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Story No 53

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53 - Khusaro, Shireen and the Fisherman

King Khusaro of Persia loved fish very much. One day he was sitting in his saloon, he and Shireen, his wife, that a fisherman came with a great fish. He presented it to the King. King Khusaro got very happy to see it and ordered his man to give him 4,000 Dirhams.

Shireen said to the King - "You have not done good." He asked - "Why?" She said - "Because if you will give such a sum to one of your courtiers, he will consider it as unworthy and will say, "He has given me only this much what he gave to the fisherman." And if you will give him less, then he will say, "He is insulting me and giving me less than what he gave to the fisherman." Khusaro said - "You are right, but it would dishonor a King if I go back on his gift, and the thing is done, is done, it cannot be reverted."

Shireen said - "If you wish, I can suggest you a way to take back that money from him." The King asked, "How?" She said - "Call him back the fisherman, if you please, and ask him if the fish is male or female. If he says male, you say, "We want a female." and if he says a female, then you may say, "We want a male."

So the King sent for the fisherman who was a man of wits, and said to him - "Is this fish male or female?" The fisherman kissed the ground and replied - "This fish is an hermaphrodite, neither male, nor female." Khusaro laughed at his clever reply and ordered to give him 4,000 Dirhams again. So the fisherman went to the treasurer, took his 8,000 Dirhams, put them in a sack and set off to his home. While going home, he dropped a Dirham on the floor. He took off the bag from his shoulder and bent to pick it up.

The King and Shireen were looking at all this. The queen said - "O King, Didn't you notice the meanness of the man, that he bent to take up the one Dirham and could not leave it to for any of the servants of the King?" When he heard this he got very angry with the fisherman, he said - "You are right."

So he called the man back and said to him - "How low-minded you are! You are not a man! How could you put the bag down with all this money just to pick up one Dirham from the floor, and did not leave it where it fell?" The fisherman kissed the earth before him and replied - "May Allaah prolong the life of the King. In fact, I did not pick it up because of its value, but I picked it up because on one of its faces the King's face was engraved and on the other was his name; and I feared lest anybody should unwittingly set his foot upon it. It will dishonor the name and the presence of the King, and I will be blamed for this offence."

This King wondered at his words, and was so pleased with his reply that he ordered to give him 4,000 Dirham more. The King bade cry across the kingdom - "Nobody should be guided by women's counsel, because who follows her council loses."

End of Story No 53



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