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Tale of the Trader and the Jinni

The First Night

It is related, O auspicious King, that there was a merchant of the merchants who had much wealth, and business in various cities. Now on a day he mounted horse and went forth to re cover monies in certain towns, and the heat sore oppressed him; so he sat beneath a tree and, putting his hand into his saddle bags, took thence some broken bread and dry dates and began to break his fast. When he had ended eating the dates he threw away the stones with force and lo! an Ifrit appeared, huge of stature and brandishing a drawn sword, wherewith he approached the mer chant and said, "Stand up that I may slay thee, even as thou slewest my son!" Asked the merchant, "How have I slain thy son?" and he answered, "When thou atest dates and threwest away the stones they struck my son full in the breast as he was walking by, so that he died forthwith." Quoth the merchant, "Verily from Allah we proceeded and unto Allah are we re turning. There is no Majesty, and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! If I slew thy son, I slew him by chance medley. I pray thee now pardon me." Rejoined the Jinni, "There is no help but I must slay thee." Then he seized him and dragged him along and, casting him to the earth, raised the sword to strike him; whereupon the merchant wept, and said, "I commit my case to Allah," and began repeating these couplets:--

Containeth Time a twain of days, this of blessing that of bane;
And holdeth Life a twain of halves, this of pleasure that of pain.

See'st not when blows the hurricane, sweeping stark and striking strong;
None save the forest giant feels the suffering of the strain?

How many trees earth nourisheth of the dry and of the green;
Yet none but those which bear the fruits for cast of stone complain.

See'st not how corpses rise and float on the surface of the tide;
While pearls o'price lie hidden in the deepest of the main!

In Heaven are unnumbered the many of the stars;
Yet ne'er a star but Sun and Moon by eclipse is overta'en.

Well judgedst thou the days that saw thy faring sound and well;
And countedst not the pangs and pain whereof Fate is ever fain.

The nights have kept thee safe and the safety brought thee pride;
But bliss and blessings of the night are 'genderers of bane!

When the merchant ceased repeating his verses the Jinni said to him, "Cut thy words short, by Allah! needs must I slay thee." But the merchant spake him thus, "Know, O thou Ifrit, that I have debts due to me and much wealth and children and a wife and many pledges in hand; so permit me to go home and dis charge to every claimant his claim; and I will come back to thee at the head of the new year. Allah be my testimony and surety that I will return to thee; and then thou mayest do with me as thou wilt and Allah is witness to what I say." The Jinni took sure promise of him and let him go; so he returned to his own city and transacted his business and rendered to all men their dues and after informing his wife and children of what had betided him, he appointed a guardian and dwelt with them for a full year. Then he arose, and made the Wuzu ablution to purify himself before death and took his shroud under his arm and bade farewell to his people, his neighbours and all his kith and kin, and went forth despite his own nose. They then began weeping and wailing and beating their breasts over him; but he travelled until he arrived at the same garden, and the day of his arrival was the head of the New Year. As he sat weeping over what had befallen him, behold, a Shaykh, a very ancient man, drew near leading a chained gazelle; and he saluted that merchant and wishing him long life said, "What is the cause of thy sitting in this place and thou alone and this be a resort of evil spirits?" The merchant related to him what had come to pass with the Ifrit, and the old man, the owner of the gazelle, wondered and said, "By Allah, O brother, thy faith is none other than exceeding faith and thy story right strange; were it graven with gravers on the eye corners, it were a warner to whoso would be warned." Then seating himself near the merchant he said, "By Allah, O my brother, I will not leave thee until I see what may come to pass with thee and this Ifrit." And presently as he sat and the two were at talk the merchant began to feel fear and terror and exceeding grief and sorrow beyond relief and ever growing care and extreme despair. And the owner of the gazelle was hard by his side; when behold, a second Shaykh approached them, and with him were two dogs both of greyhound breed and both black. The second old man after saluting them with the salam, also asked them of their tidings and said "What causeth you to sit in this place, a dwelling of the Jann?" So they told him the tale from beginning to end, and their stay there had not lasted long before there came up a third Shaykh, and with him a she mule of bright bay coat; and he saluted them and asked them why they were seated in that place. So they told him the story from first to last: and of no avail, O my master, is a twice told tale! There he sat down with them, and lo! a dust cloud advanced and a mighty send devil appeared amidmost of the waste. Presently the cloud opened and behold, within it was that Jinni hending in hand a drawn sword, while his eyes were shooting fire sparks of rage. He came up to them and, haling away the merchant from among them, cried to him, "Arise that I may slay thee, as thou slewest my son, the life stuff of my liver.” The merchant wailed and wept, and the three old men began sighing and crying and weeping and wailing with their companion. Presently the first old man (the owner of the gazelle) came out from among them and kissed the hand of the Ifrit and said, "O Jinni, thou Crown of the Kings of the Jann! were I to tell thee the story of me and this gazelle and thou shouldst consider it wondrous wouldst thou give me a third part of this merchant's blood?" Then quoth the Jinni "Even so, O Shaykh ! if thou tell me this tale, and I hold it a marvellous, then will I give thee a third of his blood." Thereupon the old man began to tell

The First Shaykh's Story

Know O Jinni! that this gazelle is the daughter of my paternal uncle, my own flesh and blood, and I married her when she was a young maid, and I lived with her well nigh thirty years, yet was I not blessed with issue by her. So I took me a concubine who brought to me the boon of a male child fair as the full moon, with eyes of lovely shine and eyebrows which formed one line, and limbs of perfect design. Little by little he grew in stature and waxed tall; and when he was a lad fifteen years old, it became needful I should journey to certain cities and I travelled with great store of goods. But the daughter of my uncle (this gazelle) had learned gramarye and egromancy and clerkly craft from her childhood; so she bewitched that son of mine to a calf, and my handmaid (his mother) to a heifer, and made them over to the herdsman's care. Now when I returned after a long time from my journey and asked for my son and his mother, she answered me, saying "Thy slave girl is dead, and thy son hath fled and I know not whither he is sped." So I remained for a whole year with grieving heart, and streaming eyes until the time came for the Great Festival of Allah. Then sent I to my herdsman bid ding him choose for me a fat heifer; and he brought me one which was the damsel, my handmaid, whom this gazelle had ensorcelled. I tucked up my sleeves and skirt and, taking a knife, proceeded to cut her throat, but she lowed aloud and wept bitter tears. Thereat I marvelled and pity seized me and I held my hand, saying to the herd, "Bring me other than this." Then cried my cousin, "Slay her, for I have not a fatter nor a fairer!" Once more I went forward to sacrifice her, but she again lowed aloud upon which in ruth I refrained and commanded the herdsman to slay her and flay her. He killed her and skinned her but found in her neither fat nor flesh, only hide and bone; and I repented when penitence availed me naught. I gave her to the herdsman and said to him, "Fetch me a fat calf;" so he brought my son ensorcelled. When the calf saw me, he brake his tether and ran to me, and fawned upon me and wailed and shed tears; so that I took pity on him and said to the herdsman, "Bring me a heifer and let this calf go!" Thereupon my cousin (this gazelle) called aloud at me, saying, "Needs must thou kill this calf; this is a holy day and a blessed, whereon naught is slain save what be perfect pure; and we have not amongst our calves any fatter or fairer than this!" Quoth I, "Look thou upon the condition of the heifer which I slaughtered at thy bidding and how we turn from her in disappointment and she profited us on no wise; and I repent with an exceeding repentance of having killed her: so this time I will not obey thy bidding for the sacrifice of this calf." Quoth she, "By Allah the Most Great, the Compassionating, the Compassionate! there is no help for it; thou must kill him on this holy day, and if thou kill him not to me thou art no man and I to thee am no wife." Now when I heard those hard words, not knowing her object I went up to the calf, knife in hand--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister to her, "How fair is thy tale, and how grateful, and how sweet and how tasteful!" And Shahrazad answered her, "What is this to that I could tell thee on the coming night, were I to live and the King would spare me?" Then said the King in himself, "By Allah, I will not slay her, until I shall have heard the rest of her tale." So they slept the rest of that night in mutual em brace till day fully brake. Then the King went forth to his audience hall and the Wazir went up with his daughter's shroud under his arm. The King issued his orders, and promoted this and deposed that, until the end of the day; and he told the Wazir no whit of what had happened. But the Minister wondered thereat with exceeding wonder; and when the Court broke up King Shahryar entered his palace.

When it was the Second Night

said Dunyazad to her sister Shahrazad, "O my sister, finish for us that story of the Merchant and the Jinni;" and she answered "With joy and goodly gree, if the King permit me." Then quoth the King, "Tell thy tale;" and Shahrazad began in these words: It hath reached me, O auspicious King and Heaven directed Ruler! that when the merchant purposed the sacrifice of the calf but saw it weeping, his heart relented and he said to the herdsman, "Keep the calf among my cattle." All this the old Shaykh told the Jinni who marvelled much at these strange words. Then the owner of the gazelle continued:--O Lord of the Kings of the Jann, this much took place and my uncle's daughter, this gazelle, looked on and saw it, and said, "Butcher me this calf, for surely it is a fat one;" but I bade the herdsman take it away and he took it and turned his face homewards. On the next day as I was sitting in my own house, lo! the herdsman came and, standing before me said, "O my master, I will tell thee a thing which shall gladden thy soul, and shall gain me the gift of good tidings.” I answered, "Even so." Then said he, "O merchant, I have a daughter, and she learned magic in her childhood from an old woman who lived with us. Yesterday when thou gayest me the calf, I went into the house to her, and she looked upon it and veiled her face; then she wept and laughed alternately and at last she said:--O my father, hath mine honour become so cheap to thee that thou bringest in to me strange men? I asked her:--Where be these strange men and why west thou laughing, and crying?; and she answered, Of a truth this calf which is with thee is the son of our master, the merchant; but he is ensorcelled by his stepdame who bewitched both him and his mother: such is the cause of my laughing; now the reason of his weeping is his mother, for that his father slew her unawares. Then I marvelled at this with exceeding marvel and hardly made sure that day had dawned before I came to tell thee." When I heard, O Jinni, my herdsman's words, I went out with him, and I was drunken without wine, from the excess of joy and gladness which came upon me, until I reached his house. There his daughter welcomed me and kissed my hand, and forthwith the calf came and fawned upon me as before. Quoth I to the herdsman's daughter, "Is this true that thou sayest of this calf?" Quoth she, "Yea, O my master, he is thy son, the very core of thy heart." I rejoiced and said to her, "O maiden, if thou wilt release him shine shall be whatever cattle and property of mine are under thy father's hand." She smiled and answered, "O my master, I have no greed for the goods nor will I take them save on two conditions; the first that thou marry me to thy son and the second that I may be witch her who bewitched him and imprison her, otherwise I cannot be safe from her malice and malpractices." Now when I heard, O Jinni, these, the words of the herdsman's daughter, I replied, "Beside what thou askest all the cattle and the house hold stuff in thy father's charge are shine and, as for the daughter of my uncle, her blood is lawful to thee." When I had spoken, she took a cup and filled it with water: then she recited a spell over it and sprinkled it upon the calf, saying, "If Almighty Allah created thee a calf, remain so shaped, and change not; but if thou be enchanted, return to thy whilom form, by command of Allah Most Highest!" and lo! he trembled and became a man. Then I fell on his neck and said, "Allah upon thee, tell me all that the daughter of my uncle did by thee and by thy mother." And when he told me what had come to pass between them I said, " O my son, Allah favoured thee with one to restore thee, and thy right hath returned to thee." Then, O Jinni, I married the herdsman's daughter to him, and she transformed my wife into this gazelle, saying:--Her shape is a comely and by no means loathsome. After this she abode with us night and day, day and night, till the Almighty took her to Himself. When she deceased, my son fared forth to the cities of Hind, even to the city of this man who hath done to thee what hath been done; and I also took this gazelle (my cousin) and wandered with her from town to town seeking tidings of my son, till Destiny drove me to this place where I saw the merchant sitting in tears. Such is my tale! Quoth the Jinni, "This story is indeed strange, and therefore I grant thee the third part of his blood." There upon the second old man, who owned the two greyhounds, came up and said, " O Jinni, if I recount to thee what befel me from my brothers, these two hounds, and thou see that it is a tale even more wondrous and marvellous than what thou hast heard, wilt thou grant to me also the third of this man's blood?" Replied the Jinni, "Thou hast my word for it, if shine adventures be more marvellous and wondrous." Thereupon he thus began

The Second Shaykh's Story

Know, O lord of the Kings of the Jann! that these two dogs are my brothers and I am the third. Now when our father died and left us a capital of three thousand gold pieces, I opened a shop with my share, and bought and sold therein, and in like guise did my two brothers, each setting up a shop. But I had been in business no long while before the elder sold his stock for a thousand diners, and after buying outfit and merchandise, went his ways to foreign parts. He was absent one whole year with the caravan; but one day as I sat in my shop, behold, a beggar stood before me asking alms, and I said to him, "Allah open thee another door!" Whereupon he answered, weeping the while, "Am I so changed that thou knowest me not?" Then I looked at him narrowly, and lo! it was my brother, so I rose to him and welcomed him; then I seated him in my shop and put questions concerning his case. "Ask me not," answered he; "my wealth is awaste and my state hath waxed un stated!" So I took him to the Hammam bath and clad him in a suit of my own and gave him lodging in my house. Moreover, after looking over the accounts of my stock in trade and the profits of my business, I found that industry had gained me one thousand diners, while my principal, the head of my wealth, amounted to two thousand. So I shared the whole with him saying, "Assume that thou hast made no journey abroad but hast remained at home; and be not cast down by shine ill luck." He took the share in great glee and opened for himself a shop; and matters went on quietly for a few nights and days. But presently my second brother (yon other dog), also setting his heart upon travel, sold off what goods and stock in trade he had, and albeit we tried to stay him he would not be stayed: he laid in an outfit for the journey and fared forth with certain wayfarers. After an absence of a whole year he came back to me, even as my elder brother had come back; and when I said to him, "O my brother, did I not dissuade thee from travel?" he shed tears and cried, "O my brother, this be destiny's decree: here I am a mere beggar, penniless and without a shirt to my back." So I led him to the bath, O Jinni, and clothing him in new clothes of my own wear, I went with him to my shop and served him with meat and drink. Furthermore I said to him, "O my brother, I am wont to cast up my shop accounts at the head of every year, and whatso I shall find of surplusage is between me and thee." So I proceeded, O Ifrit, to strike a balance and, finding two thousand diners of profit, I returned praises to the Creator (be He extolled and exalted!) and made over one half to my brother, keeping the other to my self. Thereupon he busied himself with opening a shop and on this wise we abode many days. After a time my brothers began pressing me to travel with them; but I refused saying, "What gained ye by travel voyage that I should gain thereby?" As I would not give ear to them we went back each to his own shop where we bought and sold as before. They kept urging me to travel for a whole twelvemonth, but I refused to do so till full six years were past and gone when I consented with these words, "O my brothers, here am I, your companion of travel: now let me see what monies you have by you." I found, however, that they had not a doit, having squandered their substance in high diet and drinking and carnal delights. Yet I spoke not a word of reproach; so far from it I looked over my shop accounts once more, and sold what goods and stock in trade were mine; and, finding myself the owner of six thousand ducats, I gladly proceeded to divide that sum in halves, saying to my brothers, "These three thousand gold pieces are for me and for you to trade withal," adding, "Let us bury the other moiety underground that it may be of service in case any harm befal us, in which case each shall take a thousand wherewith to open shops." Both replied, "Right is thy recking;" and I gave to each one his thousand gold pieces, keeping the same sum for myself, to wit, a thousand diners. We then got ready suitable goods and hired a ship and, having embarked our merchandise, proceeded on our voyage, day following day, a full month, after which we arrived at a city, where we sold our venture; and for every piece of gold we gained ten. And as we turned again to our voyage we found on the shore of the sea a maiden clad in worn and ragged gear, and she kissed my hand and said, "O master, is there kindness in thee and charity? I can make thee a fitting return for them." I answered, "Even so; truly in me are benevolence and good works, even though thou render me no return." Then she said, "Take me to wife, O my master, and carry me to thy city, for I have given myself to thee; so do me a kindness and I am of those who be meet for good works and charity: I will make thee a fitting return for these and be thou not shamed by my condition." When I heard her words, my heart yearned towards her, in such sort as willed it Allah (be He extolled and exalted!); and took her and clothed her and made ready for her a fair resting place in the vessel, and honourably entreated her. So we voyaged on, and my heart became attached to her with exceeding attachment, and I was separated from her neither night nor day, and I paid more regard to her than to my brothers. Then they were es banged from me, and waxed jealous of my wealth and the quantity of merchandise I had, and their eyes were opened covetously upon all my property. So they took counsel to murder me and seize my wealth, saying, "Let us slay our brother and all his monies will be ours;" and Satan made this deed seem fair in their sight; so when they found me in privacy (and I sleeping by my wife's side) they took us both up and cast us into the sea. My wife awoke startled from her sleep and, forthright be coming an Ifritah, she bore me up and carried me to an island and disappeared for a short time; but she returned in the morning and said, "Here am I, thy faithful slave, who hath made thee due recompense; for I bore thee up in the waters and saved thee from death by command of the Almighty. Know--that I am a Jinniyah, and as I saw thee my heart loved thee by will of the Lord, for I am a believer in Allah and in His Apostle (whom Heaven bless and preserve!). Thereupon I came to thee conditioned as thou sawest me and thou didst marry me, and see now I have saved thee from sinking. But I am angered against thy brothers and assuredly I must slay them." When I heard her story I was surprised and, thanking her for all she had done, I said, "But as to slaying my brothers this must not be." Then I told her the tale of what had come to pass with them from the beginning of our lives to the end, and on hearing it quoth she, "This night will I fly as a bird over them and will sink their ship and slay them." Quoth I, "Allah upon thee, do not thus, for the proverb saith, O thou who doest good to him that cloth evil, leave the evil doer to his evil deeds. Moreover they are still my brothers." But she rejoined, "By Allah, there is no help for it but I slay them." I humbled myself before her for their pardon, whereupon she bore me up and flew away with me till at last she set me down on the terrace roof of my own house. I opened the doors and took up what I had hidden in the ground; and after I had saluted the folk I opened my shop and bought me merchan disc. Now when night came on I went home, and there I saw these two hounds tied up; and, when they sighted me, they arose and whined and fawned upon me; but ere I knew what happened my wife said, "These two dogs be thy brothers!" I answered, "And who hath done this thing by them?" and she rejoined, "I sent a message to my sister and she entreated them on this wise, nor shall these two be released from their present shape till ten years shall have passed." And now I have arrived at this place on my way to my wife's sister that she may deliver them from this condition, after their having endured it for half a score of years. As I was wending onwards I saw this young man, who acquainted me with what had befallen him, and I determined not to fare hence until I should see what might occur between thee and him. Such is my tale! Then said the Jinni, "Surely this is a strange story and therefor I give thee the third portion of his blood and his crime." Thereupon quoth the third Shaykh, the master of the mare mule, to the Jinni, "I can tell thee a tale more wondrous than these two, so thou grant me the remainder of his blood and of his offense," and the Jinni answered, "So be it!" Then the old man began

The Third Shaykh's Story

Know, O Sultan and head of the Jann, that this mule was my wife. Now it so happened that I went forth and was absent one whole year; and when I returned from my journey I came to her by night, and saw a black slave lying with her on the carpet bed and they were talking, and dallying, and laughing, and kissing and playing the close buttock game. When she saw me, she rose and came hurriedly at me with a gugglet of water; and, muttering spells over it, she besprinkled me and said, "Come forth from this thy shape into the shape of a dog;" and I became on the instant a dog. She drove me out of the house, and I ran through the doorway nor ceased running until I came to a butcher's stall, where I stopped and began to eat what bones were there. When the stall owner saw me, he took me and led me into his house, but as soon as his daughter had sight of me she veiled her face from me, crying out, "Doss thou bring men to me and cost thou come in with them to me?" Her father asked, "Where is the man?"; and she answered, "This dog is a man whom his wife hath ensorcelled and I am able to release him." When her father heard her words, he said, "Allah upon thee, O my daughter, release him." So she took a gugglet of water and, after uttering words over it, sprinkled upon me a few drops, saying, "Come forth from that form into thy former form." And I returned to my natural shape. Then I kissed her hand and said, "I wish thou wouldest transform my wife even as she bans formed me." Thereupon she gave me some water, saying, "As soon as thou see her asleep, sprinkle this liquid upon her and speak what words thou heardest me utter, so shall she become whatsoever thou desirest." I went to my wife and found her fast asleep; and, while sprinkling the water upon her, I said, "Come forth from that form into the form of a mare mule." So she became on the instant a she mule, and she it is whom thou seest with shine eyes, O Sultan and head of the Kings of the Jann! Then the Jinni turned towards her and said, "Is this sooth?" And she nodded her head and replied by signs, "In deed, 'tis the truth: for such is my tale and this is what hath be fallen me." Now when the old man had ceased speaking the Jinni shook with pleasure and gave him the third of the mer chant's blood. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth Dunyazad, "O. my sister, how pleasant is thy tale, and how tasteful; how sweet and how grateful!" She replied, "And what is this com pared with that I could tell thee, the night to come, if I live and the King spare me?” Then thought the King, "By Allah, I will not slay her until I hear the rest of her tale, for truly it is wondrous." So they rested that night in mutual embrace until the dawn. After this the King went forth to his Hall of Estate, and the Wazir and the troops came in and the court was crowded, and the King gave orders and judged and appointed and deposed, bidding and forbidding during the rest of the day. Then the Divan broke up, and King Shahryar entered his palace.

When it was the Third Night

And the King had had his will of the Wazir's daughter, Dunyazad, her sister, said to her, "Finish for us that tale of shine;" and she replied, "With joy and goodly gree! It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the third old man told a tale to the Jinni more wondrous than the two preceding, the Jinni mar veiled with exceeding marvel, and, shaking with delight, cried, Lo! I have given thee the remainder of the merchant's punishment and for thy sake have I released him." Thereupon the merchant embraced the old men and thanked them, and these Shaykhs wished him joy on being saved and fared forth each one for his own city. Yet this tale is not more wondrous than the fisherman's story." Asked the King, "What is the fisherman's story?" And she answered by relating the tale of

Tale of the Trader and the Jinni

Night 1

SHAHRAZAD SAID: I have heard, O fortunate king, that a wealthy merchant, who had many dealings throughout the lands, rode out one day to settle a matter of business in one of them. When it became hot, he sat down under a tree and put his hand in his saddlebag, from which he took out a piece of bread and a date. He ate and when he had finished with the date he threw away its stone, at which a huge ‘ifrit appeared, with a drawn sword in his my son.’ ‘How did I kill your son?’ asked the merchant, and the ‘ifrit told him: ‘When you ate that date and threw away the stone, it struck my son in the chest as he was walking, and he died instantly.’ ‘We belong to God and to Him do we return,’ recited the merchant, adding: ‘There is no might and no power except with God, the Exalted, the Omnipotent. If I killed him, this was by accident, so please forgive me.’ ‘I must kill you,’ insisted the ‘ifrit, and he dragged off the merchant, threw him down on the ground and raised his sword to strike. With tears in his eyes, the merchant exclaimed: ‘I entrust my affair to God!’ and he then recited these lines:

Time is two days, one safe and one of peril,

And our lives are of two halves, one fair, one overcast.

Say to those who reproach us for what Time has done:

‘Does Time oppose any but great men?’

Do you not see that when the storm winds blow,

It is the tall trees that they strike?

Corpses rise to the surface of the sea,

While it is in its depths that pearls lie hid.

It may be that Time will mishandle us,

Subjecting us to constant harm.

Though in the heavens there are countless stars,

Only the sun and moon suffer eclipse.

There are both green and dry boughs on the earth,

But we throw stones only at those with fruit.

You think well of the days when they are fine,

So do not fear the evil that fate brings.

When he had finished, the ‘ifrit said: ‘Stop talking, for, by God, I am most certainly going to kill you.’ ‘‘Ifrit,’ the merchant said, ‘I am a wealthy man, with a wife and children; I have debts and I hold deposits, so let me go home and give everyone their due before returning to you at the start of the new year. I shall take a solemn oath and swear by God that I shall come back to you and you can then do what you want with me. God will be the guarantor of this.’ The ‘ifrit trusted him and let him go, after which he went home, settled all his affairs, and gave everyone what was owed them. He told his wife and children what had happened, gave them his injunctions and stayed with them until the end of the year, when he got up, performed the ritual ablution and, with his shroud under his arm, said goodbye to his family and all his relations as well as his neighbours, and set off reluctantly, while they all wept and wailed. He came to the orchard on what was New Year’s Day, and as he sat there weeping over his fate, a very old man approached him, leading a gazelle on a chain. The newcomer greeted him and asked him why he was sitting there alone, when the place was a haunt of jinn. The merchant told the story of his encounter with the ‘ifrit, and the old man exclaimed: ‘By God, brother, you are a very pious man and your story is so wonderful that were it written with needles on the corners of men’s eyes, it would be a lesson for those who take heed.’ He took his seat by the merchant’s side and promised not to leave until he had seen what happened to him with the ‘ifrit. As the two of them sat there talking, the merchant was overcome by an access of fear together with ever-increasing distress and apprehension. It was at this point that a second old man arrived, having with him two black Salukis. After greeting the two men, he asked them why they were sitting in this haunt of jinn and they told him the story from beginning to end. No sooner had he sat down with them than a third old man, with a dappled mule, came up, greeted them and asked why they were there, at which they repeated the whole story – but there is no point in going over it again. As soon as the newcomer had sat down, a huge dust-devil appeared in the middle of the desert, clearing away to show the ‘ifrit with a drawn sword in his hand and sparks shooting from his eyes. He came up to the three, dragged the merchant from between them and said: ‘Get up so that I can kill you as you killed my beloved son.’ The merchant sobbed and wept, while the three old men shed tears, wailed and lamented. Then the first of them, the man with the gazelle, left the others, kissed the ‘ifrit’s hand and said: ‘Jinni, royal crown of the jinn, if I tell you the story of my connection with this gazelle, will you grant me a third share in this merchant’s blood?’ The ‘ifrit agreed to do this if he found the story marvellous, AND SO THE OLD MAN BEGAN HIS TALE:

The First Old Man's Story

Know, ‘ifrit, that this gazelle is my cousin, my own flesh and blood. I married her when she was still young and stayed with her for thirty years without her bearing me a child. So I took a concubine and she bore me a son, the perfection of whose eyes and eyebrows made him look like the full moon when it appears. He grew up and when he was fifteen I had occasion to travel to a certain city, taking with me a great quantity of trade goods. My wife, now this gazelle, had studied sorcery since her youth and she turned the boy into a calf and his mother into a cow, handing them over to the herdsman. When, after a long absence, I got back from my journey, I asked about the two of them and my wife told me that the woman had died and that the boy had run away, where she did not know. For a year I remained sad at heart and tearful until ‘Id al-Adha came round and I sent to tell the herdsman to bring me a fat cow. What he brought me was my slave girl whom my wife had enchanted. I tucked up my clothes, took the knife in my hand and was about to slaughter her, when she gave a cry, howled and shed tears. This astonished me and, feeling pity for her, I left her and told the herdsman to fetch me another. At that my wife called out: ‘Kill this one, as I have no finer or fatter cow.’ I went up again to do the killing and again the cow gave a cry, at which I told the herdsman to slaughter her and then skin her. He did this, only to discover that there was neither flesh nor fat in the carcass, but only skin and bone. I was sorry for what I had done at a time when regret was of no use, and I gave the cow to the herdsman, telling him to bring me a fat calf. He brought me my son, and when this ‘calf ’ caught sight of me, he broke his tether and rolled in the dust in front of me, howling and shedding tears. Again I felt pity and told the herdsman to leave the calf and fetch me a cow, and again my wife, now this gazelle, called to me, insisting that I must slaughter the calf that day. ‘This is a noble and a blessed day,’ she pointed out. ‘The sacrifice must be a good one and we have nothing fatter or finer than this calf.’ ‘Look at what happened with the cow that you told me to kill. This led to a disappointment and we got no good from it at all, leaving me full of regret at having slaughtered it. This time I am not going to do what you say or kill this calf.’ ‘By God the Omnipotent, the Compassionate, the Merciful, you must do this on this noble day, and if you don’t, then you are not my husband and I am not your wife.’ On hearing these harsh words, but not realizing what she intended to do, I went up to the calf with the knife in my hand. Morning now dawned and Shahrazad broke off from what she had been allowed to say. ‘What a good, pleasant, delightful and sweet story this is!’ exclaimed Dunyazad, at which Shahrazad told her: ‘How can this compare with what I shall tell you this coming night, if I am still alive and the king spares me?’ ‘By God,’ the king said to himself, ‘I am not going to kill her until I hear the rest of the story,’ and so they spent the rest of the time embracing one another until the sun had fully risen. The king then went to his court as the vizier came with the shroud under his arm, and he gave his judgements, appointing some officials and dismissing others, until evening, but to the vizier’s great surprise he gave no instructions about his daughter. The court was then dismissed and King Shahriyar returned to his palace.

Night 2

When it was the second night, Dunyazad said to Shahrazad: ‘Sister, finish your story of the merchant and the ‘ifrit for us.’ ‘With pleasure,’ replied Shahrazad, ‘if the king gives me permission,’ and when the king gave it, SHE WENT ON: I have heard, O fortunate king and rightly guided ruler, that when the merchant was about to cut the throat of the calf, he was moved by pity and told the herdsman to keep the calf among the other beasts. The ‘ifrit was listening with astonishment to what the old man with the gazelle was saying, AND THE MAN WENT ON: Lord of the kings of the jinn, while all this was going on, my wife, now this gazelle, was looking on and telling me to kill the calf, because it was fat, but I could not bring myself to do this and so I told the herdsman to take it away, which he did. The next day, as I was sitting there, he came back to me and said: ‘I have something to tell you that will please you, and you owe me a reward for my good news.’ I agreed to this and he went on: ‘Master, I have a daughter who, as a young girl, was taught magic by an old woman we had staying with us. Yesterday when you gave me the calf, I went to the girl and, when she saw it, she covered her face, shed tears but then burst into laughter. Then she said: “Father, do you hold me so cheap that you bring strange men in to me?” “Where are these strange men,” I asked, “and why are you laughing and crying?” She said: “This calf you have with you is our master’s son, who is under a spell laid upon him and his mother by his father’s wife. This is why I was laughing, but the reason why I wept was that his father killed his mother.” I was astonished by this and as soon as I found that it was morning, I came to tell you.’ When I heard what the man had to say, I went out with him, drunk, although not on wine, with the joy and delight that I was feeling. When I got to his house his daughter welcomed me, kissing my hands, while the calf came and rolled on the ground in front of me. I asked her: ‘Is what you say about this calf true?’ ‘Yes, master,’ she assured me. ‘This is your darling son.’ ‘Girl,’ I told her, ‘if you free him, you can have all the beasts and everything else that your father looks after.’ She smiled and said: ‘Master, I only want this on two conditions, the first being that you marry me to him and the second that I be allowed to put a spell on the one who enchanted him and keep her confined, for otherwise I shall not be safe from her scheming.’ When I heard what she had to say, I promised to give her what she wanted as well as everything that was in her father’s charge, adding that I would even give her permission to kill my wife. At that, she took a bowl, filled it with water and recited a spell over it, after which she sprinkled the water over the calf, saying: ‘If you are a calf and this is how Almighty God created you, stay in this shape and don’t change, but if you are under a spell, then return to your original shape with the permission of Almighty God.’ The calf shuddered and became a man, at which I fell on him and said: ‘For God’s sake, tell me what my wife did to you and your mother.’ He told me what had happened, and I said: ‘My son, God has sent you a rescuer to restore your rights.’ I then married the herdsman’s daughter to him and she transformed my wife into this gazelle, saying: ‘This is a beautiful shape and not a brutish one, repellent to the sight.’ The girl stayed with us for some time until God chose to take her to Himself and my son went off to India, the country of the man with whom you have had this experience. I myself took my wife, this gazelle, and have travelled from place to place looking for news of him until fate brought me here and I saw this merchant sitting weeping. This is my story. ‘It is indeed a marvellous tale,’ the ‘ifrit agreed, ‘and I grant you a third share in his blood.’ At this point, the old man with the two Salukis came up and asked the ‘ifrit: ‘If I tell you what happened to me and my brothers, these two dogs, and you find it the most amazing and astonishing of stories, will you transfer to me a third of this man’s offence?’ The ‘ifrit agreed AND THE MAN BEGAN:

The Second Old Man's Story

Lord of the kings of the jinn, these two dogs are my brothers, I being the third. On his death my father left us three thousand dinars and each one of us opened a shop for trade. I had not been there for long before my eldest brother, now one of these dogs, sold the contents of his shop for a thousand dinars, bought trade goods and set off on his travels. He had been away for a whole year when one day as I was in my shop a beggar came up to me and stopped. I wished him well, but he said, in tears: ‘Don’t you know me any more?’ When I looked at him closely, I saw that this was my brother and so I got up to welcome him and brought him into the shop. I asked him how he was and he said: ‘Don’t ask. My wealth has gone and my circumstances have changed.’ I took him to the baths, gave him some of my own clothes and then brought him back home. Then I checked my accounts and the sales figures of my shop and I found that I had made a profit of a thousand dinars on a capital of two thousand. I divided this with my brother, telling him to forget that he had ever travelled abroad. He took the money gladly and opened another shop. Some time later, my second brother, now this other dog, sold everything he had, with the intention of travelling. We tried unsuccessfully to stop him, but he bought trade goods and set out with some others. He too spent a whole year away before coming back to me in the same state as his brother. ‘Brother,’ I told him, ‘didn’t I tell you not to go?’ But he replied: ‘This was something decreed by fate, and here am I, a poor man, penniless and without even a shirt.’ I took him to the baths and gave him a new suit of my own clothes to put on, before bringing him to my shop, where we then ate and drank. I told him: ‘Brother, I check the accounts of my shop once every new year and any surplus I find I shall share with you.’ When I did my audit, I found that I had two thousand dinars, and after praising the Exalted Creator, I gave him a thousand and kept the other thousand myself. My brother opened another shop, but after a time he and my other brother proposed that I should go off with them on a voyage. I refused, asking: ‘What did you get from your travels to make me imagine that I could make a profit?’ I refused to listen to them and we stayed there trading in our shops. Every year they would make the same proposal to me and I would not agree, until after six years I finally accepted and told them I would go with them. I asked them to show me what money they had, only to find that had nothing at all, having squandered everything on food, drink and entertainment. I didn’t say a word to them but checked the accounts of my shop and sold what I owned together with all my shop goods, leaving me, to my delight, with a total of six thousand dinars. I divided this in half, telling my brothers that they and I could have three thousand dinars with which to trade, while I would bury the remaining three thousand in case the same thing happened to me as had happened to them. In that case I would have money left over to allow us to reopen our shops. They agreed to this and I handed each of them a thousand dinars, keeping a thousand for myself. We provided ourselves with what we had to have in the way of trade goods and made our preparations for travel, hiring a ship and loading our goods on board. After a whole month’s journey we brought them to a city, where they fetched us a ten-fold profit. We were about to sail off again when on the shore we came across a girl dressed in rags and tatters. She kissed my hand and asked if I was a charitable man, in which case she would reward me. ‘I love charity and good deeds,’ I told her, ‘even if you give me no reward.’ ‘Marry me, master,’ she said, ‘and take me to your country. I have given myself to you; treat me kindly, for I am someone who deserves kindness and generosity. I shall pay you back for this and don’t be misled by the state I am in now.’ When I heard this, I felt a yearning for her, as God, the Great and Glorious, had decreed, and so I took her, gave her clothes and provided her with elegantly furnished accommodation on the ship. I treated her with respect and as our journey went on I fell so deeply in love with her that I could not bear to leave her by night or by day. In my concern for her I neglected my brothers, who grew jealous of me, envying my wealth and the quantity of my goods. They spent their time eyeing all this, and they discussed killing me and taking what I had, saying: ‘Let us kill our brother and then all this will be ours.’ Satan made this seem good to them and so, finding me alone and asleep by the side of my wife, they picked us both up and threw us overboard. My wife woke; a shudder ran through her and she became an ‘ifrita. She then carried me to an island where she left me for a time before coming back at dawn and saying: ‘I am your servant and it was I who saved your life by carrying you off, with the permission of Almighty God. You must know that I am one of the jinn and when I saw you I fell in love with you, as God had decreed. For I believe in Him and in His Apostle, may God bless him and give him peace. I came to you wearing rags, as you saw, but you married me and now I have saved you from drowning. I am angry with your brothers and will have to kill them.’ I was astonished to hear this and I thanked her for what she had done but forbade her to kill my brothers. I then told her the whole story of my dealings with them and this prompted her to say: ‘Tonight I shall fly off to them, sink their ship and destroy them.’ I implored her in God’s Name not to do that, reminding her of the proverb that tells those who do good to those who wrong them – ‘The evil-doer’s own deeds are punishment enough for him’ – and pointing out that, at all events, they were my brothers. She continued to insist, despite my pleading with her, and she then flew off with me and put me down on the roof of my own house. I opened the doors, brought out the money that I had buried and opened up my shop, after greeting the people there and buying goods for trade. I went home that evening, I found these two dogs tied up and when they caught sight of me they came up with tears in their eyes and attached themselves to me. Before I realized what was happening, my wife told me: ‘These are your brothers.’ ‘Who did this to them?’ I asked, and she said: ‘I sent a message to my sister; it was she who transformed them, and they will not be freed from the spell for ten years.’ My brothers have now been like this for ten years and I was on my way to get them released when I came across this man. He told me his story and I decided not to leave him until I saw what was going to happen between you and him. This is my tale. It is a marvellous one,’ agreed the ‘ifrit, adding: ‘I grant you a third share in the blood he owes for his crime.’ The third old man, with the mule, now said: ‘If I tell you a more amazing story than these two, will you grant me the remaining share?’ The ‘ifrit agreed AND THE MAN WENT ON:

The Third Old Man's Story

Sultan and leader of the jinn, this mule was my wife. I had been away for a year on my travels, and when I had finished I came back to her. This was at night and I saw a black slave lying in bed with her; the two of them talked, flirted, laughed, kissed and played with each other. My wife caught sight of me and came to me with a jug of water over which she uttered a spell. She sprinkled the water over me and said: ‘Leave this shape of yours and take the form of a dog.’ Immediately I became a dog and she drove me out through the door of the house. I went on until I came to a butcher’s shop, where I started gnawing bones. The butcher saw me and took me into his house, where his daughter covered her face from me and said: ‘Are you bringing a man in to me?’ ‘Where is there a man?’ asked her father, and she said: ‘This dog is a man over whom his wife has cast a spell, but I can free him from it.’ ‘Do that, for God’s sake,’ said her father, and she took a jug of water, spoke some words over it and sprinkled some of it on me. ‘Go back to your original shape,’ she said, and that is what I did. I kissed the girl’s hand and said: ‘I would like you to use your magic to do to my wife what she did to me.’ She gave me some water and told me: ‘When you find her asleep, sprinkle this water over her and say what you like, for she will become whatever you want.’ I took the water and went to my wife, whom I found sleeping. I sprinkled her with the water and said: ‘Leave this shape and become a mule,’ which she did there and then, and it is she whom you can see, sultan and chief of the kings of the jinn. Is that true?’ the man asked the mule, at which it nodded its head, conveying by gesture the message: ‘That is my story and that is what happened to me.’ When the old man had finished his tale, the ‘ifrit, trembling with delight, granted him a third of the merchant’s blood. Morning now dawned and Shahrazad broke off from what she had been allowed to say. ‘What a good, pleasant, delightful and sweet story this is!’ exclaimed Dunyazad, at which Shahrazad told her: ‘How can this compare with what I shall tell you this coming night, if I am still alive and the king spares me?’ ‘By God,’ the king said to himself, ‘I am not going to kill her until I hear the rest of this remarkable story,’ and so they spent the rest of the time embracing one another until the sun had fully risen. The king then went to his court; the troops arrived together with the vizier, and when everyone was there, he gave his judgements, appointing some officials, dismissing others, and issuing orders and prohibitions until evening. The court was then dismissed and the king returned to his palace, where, when night came, he lay again with Shahrazad.

