Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-5

Arabian Nights Stories-5

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Story No 89-11-1, 18/21

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89-11-1 - The Story of the Hunchback (18 of 21) :
The Story of the Barber's Fifth Brother

So the Barber started the story of his fifth brother - "My fifth brother's name is Al-Nashshaar, the Babbler. He was cropped of his ears. He was a pauper who begged for alms in the night and lived upon what he acquired by day. Our father was a very old man. Once he fell sick and died leaving us 700 pieces of silver, of which each of us took his portion - a little more than 100 pieces of silver.

Now my fifth brother did not know what to do of his money. While he was thinking about it, he thought to buy the articles of glass and sell them for profit. So he bought glass articles and sat upon a platform to sell them. He said to himself - "I will sell my whole stock for 200 pieces of silver and with those 200 pieces of silver I will buy another lot and I will sell it for 400 silver pieces. And thus I will earn a great wealth. By that wealth I will build a handsome house in which there will be many servants, horses; I will eat and drink; and I will not leave even a single female singer who has not sung for me."

All this he was calculated with the tray of glass lying before him. Then he said - "I will send all females to seek in marriage for me, the daughters of Kings and Vazeers for I have heard that they are very beautiful. I will give 1,000 piece of gold as her dowry. And if her father will not marry her to me, I will take her by force. When the time will come to display her, I will sit down and look at her from the corner of the eye. The maids will take me to the bride's chamber, I will change my suit, and then when they will bring the bride second time, I will look at her and bend my head. I will act in this fashion till her parading will be complete."

On the 33rd Night

"Then I will give 500 Deenaars to the girls who will take me to the bride's chamber. I will neither look at her nor speak to her. Then her mother will come and pray me to look at her but I will not do so. My wife will bring me then a cup of wine, but still I will behave in the same way. She will insist me to take the cup of wine and at this I will shake my hand in her face and kick her with my foot and do thus." So saying he kicked the tray of glass which was kept on the platform. It fell down and all that was in it broke, nothing was saved. He cried and cried and said - "All this was because of my pride."

The people then repaired the platform for Friday prayers, that a female approached him on her way to attend the Friday prayers. She was riding the mule  with a stuffed saddle covered with gold-embroidered silk. When she saw the broken glass and my brother's state and his tears, she was moved with pity and asked about his case. He told him what had happened to him. She called one of his servants and said - "Give what you have to this poor man." So he gave him a purse and he took it and when he opened it, he found 500 pieces of gold. He almost died with excessive joy and offered prayers for his benefactor.

Thus he returned home as a rich man and sat thinking about all this, that a person knocked the door. As he opened the door, he saw an old woman whom he never saw before. she said to him - "O my son, As you can see that the time of prayer has already expired and I am not prepared by ablution, so I request you to let me enter your house, so that I may perform it." He permitted her to enter his house. His mind was still wandering around gold pieces he got from that servant.

When she had finished her ablution, she came to the place where he was sitting. There she performed her prayers and for my brother too. He gave her two gold pieces. When she saw them she exclaimed - "I wonder at the person who fell in love with you in this poor condition. Take back your money, and if you don't want it, give it back to her who gave this to you when your glass broke." He said - "O Mother, How can I see her again?" She said - "She loves you, but she is a wife of a wealthy man. Take all this money, and when you are with her, don't be miser in courteous and agreeable words, so that you can get her favors and her wealth."

So my brother took all the gold and went with that old man, although he did not believe her. They came to a door at which they knocked, and a Greek girl opened the door. Both entered the door and came to a big richly furnished room. He sat down there putting his money before him and his turban on his knees. At the same time that woman came, so my brother stood up. She locked the door, came back to my brother, and took him in a separate chamber holding his hand. she talked to him and played with him for a considerable time. Then she rose and said to him - "Wait for me here, don't go away."

She came after a while along with a black slave holding a shining sword in his hand. He exclaimed to my brother- "Who brought him here?" My brother was unable to say anything. The slave laid upon him, stripped him and he fell upon the floor. He struck him more than 80 blows and left him on the floor thinking that he was dead. While going he cried - "Where is al-Maleeh?" At this a girl came to him holding a beautiful tray containing salt. She stuffed his wounds with salt but my brother did not move with the fear lest they know that he was alive. Then the old woman came, she dragged him by his feet and threw him in a vault upon a heap of slain.

He remained in this place for two whole days. When he was able to move, he opened a shutter in the wall and came out of that place. He moved in the darkness hiding himself until the morning; when the old woman went to see another victim; and my brother going after her came back to his house.

Contd on 19th Page



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/16/14