Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-1

Arabian Nights Stories-1

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Story No 1-2/3

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1-2 - The Merchant and the Genie (2 of 3) :
Story of the First Old Man

The first old man started telling his story - "You see this black dog with me, it is my wife. We didn't have any child that is why I had adopted a son of my slave. I was going to make him my heir. I knew it very late, that my wife didn't like the child and his mother. When he became 10 years old, I had to go on a journey for one year. I made sure that my wife take proper care of the boy and his mother in my absence. During my absence, my wife learned magic to carry out her evil scheme. When she had learnt enough magic, she changed the boy into a calf, and gave it to one of my servants. She changed my slave to a cow and also gave it to that same servant to look after.

When I came back home, I asked about my slave and her child. She replied - "Your slave is dead and I have not seen her son for two months, I don't know where he is." I grieved for my slave as she was dead, but I had a hope to find her son as he had only disappeared. I thought I would find him one day. Eight months passed but there was no sign of that boy. Then the day of the Feast of Bairaam came. To celebrate it, I asked my servant to bring a fat cow. He brought a cow for me. Unfortunately he brought the same cow which was given to him by my wife - my slave. I tied her and as I started to kill her, she looked at me with tearful eyes. It was great surprise to me, I got moved by her tears, so I asked my servant to remove her from there and bring another one. 

My wife was seeing everything. She said - "What are you doing? Cut this cow, she is the best cow we have for this day." I again tried but I could not cut her because of her tearful eyes. I cried - "Take her and kill her, I cannot kill her." My servant took her and killed her. To the surprise of all, when he skinned her, he found only bones, no flesh, although she looked so fat. I gave all that to my servant and asked him another calf if he had one. He brought a calf which was also very fat. I did not know it, but he was my son.

As I was about to cut him, he fell on my feet, his head down as if he asking my mercy not to cut him. I was again surprised to see this. I gave that calf to my servant to take care of, and asked him to bring another one. My wife again said - "What has happened to you, Why don't you cut the calf?" I told her that I could not cut that calf and I cut another one.

Next day my servant wished to speak to me in private. I asked him - "What is that you want to say?" He said - "You might like to hear what I want to say. I have a daughter who knows magic. When I took the calf back, first she smiled, then she cried. I asked her the reason. She spoke - "Father, This calf is the son of our master, and that cow was his mother. I smiled to see the calf alive and wept to know that his mother had been sacrificed. In fact our master's wife had changed them because she hated both the mother and her son."

O Genie, I was so surprised to hear this that I immediately went to his house. First I went to the place where that calf was kept and caressed him. He responded positively my touch. Then I talked to my servant's daughter to see if she could change that calf back to my son. She said - "Yes, But on two conditions: one that you will give him to me as my husband, and two that you will allow me to punish the woman who has done this to him." I agreed to her both conditions, except that she would spare my wife's life. She said - "Do not worry, I will treat her as she has treated your son."

She took some water, read a few words over it, and threw it on the calf, he immediately changed into a young boy.  I embraced him dearly and said - "This girl has saved your life, I hope to show her gratitude so you will marry her." The boy readily agreed to marry her. Before getting married, she changed my wife into a dog. This is the same dog you are seeing now. Since then I am a widower and have been traveling. I do not want to leave my wife under somebody else' care, thus she is always with me. Isn't it a beautiful tale?"

"Yes, it is." Said Genie, "And because of it I grant you the third part of his punishment." At the same time another old man, who had two black dogs, spoke - "Now I tell you my story. I am sure you will like it more than his story. If you like it more than his story, then grant me his one third punishment." "Sure, but only if I like it more than the dog one." And with this, the second old man began his story --

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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 09/19/13