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Story No 49-1

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49-1  - The Fisherman and His Son (1 of 2) :
The Fisherman's Son Marries the Sultaan's Daughter

Once there was a fisherman who was very poor. He had a wife and a family. He daily went to river with his net, caught fish for his daily living. He would sell a portion of his catch, buy food from a part of it and give rest to his wife and children. One day he said to his young son - "Come with me, Allaah may give us livelihood with your footsteps." The Son said, "Very well, Father." When they reached at the river, the father said - "Today I throw my net upon your luck." He threw the net and waited for one hour or so, and then he drew it out. He found it heavy so he asked his son to lend a hand to pull it outside the water. They took it out and found a large fish of several colors.

The father said - "This fish befits only for Caliph. You stay here till I go and bring a cart to carry it to the Caliph." The boy sat down beside the fish, and when his father had gone away, he went to the fish and said to her, "I am sure you have children too." At this the fish said - "Do good to me and cast me back upon the waters." So he took up the fish and setting her near the river, loosened the net and said to her - "Go to your children. This is better than to give you to Caliph." But after releasing the fish the fear of his father grew so strong that he fled the village without delay. He did not stop till he reached the land of Iraq whose capital was under the King of dominion.

He entered the city and met a baker who asked him - "O Son, Will you serve?" "Yes Uncle, I will." The baker employed him at the wage of two silver Nusfs a day plus his food. He worked there for a while. One day he saw a lad carrying a fowl for selling when he met a Jew who asked him - "Will you sell this fowl?" "Yes." "How much? Ten Faddaas?" "No, Sir." "For 20 Faddaas?" "No, Sir." So the Jew bought it for one gold coin (Deenaar). He immediately slaughtered it and asked one his servants to give it to his wife and say to her - "Pluck it, but don't open it until I return."

Now the fisherman's son was seeing all this and heard this conversation too. As soon as the servant had left, he ran and bought two fowls for four Faddaas. He slaughtered them and took them to that Jew's house. He knocked the door and said to the mistress - "The house master has said "Take these two fowls and send me the bird which was brought to you by the servant boy." She said "OK." So he gave her the two fowls and took back the previous fowl which her husband had slaughtered. He came back to the bakery. When he was in private, he opened the belly of the fowl and found there a signet ring with a bezel gem which in the sun showed one color and in the shade another color. He took it up, hid it in his clothes, and ate the bird.

The Jew, after finishing his business went home and asked his wife to bring the fowl. She brought him two fowls. Seeing them he asked - "Which is the first one?" She said - "You yourself sent the boy with these two birds and ordered him to bring the first fowl." The Jew showed his calmness outwardly, but at heart he was distressed, and he was so distressed that he wanted to die. He said to himself, "It has slipped from my grasp."

The fisherman's son waited till evening and then said "By Allaah, This bezel must have some mystery," - so he went into privacy again and felt it while rubbing it. Immediately the Slave of the Ring appeared and spoke - "Here I stand between your hands. What can I do for you?" He thought it a big fortune and returned the ring to his pocket. Next day in the morning when the baker came, he said to him - "I had left my country long time ago, I wish to visit it now. I will return to you soon." The baker paid him his wages and he left the bakery only to come to Sultaan.

As he reached the palace he saw about a hundred heads hung near the gate. He got frightened seeing this. A Sherbet seller was standing nearby, he asked him - "Why these heads are hanging here?" The Sherbet seller said - "Don't ask my son what has been done." He asked him again, then the seller said - "The Sultaan has a very beautiful daughter. Whosoever comes to marry her, her father keeps a condition for him." "What?" "There is great mound of ashes under the latticed windows of the Sultaan's palace. He has this condition that he will marry his daughter only to him who will remove that heap within 40 days otherwise his head will be cut off." The boy asked - "And the heap is high?" "Like a hill."

He came back from there and went to a Khaan and rented a room to stay there. He pondered there for some time as how he should proceed for this matter. Although he himself wanted to marry the Sultaan's daughter but at the same time he was afraid too. So he brought out the ring and rubbed it. The Slave of the Ring spoke to him - "Here I stand between your hands. What can I do for you?" The boy said - "I want a suit of kingly clothes." A bundle of such clothes came before him. Without any delay, he took bath and wore those clothes. He looked like a Prince in those clothes.

He went to Sultaan's palace, greeted him "Salaam". The King welcomed him and asked the purpose of his coming. He said - "I wish to marry your daughter." The king asked - "Are you aware of the condition? I don't want any money, or precious stone, or any other thing, except that the heap of the ash has to be removed from beneath the windows of my palace." Then he called him near him, opened the window and showed him the hill of ash and said to him - "I will marry my daughter to you if you will remove this hill of ash and if you could not remove it, I will cut your head." The fisherman's son said - "I am satisfied with that. Grant me 40 days." "Okay you have them." The Sultaan wrote the document for this contract and gave it to the boy to hang it on the door of his house until the 40th day. The boy went away and the people present there cried for him.

The boy returned home and wondered whether the Ring had the power to do this. He shut himself in his room, rubbed the Ring and its Genie spoke - "Here I stand between your hands. What can I do for you?" "I want to remove the ash heap which stands under the windows of the royal palace. Then lay out a garden there and build a palace in it for the daughter of the Sultaan. This all should be finished in 40 days." The Genie said - "As you say, Master."

After a day the boy went there to see and found that 1/4th of its part was removed everyday. So on the 4th day there was nothing there. Then the Genie lay the garden and a palace in it. It was all done in 15 days. Then one day he went to the Sultaan, greeted him and  asked him to open his window and look outside. He immediately went and opened his window and saw that the ash hill was gone, instead there was a large garden and in the garden there was a beautiful palace. He was very surprised to see it. He was so perplexed to see this that he sent for his councilor to advise him what should he do in this case. How could he save himself from this boy?

The councilor said - "What can I say? You might have thought that you could cut his head like others. Now there is no other alternative except marrying your daughter to him. So the Sultaan married his daughter to him and the boy took her to that palace and they started living there happily.

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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 11/30/13