Night 3

When it was the third night, Dunyazad asked her sister to finish the story. ‘With pleasure,’ said Shahrazad and went on: ‘I have heard, O fortunate king, that the third old man told the ‘ifrit a more remarkable story than the other two, and that in his astonishment and delight the ‘ifrit granted him the remaining share of the blood debt and allowed the merchant to go free. For his part, the merchant went and thanked the old men, who congratulated him on his safety, after which each of them went home. This, however, is not more surprising than the tale of the fisherman.’ When the king asked what that was, she went on:

حكاية التاجر مع العفريت

الليلة الأولى

قالت: بلغني أيها الملك السعيد، أنه كان تاجر من التجار، كثير المال والمعاملات في البلاد قد ركب يوماً وخرج يطالب في بعض البلاد فاشتد عليه الحر فجلس تحت شجرة وحط يده في خرجه وأكل كسرة كانت معه وتمرة، فلما فرغ من أكل التمرة رمى النواة وإذا هو بعفريت طويل القامة وبيده سيف، فدنا من ذلك التاجر وقال له: قم حتى أقتلك مثل ما قتلت ولدي، فقال له التاجر: كيف قتلت ولدك? قال له: لما أكلت التمرة ورميت نواتها جاءت النواة في صدر ولدي فقضي عليه ومات من ساعته فقال التاجر للعفريت: [lacuna] أعلم أيها العفريت أني على دين ولي مال كثير وأولاد وزوجة وعندي رهون فدعني أذهب إلى بيتي وأعطي كل ذي حق حقه ثم أعود إليك، ولك علي عهد وميثاق أني أعود إليك فتفعل بي ما تريد والله على ما أقول وكيل. فاستوثق منه الجني وأطلقه فرجع إلى بلده وقضى جميع تعلقاته وأوصل الحقوق إلى أهلها وأعلم زوجته وأولاده بما جرى له فبكوا وكذلك جميع أهله ونساءه وأولاده وأوصى وقعد عندهم إلى تمام السنة ثم توجه [lacuna] وأخذ كفنه تحت إبطه وودع أهله وجيرانه وجميع أهله وخرج رغماً عن أنفه وأقيم عليه العياط والصراخ فمشى إلى أن وصل إلى ذلك البستان وكان ذلك اليوم أول السنة الجديدة فبينما هو جالس يبكي على ما يحصل له وإذا بشيخ كبير قد أقبل عليه ومعه غزالة مسلسلة فسلم على هذا التاجر وحياه وقال له: ما سبب جلوسك في هذا المكان وأنت منفرد وهو مأوى الجن? فأخبره التاجر بما جرى له مع ذلك العفريت وبسبب قعوده في هذا المكان فتعجب الشيخ صاحب الغزالة وقال: والله يا أخي ما دينك إلا دين عظيم وحكايتك حكاية عجيبة لو كتبت بالإبر على آفاق البصر لكانت عبرة لمن اعتبر ثم أنه جلس بجانبه وقال والله يا أخي لا أبرح من عندك حتى أنظر ما يجري لك مع ذلك العفريت ثم أنه جلس عنده يتحدث معه فغشي على ذلك التاجر وحصل له الخوف والفزع والغم الشديد والفكر المزيد وصاحب الغزالة بجانبه فإذا بشيخ ثان قد أقبل عليهما ومعه كلبتان سلاقيتان من الكلاب السود. فسألهما بعد السلام عليهما عن سبب جلوسهما في هذا المكان وهو مأوى الجان فأخبراه بالقصة من أولها إلى آخرها فلم يستقر به الجلوس حتى أقبل عليهم شيخ ثالث ومعه بغلة زرزورية فسلم عليهم وسألهم عن سبب جلوسهم في هذا المكان فأخبروه بالقصة من أولها إلى آخرها وبينما كذلك إذا بغبرة هاجت وزوبعة عظيمة قد أقبلت من وسط تلك البرية فانكشفت الغبرة وإذا بذلك الجني وبيده سيف مسلول وعيونه ترمي بالشرر فأتاهم وجذب ذلك التاجر من بينهم وقال له: قم أقتلك مثل ما قتلت ولدي و حشاشة كبدي فانتحب ذلك التاجر وبكى وأعلن الثلاثة شيوخ بالبكاء والعويل والنحيب فانتبه منهم الشيخ الأول وهو صاحب الغزالة وقبل يد ذلك العفريت وقال له: يا أيها الجني وتاج ملوك الجان إذا حكيت لك حكايتي مع هذه الغزالة ورأيتها عجيبة، أتهب لي ثلث دم هذا التاجر? قال: نعم. يا أيها الشيخ، إذا أنت حكيت لي الحكاية ورأيتها عجيبة وهبت لك ثلث دمه فقال ذلك

الشيخ الأول

: اعلم يا أيها العفريت أن هذه الغزالة هي بنت عمي ومن لحمي ودمي وكنت تزوجت بها وهي صغيرة السن وأقمت معها نحو ثلاثين سنة فلم أرزق منها بولد فأخذت لي سرية فرزقت منها بولد ذكر كأنه البدر إذا بدا بعينين مليحتين وحاجبين مزججين وأعضاء كاملة فكبر شيئاً فشيئاً إلى أن صار ابن خمس عشرة سنة فطرأت لي سفرة إلى بعض المدائن فسافرت بمتجر عظيم وكانت بنت عمي هذه الغزالة تعلمت السحر والكهانة من صغرها فسحرت ذلك الولد عجلاً وسحرت الجارية أمه بقرة وسلمتها إلى الراعي، ثم جئت أنا بعد مدة طويلة من السفر فسألت عن ولدي وعن أمه فقالت لي جاريتك ماتت وابنك هرب ولم أعلم أين راح فجلست مدة سنة وأنا حزين القلب باكي العين إلى أن جاء عيد الضحية فأرسلت إلى الراعي أن يخصني ببقرة سمينة وهي سريتي التي سحرتها تلك الغزالة فشمرت ثيابي وأخذت السكين بيدي وتهيأت لذبحها فصاحت وبكت بكاء شديداً فقمت عنها وأمرت ذلك الراعي فذبحها وسلخها فلم يجد فيها شحماً ولا لحماً غير جلد وعظم فندمت على ذبحها :حيث لا ينفعني الندم وأعطيتها للراعي وقلت له

