Cow Story

I want to share a particular picture that a little boy did with me because it is about the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha, which is observed this year on October 26-29. According to CNN, “Eid al-Adha commemorates when God appeared to Abraham — known as Ibrahim to Muslims — in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience. As Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, God stopped him and gave him a sheep to kill in place of his son. A version of the story also appears in the Torah and in the Bible’s Old Testament.” (


Of course I had heard the story of Abraham and Isaac many times, but I wasn’t thinking about it when a little guy in the clinic began enthusiastically drawing a picture. It started with a cow, and evolved into a picture telling the story of sacrificing a cow–part of his family’s tradition that he had witnessed when visiting relatives back home. After he finished the picture I asked him to tell me about it, and he told the story of the sacrifice on Eid, and pointed out the extended family members gathered for the celebration. The United States is a melting pot, and Washington, DC is an international city. It is really a delight for me to learn about another culture through the eyes of a small boy. Even though he has been through so much in his treatment and recovery, he is full of curiosity and enthusiasm, and I love that he wanted to share this story with me.