never said anything which was not true.

Which of these children would you like to be? Mary or any of the two boys? Of course, I do not mean to ask whether you would like to be a girl or a boy. I simply want to know whether you like the thoughts of Mary or the thoughts of Peter and Karl.

The boy or girl who writes the best answer to the question, giving reasons, shall receive a beautiful calendar for 1925 with a picture as prize. You may write in English or Urdu to Mr Editor, who will judge and award the prize. You are sure to win it if you know some verses of the Holy Quran or some Hadith on the subject. Do not forget to write them if you know.

I wish you good luck.

Yours affectionately,

[Replies must be addressed to: The Editor, The Light, Lahore, and should reach him by 10 March [1925].  Any child under sixteen may compete. — Editor]