وفي الليلة الثانية

وقالت دنيازاد لأختها شهرزاد: يا أختي أتممي لنا حديثك الذي هو حديث التاجر والجني. قالت حباً وكرامة إن أذن لي الملك، في ذلك، فقال لها الملك: احكي، فقالت: بلغني أيها الملك السعيد، ذو الرأي الرشيد أنه لما رأى بكاء العجل حن قلبه إليه وقال للراعي: ابق هذا العجل بين البهائم. كل ذلك والجني يتعجب من حكاية ذلك الكلام العجيب ثم قال صاحب الغزالة: يا سيد ملوك الجان كل ذلك جرى وابنة عمي هذه الغزالة تنظر وترى وتقول اذبح هذا العجل فإنه سمين، فلم يهن علي أن أذبحه وأمرت الراعي أن يأخذه وتوجه به، ففي ثاني يوم وأنا جالس وإذا بالراعي أقبل علي وقال: يا سيدي إني أقول شيئاً تسر به ولي البشارة. فقلت: نعم فقال: أيها التاجر إن لي بنتاً كانت تعلمت السحر في صغرها من امرأة عجوز كانت عندنا، فلما كنا بالأمس وأعطيتني العجل دخلت به عليها فنظرت إليه ابنتي وغطت وجهها وبكت ثم إنها ضحكت وقالت: يا أبي قد خس قدري عندك حتى تدخل علي الرجال الأجانب. فقلت لها: وأين الرجال الأجانب ولماذا بكيت وضحكت? فقالت لي أن هذا العجل الذي معك ابن سيدي التاجر ولكنه مسحور وسحرته زوجة أبيه هو وأمه فهذا سبب ضحكي وأما سبب بكائي فمن أجل أمه حيث ذبحها أبوه فتعجبت من ذلك غاية العجب وما صدقت بطلوع الصباح حتى جئت إليك لأعلمك فلما سمعت أيها الجني كلام هذا الراعي خرجت معه وأنا سكران من غير مدام من كثرة الفرح والسرور والذي حصل لي إلى أن أتيت إلى داره فرحبت بي ابنة الراعي وقبلت يدي ثم إن العجل جاء إلي وتمرغ علي فقلت لابنة الراعي: أحق ما تقولينه عن ذلك العجل? فقالت: نعم يا سيدي إيه ابنك وحشاشة كبدك فقلت لها: أيها الصبية إن أنت خلصتيه فلك عندي ما تحت يد أبيك من المواشي والأموال فتبسمت وقالت: يا سيدي ليس لي رغبة في المال إلا بشرطين: الأول: أن تزوجني به


: أن أسر من سحرته وأحبسها وإلا فلست آمن مكرها فلما سمعت أيها الجني كلام بنت الراعي قلت: ولك فوق جميع ما تحت يد أبيك من الأموال زيادة وأما بنت عمي فدمها لك مباح. فلما سمعت كلامي أخذت طاسة وملأتها ماء ثم أنها :عزمت عليها ورشت بها العجل وقالت إن كان الله خلقك عجلاً فدم على هذه الصفة ولا تتغير وإن كنت مسحوراً فعد إلى خلقتك الأولى بإذن الله تعالى وإذا به انتفض ثم صار إنساناً فوقعت عليه وقلت له: بالله عليك احك لي جميع ما صنعت بك وبأمك بنت عمي فحكى لي جميع ما جرى لهما فقلت: يا ولدي قد قيض الله لك من خلصك وخلص حقك ثم إني أيها الجني زوجته ابنة الراعي ثم أنها سحرت ابنة عمي هذه الغزالة وجئت إلى هنا فرأيت هؤلاء الجماعة فسألتهم عن حالهم فأخبروني بما جرى لهذا التاجر فجلست لأنظر ما يكون وهذا حديثي فقال الجني: هذا حديث عجيب وقد وهبت لك ثلث دمه فعند ذلك تقدم الشيخ صاحب الكلبتين السلاقيتين وقال له: اعلم يا سيد ملوك الجان أن هاتين الكلبتين أخوتي وأنا ثالثهم ومات والدي وخلف لنا ثلاثة آلاف دينار ففتحت دكاناً أبيع فيه وأشتري وسافر أخي بتجارته وغاب عنا مدة سنة مع القوافل ثم أتى وما معه شيء فقلت له: يا أخي أما أشرت عليك بعدم السفر? فبكى وقال: يا أخي قدر الله عز وجل علي بهذا ولم يبق لهذا الكلام فائدة ولست أملك شيئاً فأخذته وطلعت به إلى الدكان ثم ذهبت به إلى الحمام وألبسته حلة من الملابس الفاخرة وأكلت أنا وإياه وقلت له: يا أخي إني أحسب ربح دكاني من السنة إلى السنة ثم أقسمه دون رأس المال بيني وبينك ثم إني عملت حساب الدكان من بربح مالي فوجدته ألفي دينار فحمدت الله عز وجل وفرحت غاية الفرح وقسمت الربح بيني وبينه شطرين وأقمنا مع بعضنا أياماً ثم إن أخوتي طلبوا السفر أيضاً وأرادوا أن أسافر معهم فلم أرض وقلت لهم: أي شيء كسبتم من سفركم حتى أكسب أنا? فألحوا علي ولم أطعهم بل أقمنا في دكاكيننا نبيع ونشتري سنة كاملة وهم يعرضون علي السفر وأنا لم أرض حتى مضت ست سنوات كوامل. ثم وافقتهم على السفر وقلت لهم: يا أخوتي إننا نحسب ما عندنا من المال فحسبناه فإذا هو ستة آلاف دينار فقلت: ندفن نصفها تحت الأرض لينفعا إذا أصابنا أمر ويأخذ كل واحد منا ألف دينار ونتسبب فيها قالوا: نعم الرأي فأخذت المال وقسمته نصفين ودفنت ثلاثة آلاف دينار. وأما الثلاثة آلاف الأخرى فأعطيت كل واحد منهم ألف دينار وجهزنا بضائع واكترينا مركباً ونقلنا فيها حوائجنا وسافرنا مدة شهر كامل إلى أن دخلنا مدينة وبعنا بضائعنا فربحنا في الدينار عشرة دنانير ثم أردنا السفر فوجدنا على شاطئ البحر جارية عليها خلق مقطع فقبلت يدي وقالت: يا سيدي هل عندك إحسان ومعروف أجازيك عليهما? قلت: نعم إن عندي الإحسان والمعروف ولو لم تجازيني فقالت: يا سيدي تزوجني وخذني إلى بلادك فإني قد وهبتك نفسي فافعل معي معروفاً لأني ممن يصنع معه المعروف والإحسان، ويجازي عليهما ولا يغرنك حالي. فلما سمعت كلامها حن قلبي إليها لأمر يريده الله عز وجل، فأخذتها وكسوتها وفرشت لها في المركب فرشاً حسناً وأقبلت عليها وأكرمتها ثم سافرنا وقد أحبها قلبي محبة عظيمة وصرت لا أفارقها ليلاً ولا نهاراً أو اشتغلت بها عن إخوتي، فغاروا مني وحسدوني على مالي وكثرت بضاعتي وطمحت عيونهم في المال جميعه، وتحدثوا بقتلي وأخذ مالي وقالوا: نقتل أخانا ويصير المال جميعه لنا، وزين لهم الشيطان أعمالهم فجاؤوني وأنا نايم بجانب زوجتي ورموني في البحر فلما استيقظت زوجتي انتفضت فصارت عفريتة وحملتني وأطلعتني على جزيرة وغابت عني قليلاً وعادت إلي عند الصباح، وقالت لي: أنا زوجتك التي حملتك ونجيتك من القتل بإذن الله تعالى، واعلم أني جنية رأيتك فحبك قلبي وأنا مؤمنة بالله ورسوله فجئتك بالحال الذي رأيتني فيه فتزوجت بي وها أنا قد نجيتك من الغرق، وقد غضبت على إخوتك ولا بد أن أقتلهم. فلما سمعت حكايتها تعجبت وشكرتها على فعلها وقلت لها أما هلاك إخوتي فلا .ينبغي ثم حكيت لها ما جرى لي معهم من أول الزمان إلى آخره فلما سمعت كلامي قالت: أنا في هذه الليلة أطير إليهم وأغرق مراكبهم وأهلكهم، فقلت لها: بالله لا تفعلي فإن صاحب المثل يقول: يا محسناً لمن أساء كفي المسيء فعله وهم إخوتي على كل حال، قالت لا بد من قتلهم، فاستعطفتها ثم أنها حملتني وطارت، فوضعتني على سطح داري ففتحت الأبواب وأخرجت الذي خبأته تحت الأرض وفتحت دكاني بعد ما سلمت على الناس واشتريت بضائع، فلما كان الليل، دخلت داري فوجدت هاتين الكلبتين مربوطتين فيها، فلما رأياني قاما إلي وبكيا وتعلقا بي، فلم أشعر إلا وزوجتي قالت هؤلاء إخوتك فقلت من فعل بهم هذا الفعل قالت أنا أرسلت إلى أختي ففعلت بهم ذلك وما يتخلصون إلا بعد عشر سنوات، فجئت وأنا سائر إليها تخلصهم بعد إقامتهم عشر سنوات، في هذا الحال، فرأيت هذا الفتى فأخبرني بما جرى له فأردت أن لا أبرح حتى أنظر ما يجري بينك وبينه وهذه قصتي. قال الجني: إنها حكاية عجيبة وقد وهبت لك ثلث دمه في جنايته فعند ذلك تقدم

