Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-4
|Arabian Nights Stories-4|
|Story No 81-1/7|
Once there was a merchant named Umar who had three sons, the eldest called Saalim, the youngest Joodar and the middle one was Saleem. He reared them till the age of manhood, but he loved the youngest one more than his brothers. Seeing this they were jealous of Joodar and hated him. Umar noticed their jealousy so he called on his kinsmen, together with divers, men of learning and property distributors of the Qaazee's court. He brought all his monies and clothes and said to them - "Divide this money and stuff into four parts according to the law."
On the 607th Night
They did so and he gave one part to each of his sons and kept the fourth himself, saying - "This was my good and I have divided it among them in my life time, and this, the fourth one, I will keep for my wife when she might be a widow."
After a while he died and neither of his two elder sons were satisfied with his share and asked more from Joodar saying - "Our father's wealth is in your hands." Joodar appealed to the judge about it but his brothers bribed him highly. They left Joodar for some time, but then they again started plotting against him. Joodar again appealed the judge, who once more decided in his favor, but all three lost much money. Both Saalim and Saleem did not worry about hurting their brother and took the case from court to court until all became poor.
Then the two elder brothers went to their mother, insulted her and beat her. She went to Joodar and told him that how his brothers had insulted and beaten her and started cursing them. He said - "Mother, Do not curse them because Allaah treats everybody according to his deed. But you see, we all have become poor. Do you want that I should appeal to judges on your account? No I will not. You just stay with me and whatever I will eat, I will share with you. You just pray Allaah that He should give me means to maintain you." Thus he comforted her and she started living with him.
Now he bought a net and started fishing every day wherever he got water. Thus he was living on the money earned by that. But his brothers had not learnt any craft, nor they bought and sold, so they became wretched naked beggars. Sometimes they would come to their mother complaining being hungry and their mother, being their mother, would give them some remaining bread and meat if it remained from yesterday. And would say to them - "Eat quickly, and go, lest your brother comes and see you here." So they would eat quickly and go away.
One day their mother gave them something to eat, when their brother came. The mother felt embarrassed so she bent her face, but Joodar smiled in their faces and said - "Welcome O my brothers, What a blessed day today. How come that you came here today?" Then he embraced them lovingly and said - "I thought, that you have left me alone, nor that you would dare to come here to visit me and your mother." They said - "By Allaah, We always longed to see you but we were very ashamed and repented for our deed. We have no blessing except you and our mother." Joodar said - "And I have no blessing but of yourselves and of our mother. Welcome to you both. Live with me, for Allaah is merciful to me." Thus he made peace with them.
On the 608th Night
Next morning after they had taken breakfast, Joodar went to for fishing. His brothers were absent till midday, then they came and ate their food. Joodar came in the evening with meat and greens. They lived thus for one month, till one day it so chanced that Joodar went for fishing but could not get anything there. He went from place to place but to no avail. He said to himself - "What has happened to fishes today? Have they all fled the rivers or what?" Then he returned home feeling bad for his brothers and mother as what he will feed them today.
Presently he came to a baker's shop and saw the people crowding for the bread with silvers in their hands, but the baker was not paying any attention to them. He also stood there and the baker asked him - "O Joodar, Do you want bread?" But he was silent, so he said to him - "Don't you have any Dirham? Take as much as you want, I will give them to you on credit." Joodar said - "Give me 10 coppers worth bread and keep this net as a pledge." The baker said - "No, I will not take your net, it is your livelihood, if I take it from you what will you eat? Take these 10 Nusf's worth bread and take these other 10 Nusfs and tomorrow bring me fish for 20." Joodar took the bread and money and said - "So kind of you." Then he bought some meat and vegetables and came home.
Next morning he arose early and went for fishing. His mother said - "At least eat your breakfast, then you go." But he said - "You and brothers take breakfast," and went away to the river. He cast his net several times but till mid-afternoon prayers he could not catch any fish. So he returned to his home and on the way he stopped at the baker's shop. The baker gave him bread and money and said - "Come and take it and go, if it is not today, it will be tomorrow." Joodar asked his excuse, but the baker said - "Do not ask for excuse. When I saw you empty handed I understood that you have not caught any fish today. Even if you do not get any fish tomorrow, don't feel embarrassed and come and take bread from me, I will give you on credit." So Joodar took the bread and money and went home. On the third day also the same thing happened.
