Because Ahmed has the best memory
Five boys were sitting at the far end of the bench. They were dressed in weatherworn clothes, all caked in mud. Their leader said something fast. The others groped through their pockets and pooled their funds: six marbles, four bottle tops, a painted twig, a blunt penknife, and a few coins. The money was separated out. Three of the boys started arguing, shouting at one another. Their argument broke into a scrap. One of the older boys suddenly turned on the smallest. They fell into the dirt, punches flying. The leader pulled them apart. He handled all the coins to the youngest boy, whose shirt had been ripped in the fight, and sent him off toward the cinema.
The others began playing marbles.
I asked why only one of them was going to the cinema. The leader glanced up, his sienna eyes catching the light.
“We only have the money for one to see the matinee, Monsieur”, he said. “So we send Ahmed. We always send Ahmed.”
The leader flicked a marble into the dirt. “Because Ahmed has the best memory,” he said.
An excerpt from In Arabian Nights- A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams.