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Arabian Nights Stories-4

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Story No 84-2/4

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84-2 - The Caliph's Night Adventure (2 of 4) :
The Story of the Blind Man - Baabaa Abdullaa

Baabaa Abdullaa's Story

So Baabaa Abdullaa started his story - "I, your slave, was born in Bagadaad where my father and mother presently dying within a few days of each other, left me a fortune enough last me throughout my life time. But I did not know its value and I started living in luxury. Soon I had to repent for my thrift and started working hard to increase my remaining money. "After waste comes the knowledge of worth." So little by little I gathered 80 camels which I gave on hire to merchants and thus made a good money. I journeyed over many places.

On the 608th Night

Once I carried merchants' stuff to Basaraa for shipping towards India, and was returning to Bagadaad with empty camels that I had to pass a plain of pasturage, far from any village, so I unsaddled the camels so that they can eat. Presently a Darvesh who was traveling to Basaraa on foot, came to me and sat down beside me. We talked for a while then ate together. During our talks, the Darvesh said to me - "I know a spot which holds a hoard and its wealth is so great that even if you load your 80 camels at their heaviest burden of gold coins and gems etc. from that treasure, it will not decrease." Hearing this I got very happy and asked him about that spot. I said to him - "I know that you are not greedy for the wealth of this world, but still take one of my these camels as compensation and reward for this favor." Although I spoke to him like this, but in my heart I was very sad that I had to part with my one camel-load of coins and gems in exchange of the 49 camels..

The Darvesh had noted my greed, he replied - "Not so, O my brother, one camel does not suffice me to tell you about that hoard. I can tell you about it on a single condition. We both will lead the animals and load them with the treasure, and you will give me one half from it. With 40 camels' load of costly ores and minerals, I am sure that you can buy thousands of camels." Seeing that refusal was impossible, I agreed his terms. I thought even 40 camels load coins and gems will also be enough for me and my children and for generations to come. So giving full consent, I collected my camels, and we set out for our journey.

After traveling for a while we came to a gorge between two mountains. The pass was very narrow, so the animals were passing in a single file, but after that they came out in a broad valley. There was nobody there so we were moving undisturbed. The Darvesh asked me to leave the animals there and follow him.

On the 609th Night

So I left the animals there and followed the Darvesh. After going for a while he stopped, burned some wooden sticks and threw a handful of strong incense in its fire muttering some words. At once a cloud arose from the fire and as it got cleared we saw a huge rock with pathway.

Here it showed an open door, where I saw a splendid palace below the mountains, certainly the work of a Jinn, for no man has power to build it. We went in and found an endless treasure, ranged in mounds. Seeing the heaps of Asharfees, I pounced upon them like a vulture and fell to filling the sacks to my heart's content. Although the bags were big, but I had to see my camel's strength also to carry them. The Darvesh was also collecting wealth but he collected only gems and jewels advising me to do as he did. I heard his advice and filled my bags only with gem and jewels. After we had filled our bags, we got ready to leave; but before we left, there were thousands of golden vessels exquisite in shape and workmanship. The Darvesh went into a hidden chamber and brought a golden box full of some ointment which he showed to me, out of a silver casket, from there and put it in his pocket. He again threw some incense in that fire muttering some incantations and the door got closed and the rock came to its place as before.

We then divided our camels and came back from the same route. After passing the gorge we departed, he went to Basaraa and I came to Bagadaad. When parting I showered many thanks to the Darvesh and bade him farewell with deep gratitude. But hardly he went a little distance, that Sataan took over me with greed. I thought, "This Darvesh is alone in this world, no friends, no relations, what will he do of these riches? So I should take at least some of my beasts back from him."

Thinking thus I halted my camels, and I ran back crying out his name. He heard my loud shouts, so he waited for me. When I reached near him, I said - "When I had bidden you farewell, I thought what will you do of these riches? And moreover these camels will trouble you. So it is better if you give them back to me." The Darvesh said - "O my son, You are right. I cannot tend these animals so you take as many as you like. I did not think of the burden till you told me so, but now I can foresee it." So I took 10 camels from him and was about to leave that suddenly it struck my mind, "This Faqeer was unconcerned at giving me these 10 animals, so why shouldn't I take more from him?"

