Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-2
|Arabian Nights Stories-2|
|Story No 46-1/4|
A Fisherman Meets a Genie
A similar story is given in SECTION-1/Story 2-1.
There was a very old fisherman. He was very poor. He had a family of four - his wife and three children. He threw his net only four times a day. Once he went to catch the fish in the morning. As he drew the net towards himself, it seemed to him very heavy. He was happy that he had caught a good load of fish. As he took it out of the water, he was shocked to see that the load was not of fish but a skeleton of an ass. It tore his net also, so he mended his net. He threw the net second time and this time, in spite of being heavy, brought a basket full of gravel and slime. He was extremely sad to see this load. He threw away the basket and threw his net again, the third time. This time it brought only stones, shells etc. He almost fainted to see it.
The dawn had appeared by now, so he said his prayers - "Allaah, I throw the net only four times and I haven't got anything till now. It is only once more that I can throw my net. I pray to you to make sea as favorable to me as you did to Moses." After his prayers, he threw the net in the sea. This time also he took out his net from the sea with great difficulty, but he found only a vessel of yellow copper. It was heavy and sealed. He was happy that he had at least something. He thought that he would sell that vessel and buy a bag of corn. He opened the seal and turned the vessel upside down, but nothing came out of it. He got very disappointed that he sat down with his head in his hands.
Then he saw a black smoke coming out of the vessel, it spread all around him, and when the vessel was empty, it all gathered together and formed into a solid shape - a huge Genie. The fisherman was so frightened to see that giant that he couldn't even move from his place. The Genie cried - "Solomon, Solomon, Pardon, I will never oppose your will, I will always obey your command." Hearing these words the fisherman came to his senses and said to him - "O Proud Spirit, What are you saying? Solomon has died 1,800 years ago. Tell me about yourself, how did you got shut in this vessel?"
The Genie said - "You should talk to me properly, otherwise I will kill you." The fisherman said - "Why would you kill me? Haven't I freed you from this vessel?" "I know it, still I can kill you. I can give you only one favor." The fisherman asked, "And what is that?" "That how should I kill you?" The fisherman said - "But how have I offended you? Is that a reward for my services?" Genie said - "We, Sakar and I, were the only two spirits, among all the Genies owned by Solomon, who could oppose the will of Heaven. Solomon, the son of David, asked me to quit my way of living and accept his power, but I didn't listen to him so to punish me he shut me in this vessel, put this seal himself and gave to one of his Genies to throw it in the sea.
I thought if somebody would free me in the first 100 years, I would make him rich, even after his death, but nobody did it. In 2nd century I thought to open all the treasure of the Earth but nobody freed me. In the 3rd century, I promised to make him the monarch and to be the spirit who could fulfill his three requests everyday, still nobody freed me. Thus I was imprisoned in this vessel for hundreds of years. Then I swore that whoever would free me, I would kill him and grant him no other favor than choose the kind of death he would prefer to die. Since you have freed me so I give you that choice."
Hearing all this the fisherman got very sad, he said - "It is my bad luck that I did good to such an extremely ungrateful man. You pardon me and God will pardon you." Genie said - "No, Your death is certain, you just have to choose how do you want to die?" The fisherman again requested him to show mercy for freeing him, but Genie said - "It is for the same reason you have to die."
The fisherman didn't see any chance of his life so he said to him -"Since I must die, I submit to the will of Heaven, but before I tell you the way of my death, you tell me what I am going to ask you by the name of Solomon." The Genie trembled to speak truth, still he asked him to make haste. The fisherman asked him - "Swear that you were really in that vessel." The Genie said - "I swear that I was shut in the vessel." The fisherman said - "But you are so big and the vessel is so small, how could you be in the vessel, I don't believe it. Even your feet cannot come in that vessel." The Genie said - "It is possible." "OK, Then show me how you were inside that small vessel?"
Upon this the Genie's body dissolved into smoke again, and re-entered the vessel in exactly the same way in which he came out. When there was nothing outside, a small voice came from the vessel, "I am all on this vessel, do you believe now?" Instead of answering Genie, the fisherman fixed the vessel's cover over the mouth of the vessel and said - "Now it is your turn to ask me a favor as how do you want to die, or may be I should throw this vessel again in the sea."
Genie tried his best to come out but because of Solomon's seal he couldn't get out, so he spoke to the fisherman softly - "You will not do what you are saying. I was just joking." The fisherman said - "No, You will go to the sea again. I begged you to spare my life, but you didn't listen, so you will go to the sea again." Genie said - "Open the vessel and let me out. I pray to you. I promise to pay you to your heart's content." The fisherman said - "No, I don't trust you, you are a traitor, I can't let you out." The Genie said - "Please do not treat me as Imaam treated Atekaa."
The fisherman asked - "How did Imaam treated Atekaa?" The Genie said - "Oh, If you wish to hear his story, you have to open the vessel. Do you think that I am going to tell you that story from a prison? No, not at all. I will tell you as many stories as you would like to hear but first you let me out of here." The fisherman said - "No, I will not let you out, I am throwing you in the sea." The Genie cried - "No, please no. I promise that I will not hurt you. Besides I will tell you how to become rich." This was a good incentive so the fisherman said - "OK, Now swear to me by Solomon that you will fulfill your promise, then only I will open the vessel."
The Genie promised and the fisherman opened the vessel again. The Genie took his form like before and the first thing he did was to kick the vessel in the sea. The fisherman got frightened at this. Seeing him frightened, the Genie laughed and said - "Don't be afraid, O fisherman, I did this just to please me. Take your fishing net and follow me." The Genie first led him to the top of a mountain, then they descended in a plain near a pond. The Genie asked him to catch the fish from that pond. The fisherman did so, but he was very surprised to see only four color fish - white, red, blue, and yellow. He brought out one of each color. Since he had never seen such fish, he could not admire them, but thought maybe by selling them he could get much money.
The Genie said - "Take them to the Sultaan. He will give you so much money for them than you have ever had in your life. You may come here everyday to catch these fish, but not more than once a day, otherwise you will have to repent. Never forget this condition." After saying this, the Genie stamped his foot on the ground, the earth opened at that place and swallowed the Genie.
Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 09/19/13