Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-1
|Arabian Nights Stories-1|
|Story No 3-5-2/9|
The Story of the Second Qalandar: The Tale of the Envier and the Envied
The second Qalandar started the two neighbor's story - "Madam, There was a town in which two men lived in two neighboring houses. One of them envied the other so much that the first one decided to move from there. So he sold that house along with its furniture and moved into the capital of the country which was not very far from that town. He had a large garden, a good size court and an old well in the center of it. He started living a quieter and religious life and many people started coming to him for prayers. Naturally his fame reached to that second man also and he decided not to take rest until he has done something bad to the first one.
He left his business and went to his monastery. He was welcomed there. He told the chief (his old neighbor) that he wanted to consulted him on some important private matter. He said to him - "What I want to tell you, must not be overheard so retire your assistants and meet me in the court." The chief did what he said to him. He then told him the whole story walking here and there but often going towards the well. Once when both were near the well, he lifted the chief and threw him in the well. He ran away from there lest anybody sees him.
But the well was long been inhabited by fairies and Genies. When the chief fell in the well, he felt that something happened to him. He was caught by them so he didn't get hurt. Since there was dark in the well, he could not see anything, but he heard someone saying, "Do you know who is he whom we have saved?" Many voices replied, "We don't know." "I tell you. This man had come here some time before because his neighbor envied him. But that man's envy did not decrease and he came here to kill this man. And this he would have done without our help on the same day when the Sultaan came here for his prayers for his daughter."
"But why does the Princess need his prayer?" "In fact she has fallen in the control of the Genie Maimoon (the son of Dimdim). It was quite easy to cure her, if this chief knew it. In his covenant, there is a black cat which has a tiny white tip on his tail. To cure that princess, he must pull out seven of these white hairs, burn three from them and perfume the head of the Princess with that smoke. This will free her from the grip of Maimoon completely that he will never trouble her. After talking thus fairies and Genies got quiet, but the chief did not forget their conversation.
In the morning, he saw a place in the side of the well wall. He could easily come out by placing a foot in that place. His assistants were surprised to see him again. Then he told them that the stranger who came yesterday attacked his life, and went to his room. There the black cat came to say "Good Morning" as usual. He took him in his lap, plucked his seven white hairs and put them for the time when will be needed.
It was not even proper sunrise, that the Sultaan came to the monastery and the assistants received him warmly. Sultaan soon said to the Chief - "I hope you know what I have come for?" The Chief said - "Yes, You have come for your Princess." "Yes, And I will be grateful if your prayers would help my Princess to be free from this Genie." The Chief told him to bring her here so that he could do something for her. The Princess was brought to the Chief's house immediately. She had a thick veil on her face so that he couldn't see her face. He kept a handkerchief on her head and left the cat's hairs in it. Some very terrible cries were heard but nobody knew where they came from. Only his assistants guessed that those cries were of Maimoon's.
Till now she didn't know where she was and what she was doing, but as soon as she became freed she asked - "Where am I? And how did I get here?" Sultaan was so happy to hear her speech that not only he embraced his daughter that he also kissed the chief's hand. He asked the attendants who were standing around him, what reward should he give to their Chief. They all spoke in one voice "He deserves the Princess' hand." The Sultaan agreed and he declared the Chief his son-in-law.
Now it so happened that shortly after these events the Vazeer died and the Chief was appointed as the Vazeer. He did not hold this position for long because the Sultaan also died. As he had no son, the soldiers and the priests appointed him the Sultaan of that country.
One day as the Chief, now Sultaan, was sitting in is court, he saw that second man, who was envious with him, in his court. He told his Vazeer in signs that he should bring that man to him keeping in mind that he should not frighten him. When that man came to him, he said to him - "I am delighted to see you again." Then he asked one of his officers - "Give him 1,000 pieces of gold from my treasury, and 20 wagon-loads of merchandise out of my private stores, and let a soldier accompany him home." He took the leave from that man and went his way."
To Return to Second Qalandar's story, he told further--....
When I had ended my story, I told Genie how to apply this to himself. I said - "See this man not only forgave him but gave him lots of riches also." But the Genie was very firm in his ideas, he spoke - "Do not think that you are going to escape so easily. I can spare your life only." He took me by arm, jumped, and the earth opened, we reached in the sky, came down swiftly and landed on a mountain top. He took a handful of earth, read some magical words over it, and threw it on my face saying "Be a monkey". He disappeared and I remained there in the shape of a monkey in a country I had never seen before.
I came down the mountain in the plains. I was on an island. I saw a ship half a mile far from the shore, I took a branch of a tree and rowed myself to that ship. The sailors thought that I would bring ill-luck to them, so one of them said - "Throw him into the sea." I quickly jumped to the captain's feet and clasped his clothes. He was touched by my action and took me under his protection.
After 50 days the ship cast its anchor in a big town. Many boats surrounded the ship. One of them had many officials on it. One of those officials said to the captain of the ship that his merchants should write a couple of lines on a paper. That official continued - "The Vazeer, now dead, was celebrated for his beautiful handwriting, and the Sultaan is searching the similar talent in his successor. Although he has not been able to get anyone like this, but he has not given up hope." When all people had written lines on a piece of paper, I snatched the pen and the paper from the man. First he thought that I was going to throw it in the sea, but when he saw my intention to write on the paper he got very surprised.
The captain recommended my case - "Let him write if he can write, which I am sure he can, because I have never seen such an intelligent monkey before. I will adopt him as my son." I took the pen and wrote six sorts of writings popular among the Arabs; each sort contained an original verse or couplet in praise of the Sultaan. They took away the roll of paper to Sultaan.