So I again said to him - "You can't manage even 30 animals, do give me other 10." He said - "Whatever you wish. Take 10 animals, even 20 will be all right for me." So I drove 20 camels adding to my 40 camels. Thus I took all the camels from him and as I was about to depart, still greed took over me. I thought that the box contained some very valuable material than these jewels and gems.

On the 610th Night

So I asked him - "What will you do with the little box you have taken, I pray you, give me that also." But the Faqeer would by no means part with it. I was forcing him to give me that box, so he took out the box and handed over to me saying - "If you want to have this box, first you should know the virtue of the ointment it contains."

Hearing this I said to him - "I pray you, since you have done so much favor to me, teach me that also." He said - "The wonders of this ointment are rare. If you will close your left eye and rub upon the lid of that eye the smallest bit of that, then all the treasures of the world concealed from your gaze will come to your sight; but if you rub it on the lid of your right eye, you shall be stone blind from your both eyes." Then I thought to put that ointment to test, so I placed it in his hand and asked him to put some on my left eye. The Darvesh then closed my left eye and rubbed a little of it on its lid. I opened my eyes and looked around and I saw the hidden treasures of the earth in countless quantities. Then I asked him to put some on the lid of my right eye. He said - "I have already warned you not to put this on the lid of your right eye as you will be stone blind. Why do you want to bring this evil on yourself"

But my ill-fate will not allow me to agree with this. I thought "When I can see so much with one eye, I can see much more with my both eyes. This fellow is playing me false." So I blamed him for not to take its full advantage, but he wouldn't rub it. The more he refused it, the more I persisted. When he had made sure that I am not going to agree with him, he rubbed some on my right eyelid also. As I opened my eyes I could not see anything. Since that day I am blind.

I cursed him a lot - "Why did you show me that treasure? What I will do of this gold now? Take back your 40 camels and make me whole." He said - "What evil have I done to you? You would not listen to me. Your lust for money was too much. Your case is beyond hope. You can never regain your sight." I cried aloud and asked him to put me on the path of some caravan but he did not listen to me. He left me there and took all the camels away.

On the 611th Night

I should have died after losing my money and my sight and from hunger and thirst. The next day, by good luck to me, a caravan came that side and brought me to Bagadaad. I don't do anything except begging for bread to keep myself alive. This is the punishment Allaah gave me for my excessive greed. I need a slap on my ear who takes pity on me and gives me alms. That is why I asked you to do that yesterday.

When Baabaa Abdullaa had finished his story, the Caliph said - "Your offence is grave, may Allaah have mercy on you. You should tell your case to devotees so that they can pray for you. Do not worry about your daily bread, you will get four Dirhams from my treasury every day as long as you live." Baabaa Abdullaa thanked the Caliph saying that he would do as the Caliph had asked him to do.

Now the Caliph turned to the young man who was riding the mare at her fullest speed savagely lashing and ill-treating her. "What is your name?" "My name is Siddee Noomaan." The Caliph said - "I have seen many people riding horses but I have never seen anybody riding the horse like you. I asked the bystanders also  but nobody could tell me its cause. I wish to ask you the cause of this  brutality." The young man thought that now he cannot escape from telling the reason so he got terrified and stood speechless. The Caliph said - "Do not fear, but tell me your story without any hesitation. And if you are still afraid, I give you immunity and a free pardon."

The young man said - "I will willingly tell you my story, and if I have offended you in any way, then I am worthy for punishment. It is true that I daily treated that mare like that, and you had compassion on the mare and thought me cruel, but when you will hear my story, you will say that it was only a trivial punishment for her offence. And I, not she, deserves your pity. So with your permission I begin my story ....

End of the 611th Night

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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/15/14