Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-5
|Arabian Nights Stories-5|
|Story No 91-3-1, 4/11|
Sindbaad on the Mountain of Apes-1
See also "The Fifth Voyage of Sindbaad of the Sea" about his confrontation with apes.
On the 546th Night contd ...
Shaharzaad continued the story of Sindbaad - "Sindbaad started the story of his third voyage - "This story is more wonderful than the previous ones. When I returned from my second voyage, I was very happy and I lived in Bagadaad for a considerable time. Then my soul again longed for another voyage. So I again bought abundant of goods suited for a sea voyage and departed to Basaraa. There I saw a large vessel, so I embarked that vessel with the expectation of good fortune and safety. We proceeded from sea to sea, from city to city, from place to place, buying and selling wherever we touched the land; until one day, in the midst of the roaring sea, the Master of the vessel looked at another quarter of the sea and slapped his face. He cast his anchors, plucked his beard, took off his clothes and uttered a great cry.
We asked him what was the matter. He said - "God preserve us. Winds were against us and they have driven us out of our course, and Destiny has cast us towards the Mountain of Apes. No one has ever arrived at this place and escaped. I am sure of destruction of us all." And the words of the Master were not ended yet, that many apes had started coming to us and surrounded our vessel. They were numerous, as locusts, in number, around the vessel and on the shore. We feared that if we will kill any one of them, the others will kill us all. We feared for our goods also. No one understood their language also. Their hair and faces were black, eyes were yellow, and height was only four spans (approximately 36" or one yard). They climbed up the cables and severed them with their teeth, they severed the ropes, so the vessel depended solely on wind. And thus the vessel stopped at their mountain. They seized all the merchants and passengers and their luggage and took the vessel with the whole of its contents.
They left us on the island, took our vessel and we did not know where did they go with it. So we went here and there to look for food. We ate fruits and drank water, that we saw a house in the midst of the island. It seemed to us inhabited so we drew nearer to it as fast we could. We found that it was a castle with high walls, with folding doors made of ebony and were open at that time. We entered the castle and found it wide open. There was a high and large stone bench. There were utensils also for cooking and many bones were lying around them. But there was no person around.
We sat there in an open space for some time, then we slept. We slept until sunset that we woke up when the earth trembled beneath us and we heard a strange sound in the sky. A person of enormous size, like a palm tree, with black complexion descended on us from the summit of the pavilion. His eyes were like a blazing fire, his mouth was like a mouth of a well, his lips were like a camel's lips hanging down upon his chest. Seeing such a man we became as dead men."
On the 547th Night
Shaharzaad resumed her story - "Sindbaad continued the account of his third voyage - "We were like dead men seeing that huge man. He sat on the stone bench for a while. He then arose and came to me, seized me by my hands and lifted me up. I was like a pestle in his hand. He continued to feel me like a butcher feels the sheep before slaughtering it. Then he dropped me down thinking me lean and thin and took another man. He dropped that other man also. Thus he did with many men; in the last he lifted the Master of our ship who was a fat and stout man. He threw him on the ground, put his foot on his neck. Then he lighted a fire and put it on the chest of the Master. When his flash was thoroughly roasted he ate him, part by part, limb by limb, until he ate him all. He threw the remaining bones on one side. He sat down again on the bench and after a while he slept. Next morning he went his ways.
As soon as we made sure that he had gone far enough to hear us, we talked among ourselves that it would have been better if we had drowned in the sea, or apes had eaten us away, for it was better than the roasting of a man upon burning coals. There seemed no escape from this place. Then we went around the island to look for a safe place to hide but we could not find it. The evening fell so we came back to the castle and slept there only. At midnight the same man came again and did the same as he did the last evening. Today he did not sleep, rather made noise the whole night. When the day came he went away.
We talked again about to escape from this situation. One of us said - "We should make a plan to kill him." I said to them - "If we have to kill him, we must transport this wood and remove some of this firewood from here and make ourselves some rafts, each to bear at least three men, then we should kill him and embark on the rafts and go wherever God takes us. OR we will remain here until a ship passes by. If we will not be able to kill him we will embark on our rafts and if we be drowned, we are saved from being roasted over the fire; and if we escape, we escape." So all cried - "This is a right option." So we moved the wood from there and started making rafts.
When it was evening, the earth trembled again with us and that black man came again to us. Like before he ate one of us and slept upon the bench. Then we rose, took two iron rods, put them in fire until they were red hot, then we thrust them into his eyes, all of us pressing them into his eyes with our united strength, so his eyes were destroyed and he uttered a great cry. In fury he rose from the bench and started looking for us, but we ran away from him in different directions, so he could not find us. Otherwise also he could not see us. He continued to cry and because of his cries, the earth was shaking beneath us.
After a while he returned with a female, bigger than himself. We were in utmost fear seeing her. As soon the female saw us we loosened our rafts, embarked upon them and pushed them forth in the sea. Those two blacks had a mass of rock, they threw it on us while we were going away, so many of us died because of those rocks. Only three persons among us remained alive and the raft conveyed us to another island."
Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/24/14