Thus he did for seven days. He did not like this so next day he went to the lake Qaaroon and sat there setting his net to catch fish, when there came a westerner, a Moor, clad in very rich clothes riding a she-mule with a pair of gold embroidered saddle bags. He said to him - "Peace be on you O Joodar, son of Umar." Joodar also returned peace to him. The Moor said to him - "Joodar, I need you and if you obey me, you will get great goods and will be my companion and manage my affairs for me."
Joodar asked him - "Tell me what you have in mind. I will obey you." The Moor said - "Repeat the Faatihaa, the opening chapter of the Quraan." So he recited it with him. The Moor took out a silken cord and said to Joodar - "Tie my elbows with this cord behind me as tightly as you can and throw me into the lake. And if you see me taking out my hands above the water, cast your net and take me out quickly. But if you see my feet coming up, then you know that I am dead. In that case, you leave me and take the mule and the saddle bags to the merchants' Bazaar where you will find a Jew by the name of Shamaayaa. Give him the mule and he will give you 100 Deenaars, which you can take and go your ways and keep this matter secret with all secrecy."
So Joodar tied his arms behind his back, and the Moor kept saying, "Tie tighter." Then he pushed him into the lake and waited for him to appear on the surface of the water. In a little while, his feet appeared above the water. Joodar knew that he was dead, so he took the mule and came to the merchants' Bazaar and sat on a stool waiting for the Jew. In a little while he saw a Jew who was looking for the mule. Seeing the mule he cried - "It seems that the man has died." So he took the mule, gave 100 Deenaars to Joodar and asked him to keep the matter secret. Joodar went and bought bread from the baker and said - "Take this gold piece for the bread." The baker calculated and told him that he still owed him for two days bread.
On the 609th Night
Then he went to the butcher, gave him a Deenaar, bought some meat and asked him to keep the rest on his account. Then he bought some vegetables and came home only to find his brother quarreling with their mother for food. And she was saying - "Just keep patience till your brother is home, for I don't have the bread." As he went in and gave the food to his mother, they ate it like cannibals. Then he gave all the gold to his mother and said to her - "When my brothers come to you, give them this money sparingly to buy food in my absence." He slept well that night.
Next day morning he again went to the same lake, lake Qaaroon, and was about to cast his net that there came a second westerner riding on a she-mule, handsomer than the previous one, with a pair of saddle bags of which each pockelt had a casket. He came to Joodar and said - "Peace be with you, O Joodar." Joodar also returned is greetings. The Moor asked him - "Did a Moor come yesterday riding a mule like mine?" Hearing this Joodar became alarmed. He thought lest he asks "Where did he go?"; and if he said "He drowned in the lake," he might blame him to drown him in the lake, so he said - "No, I didn't see anyone."
The Moor said - "Oh, He was my brother who has gone before me." He asked him again - "Didn't you bind his arms and throw him into the lake; and didn't he say to you, "If my hands appear above the water first, cast your net over me and drag me out quickly; and if my feet show up first, know that I am dead. Then you take the mule to the Jew Shamaayaa who will give you 100 Deenaar?" Joodar said - "Since you know all this then why do you ask me?"
The Moor said - "I want you to do the same with me as you did with my brother." Then he also gave him a silken cord and said - "Bind my hands behind me and throw me in this lake. And if I fare as did my brother, take the mule to the Jew and he will give you another 100 Deenaars for her." So Joodar did the same with him also. The Moor showed his feet first, so Joodar took him as dead. He thought, "May Allaah send such Moor everyday and I will get 100 Deenaars for each dead man." Then he took his mule to the same merchants' Bazaar and saw the Jew. Seeing Joodar the Jew said to him - "This is the reward of the greed." He took the mule, gave him 100 Deenaars and went his ways.
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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/14/14