الشيخ الثالث

صاحب البغلة، وقال للجني أنا أحكي لك حكاية أعجب من حكاية الاثنين، وتهب لي باقي دمه وجنايته، فقال الجني نعم فقال الشيخ أيها السلطان ورئيس الجان إن هذه البغلة كانت زوجتي سافرت وغبت عنها سنة كاملة، ثم قضيت سفري وجئت إليها في الليل فرأيت عبد أسود راقد معها في الفراش وهما في كلام وغنج وضحك وتقبيل وهراش فلما رأتني عجلت وقامت إلي بكوز فيه ماء فتكلمت عليه ورشتني، وقالت اخرج من هذه الصورة إلى صورة كلب فصرت في الحال كلباً فطردتني من البيت فخرجت من الباب ولم أزل سائراً، حتى وصلت دكان جزار فتقدمت وصرت آكل من العظام. فلما رآني صاحب الدكان أخذني ودخل بي بيته فلما رأتني بنت الجزار غطت وجهها مني فقالت أتجيء لنا برجل وتدخل علينا به فقال أبوها أين الرجل قالت إن هذا الكلب سحرته امرأة وأنا أقدر على تخليصه فلما سمع أبوها كلامها قال: بالله عليك يا بنتي خلصيه فأخذت كوزاً فيه ماء وتكلمت عليه ورشت علي منه قليلاً وقالت: اخرج من هذه الصورة إلى صورتك الأولى، فصرت إلى صورتي الأولى فقبلت يدها وقلت لها: أريد أن تسحري زوجتي كما سحرتني فأعطتني قليلاً من الماء، وقالت إذا رأيتها نائمة فرش هذا الماء عليها فإنها تصير كما أنت طالب فوجدتها نائمة فرششت عليها الماء، وقلت اخرجي من هذه الصورة إلى صورة بغلة فصارت في الحال بغلة وهي هذه التي تنظرها بعينك أيها السلطان ورئيس ملوك الجان، ثم التفت إليها وقال: أصحيح هذا فهزت رأسها وقالت بالإشارة نعم هذا صحيح فلما فرغ من حديثه اهتز الجني من الطرب ووهب له باقي دمه وأدرك شهرزاد الصباح فسكتت عن الكلام المباح. فقالت لها أختها: يا أختي ما أحلى حديثك وأطيبه وألذه وأعذبه فقالت: أين هذا مما أحدثكم به الليلة القابلة إن عشت وأبقاني الملك فقال الملك: والله لا أقتلها حتى أسمع بقية حديثها لأنه عجيب ثم باتوا تلك الليلة متعانقين إلى الصباح، فخرج الملك إلى محل حكمه ودخل عليه الوزير والعسكر واحتبك الديوان فحكم الملك وولى وعزل ونهى وأمر إلى آخر النهار ثم انفض الديوان ودخل الملك شهريار إلى قصره. وفي

الليلة الثالثة

قالت لها أختها دنيا زاد: يا أختي أتمي لنا حديثك فقالت حباً وكرامة بلغني أيها الملك السعيد أن التاجر أقبل على الشيوخ وشكرهم هنوه بالسلامة ورجع كل واحد إلى بلده وما هذه بأعجب من حكاية الصياد فقال لها الملك: وما حكاية الصياد

King/الملك : noun

  1. a male sovereign or monarch; a man who holds by life tenure, and usually by hereditary right, the chief authority over a country and people.
  2. In this case, a reference to King Shahrayr, the antagonist of the frame story within which 1001 Nights takes place.

Ifrit/عفريت : noun

  1. in Islamic mythology, a class of infernal jinn noted for their strength and cunning. An ifrit is an enormous winged creature of smoke, either male or female, who lives underground and frequents ruins. Ifrits live in a society structured along ancient Arab tribal lines, complete with kings, tribes, and clans. They generally marry one another, but they can also marry humans. While ordinary weapons and forces have no power over them, they are susceptible to magic, which humans can use to kill them or to capture and enslave them. As with the jinn, an ifrit may be either a believer or an unbeliever, good or evil, but he is most often depicted as a wicked and ruthless being.

couplets/lines/قصيدة : noun

  1. Poetry is the oldest literary tradition in Arabic culture. It is very interesting that despite all my searching, I was unable to find any record of an Arabic version of the poem that you see here in the English translations. This is especially interesting because the poem is similar enough in each of the English translations that it seems to be from a similar original text. It is understood that the text has been translated from and back into Arabic several times, so this might explain that the poem might have literally been "lost in translation" at one point or another. However, it is very peculiar that the two English translations could be so similar whereas the Arabic version makes no mention of verses, poems, couplets, or lines.
  2. Although the poem can not be found on this site, an explanation of how classical Arabic poetry works is still worth providing. In the Burton translation he mentions couplets, which is the most accurate way to describe the way poetry works in Arabic. The first half of the couplet doesn't necessarily stick to a strict rhyme scheme, however the second half does. This rhyme scheme occurs on the final syllable of the second couplet. Not only does the poetry sound rhythmic, but this can also been seen in the way it is written down.
  3. For an example of an Arabic poem follow this link: Arabic poem

Wuzu ablution : noun

  1. the Islamic procedure for washing parts of the body using water often in preparation for formal prayers.

Shaykh/شيخ : noun

  1. the patriarch of a tribe or family; cheif; a term of polite address.
  2. Also means 'old man' in Arabic.

Jann/الجن : noun

  1. This is the plural form of the word jinn, or jinni. Also known as an Ifrit or Imp in some translations

Life stuff of my liver/حشاشة كبدي : phrase

  1. In English this is just an organ, however in this instance it is used as a way of converying relation and affection. Similar to a phrase such as 'blood of my blood' or something to that effect.

Concubine/سرية : noun

  1. a woman who cohabits with a man to whom she is not legally married, especially one regarded as socially or sexually subservient; mistress.
  2. (among polygamous peoples) a secondary wife, usually of inferior rank.
  3. (especially formerly in Muslim societies) a woman residing in a harem and kept, as by a sultan, for sexual purposes.
  4. Also, in the Arabic translation the word used is سرية which is also known to mean "secret".

Clerkly Craft/Sorcery/لسحر : noun

  1. the art, practices, or spells of a person who is supposed to exercise supernatural powers through the aid of evil spirits; black magic; witchery.

Great Festival of Allah/‘Id al-Adha/عيد الضحية : noun

  1. Eid al-Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims. It commemorates the Sacrifice made by the Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) when God asked him to give his own son.

Shahrazad/ شهرزاد : noun

  1. This is the main character of the frame story of 1001 Nights. She is the wife of King Shahrayar and has come up with a plan to stop his insane plan to kill a new wife every night by telling him a series of stories. Shahrazad's ability to spin the tales in a way that always left the King wanting to hear more was what kept her alive for so long. If you want to know more about how the story ends and if she is able to save her life and the King's insanity, you will just have to read more of the stories!
  2. also known as Scheherazade in some translations

Hammam/الحمام : noun

  1. Public bath.
  2. Arabic students will recognize this as the word for bathroom, however in this usage it was more likely a reference to sort of sauna or public wash area.

Ifritah/ عفريتة : noun

  1. Female Ifrit, not explicitly evil.
  2. May also be known as a djinn, jinni, genie, sprite, imp, demon, etc.
  3. For more information see definitions provided for Jann and Ifrit

Gugglet/jug/كوز : noun

  1. Water jug

Wazir/vizier/الوزير : noun

  1. Highest official that serves the king. In this story, the Wazir is the father of Shahrazad, who volunteered herself to marry the King knowing that he had every intention of killing her right after they would be married. Originally, the King had decided that he would not target the Wazir's daughter as one of his victims however since she volunteered, he was happy to oblige.