Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-5

Arabian Nights Stories-5

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Story No 89-12, 20/21

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89-12 - The Story of the Hunchback (20 of 21) :
The Story of the Barber's Sixth Brother

On the 33rd Night contd ...

"Now you listen to he story of my sixth brother. My sixth brother, Shaakaaleek, had his lips cut off. He was once rich, then became very poor so one day he went to beg something to save his life. On the way he saw a beautiful house on whose door were several servants. He asked one of the persons standing there whose house it was. He said - "This house belongs to a man of the sons of Barmaakee. My brother went forward and asked them to give him something. They said - "Enter the house and you will have whatever you want from our Vazeer." So he entered and came to a mansion of unsurpassed beauty. He did not know where to go, so he just proceeded, and then saw a man of elegance. Seeing my brother the man rose, welcomed him and asked his welfare. He told him that he was in want. So the man got very sad. He took off his own clothes and gave them to him saying - "Am I in this city and you are hungry in it? This is a thing that I cannot tolerate." Then he promised him every kind of happiness and said - "You must stay and share my salt." But my brother replied - "I have no patience to wait, for I am extremely hungry."

At this he called out, "Boy, Bring a basin and water," and said to my brother - "Come and wash you hands," but he saw neither ewer nor basin. The man performed the same motions as if he were washing the hands. Then that man took my brother to an imaginary table and motioned as if he were eating and asked my brother also to eat. "Be not ashamed, eat, for you are hungry." Observing all this my brother thought that this man makes jest with others. So he said to him - "O Master, I have never eaten such a white bread." He said - "This is made by my slave girl whom I bough in 500 gold pieces." Then he called his boy to bring the Silkbaaj dish which is not found even in King's food. Thus he asked him to bring many dishes and motioned to eat them all as if he were eating them. And in totality nothing was brought in. My brother got tired of moving his hands and mouth, so he said to himself - "By Allaah, I will do to him such a deed that he will have to repent for all this."

Then the man asked his boy to bring the wine and asked my brother to drink it. He drank it so much that he pretended to faint. My brother, taking his host unaware, slapped him on his neck twice, at this the man said - "What is this?" My brother said - "O my Master, I am your slave whom you have graciously admitted in your house, offered me food and old wine, and he has become intoxicated and committed an offence upon you, but you are too dignified to be angry with him for his ignorance."

Hearing this the man laughed heartily and said - "Truly, I have played this game upon men for a long time, but I have not had such an experience from anybody except you. Therefore I pardon you and make you my boon companion in reality, never be angry with me." Then he ordered to bring all dishes and my brother ate to his satisfaction. Then they went to a drinking chamber, here they listened to the music and drank. That man treated my brother as a familiar friend, became greatly attached to him. Thus they continued to live for 20 years. When that man died, and the Sultaan seized his property.

Then my brother left that city. A party of Arabs came and made him a captive. The man who captured him tortured him and said - "Purchase me for yourself, or I will kill you." My brother said weeping - "By Allaah, I have nothing to purchase you, nor I know the means to obtain any property. I am your prisoner, do with me whatever you want to do." Immediately that man took out a knife from his girdle and cut his lips still urging his demand.

Now this Badaavee had a beautiful wife, who when he was absent, used to show her love for my brother while he did not show his own, because of fear of God. It so happened one day, that she called him and while they were together, her husband came and saw my brother, he exclaimed - "O Wretch, Do you want to corrupt my wife now?" He inflicted him with another wound with his knife, took him on a camel to a mountain top and left him there. Some travelers discovered him while passing by that place, gave him food and drink and told me about his case. I went to him, brought him back into the city and allotted him a sufficient maintenance."

"Now I have come to you, O Caliph," continued the Barber, "and feared to return to my house without telling you these facts, because if I did it has been an error. Thus you can see that even having six brothers on my head, I am of a more upright character than they."

But when the Caliph heard my and my brothers' stories, he laughed and said - "You have spoken the truth, O Samit (Silent Man); you indeed are a person of a few words; but now you depart from this city and live in some other city." So he banished me from Bagadaad. I traveled through many countries until I heard of that Caliph's death, and of the succession of another Caliph. When I was returning to my city I met with this young man, I did my best to him, still he accused me of which is not in my character.



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