As soon as the Sultaan saw my writing, he gave a beautiful horse and most beautiful clothes to bring the person who wrote those lines. First they laughed, then one of them said - "Your Highness, These lines have been written not by a man but by a monkey." "A monkey?" "Yes, Sir." "Then bring that monkey to me as fast as you can." Those people came, put a beautiful robe on my body and took me to the Sultaan. On both sides of the roads, people were looking at me with great curiosity.
I was taken to the Sultaan, as I came near him, I bowed to him three times and prostrated at his feet. People were so surprised to see how I could distinguish Sultaan from other people. The Sultaan dismissed everyone except the chief of the eunuchs and a little slave. He took me to another room and ordered food for me. He then made a sign for me to come and sit at the table. I rose, kissed the ground and took my place at the table. I ate with great care and in moderation.
Before the dishes were removed, I made the sign to bring my writing in front of me. I took a peach and wrote some verses in praise of Sultaan. The Sultaan got very surprised to see that, but he was more surprised to see when I wrote on the glass from which I had drunk. He murmured - "Oh, The man could be more intelligent, but this is only a monkey."
Supper was brought over a chess, and Sultaan asked me through signs, if I would like to play with him. I kissed the ground and kept my hand on my head to show that I was ready if a chance is given to me. He beat me the first game, but I won the second and third games. I felt that he was not happy with this so I wrote another verse for him. The Sultaan was so enchanted by my talents that he wanted to show them to other people also. He asked the chief of the eunuchs to bring his daughter saying that he wanted to show her something she had never seen before.
The chief of the eunuchs went and brought the Princess there. When she came her face was uncovered, but as soon as she entered the room she covered her face and asked her father - "What are you thinking? Calling me like this in the presence of a man?" Sultaan replied - "I don't understand, there is nobody here except the chief of eunuchs who is your own servant, the little slave and myself; still you covered your face as if I am at fault." The Princess said - "I am right and you are wrong. This monkey is not a monkey, he is a prince who has been turned into a monkey by the wicked spells of a Genie, son of the daughter of Elbis."
Sultaan got more surprised to hear this, he asked - "But how do you know this?" The princess replied - "Sir, The old lady who took care of me in my childhood was an accomplished magician. She taught me 70 rules of her art, by which, in a twinkling of an eye, I could transplant your capital in the middle of the ocean. She taught me to recognize that who was enchanted and who enchanted him or her." Sultaan said - "I didn't know that you were so clever." The Princess said - "Sir, There are many out of the way things to know, but one should never boast of them."
The Sultaan asked her - "Is there any way that this Prince can be disenchanted?" "I can do it." "Then do it soon. I wish to appoint him my Vazeer and give him to you as your husband." She went to her room and brought a knife with Hebrew words engraved on its blade. She took all of us to a court, made us stand beneath a gallery and she herself stood in the middle of the court. She drew a circle there and wrote several words in Arabic language there. She read some verses of Quraan and gradually a Genie, the son of the daughter of Elbis, appeared there in the form of a lion.
The Princess roared at him and said - "Do you think you can frighten me by appearing in this shape?" The Genie also roared - "And you have not feared to break the treaty that we will never interfere each other?" "You broke the treaty first." "I show you now who broke it first?" saying this Genie ran toward the Princess, but the Princess was on her guard, she plucked a hair of the lion, read two-three words over it and it became the sword. With this sword she cut the lion's body into two pieces. These two pieces just disappeared, and only lion's head remained there, which changed into a scorpion. The Princess changed herself into a serpent and both started fighting with each other. Then the serpent became more powerful and both flew in the air and we lost sight of them both.
We were anxious to know what happened when the ground in front of us opened and a black cat came out of it. At its heel was a wolf. The cat changed into a worm and entered a pomegranate which just fell from a tree and hid there. The pomegranate started swelling till it became like a pumpkin and raised itself on the roof of the gallery, from where it fell and was broke into bits. The wolf transformed itself into a rooster and began to swallow the seeds of the pomegranate. After swallowing them all, he flew checking around if there was any more, then he saw one lying on the bank of a little canal which was flowing through the court. He came down, but before he could touch it, the seed fell into the canal and became a fish. The rooster followed it for two hours then both came out in their proper forms.
Then an alarming thing happened. The Genie ran towards us, but luckily the princess drew his attention towards herself. As it was done, the Sultaan's beard was burnt, the eunuch was burned, the little slave's face was scarred, and a spark entered my right eye. The Princess had killed the Genie. She ordered the little slave to bring her a cup of water. She read some magic words over it and threw it on my face saying - "If you are a monkey because of enchantment come into your original shape." Immediately I got my original shape except that I lost sight of my one eye.
I fell on the feet of the Princess to thank her, but she did not lose time, she said to the Sultaan - "I have won the battle, but the fire has entered my heart and I have only few moments to live. Although he is dead but I also have only few moments to live." We all wept together. Suddenly the Princess cried, "I burn, I burn" and died.
I have no words to express my grief of that night. I would have preferred to live as monkey instead of taking the life of a Princess in this way. The Sultaan was very grieved. The country mourned for seven days. After the Sultaan had recovered, he called me and asked me to leave the kingdom because my presence will always remind him of his loss. I had to leave the kingdom. I shaved my head and beard, put on the clothes of a Qalandar and wandered around. Then I came to Bagadaad and thus I am here. This is my story."
Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 09/19/13