Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-5

Arabian Nights Stories-5

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Story No 89-2-3, 5/21

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89-2-3 - The Story of the Hunchback (5 of 21) :
The Story Told by the Christian Broker

On the 26th Night

The lady came wearing a crown set with pearls and jewels etc and her hands and feet were decorated with henna. She welcomed me. In a while food came and we both ate till we were satisfied. The day passed and the night too. Next morning I threw the handkerchief containing gold pieces to her and took leave of her. As I did so, she started weeping and asked me when we would meet again? I said - "I will come again in the evening." I came out and came home riding the same donkey. I asked the man to come again in the evening. Next evening, I again went there. I took some food and sweets and 50 gold pieces in an handkerchief for her. Everything was ready for my welcome, even supper was laid. We spent the time as we did the previous day. Next morning I again gave her 50 gold pieces and left her.

This I continued to do for a long time until one day I found neither gold, nor silver with me. I said to myself, "Oh, This is the work of the Devil." Then I walked forth to that lady's house and found a great crowd there. I still made my way to enter the house, and as Destiny willed, I passed a trooper in this process and my hand touched his pocked in which I felt a purse. I took it out. The troop also realized that his pocket was lighter, so he looked around and found me. He hit me on the head and I fell down. The crowd wanted to beat him but he said loudly - "This man is a robber." Hearing this I feared. Some believed while others not.

But as it was predestined, the Valee came and asked the trooper - "What was the news?" He said - "Sir, This man is a robber. I had a blue purse containing 20 pieces of gold, and now it is not." The Valee asked a person to search on me, and as he did so he found the blue purse which contained 20 gold pieces as the trooper had said. The Valee asked me - "Did you steal it?" If I said, "I did not steal it," it was useless; and if I said, "I stole it," I would be in trouble. So I said - "Yes, I took it." Then the Valee ordered the executioner to cut off my right hand, and he cut off my right hand.

The people gathered around me, gave me wine to drink, and the trooper gave me that purse saying - "You are a young man. It is not good to be a thief." I took the purse from him and said to him - "By Allaah, I was not a robber, nor I am a thief now. My Destiny threw me in this situation." The trooper left me, and I went on my way hiding my bandaged hand in my bosom.

Still I went to my lady. She saw my pale face and asked - "What happened to you?" I said - "I am not well." She had been asking but I could not tell her. She asked me if I was tired of her and I assured her that this was not the case. The night came and the supper was served. I did not eat it with the fear that she would see me eating with my left hand. Then she gave me some wine to drink insisting that I must tell her my story. I took the cup with my left hand. Seeing this she asked that why did I hold it in my left hand? I told her that I had a boil on my right hand. She asked me to show it and when I put it forth, she asked me to open it. I said - "This is not the time to open it, and do not continue to ask me about it." Then I slept there and she found out that my right hand was without the hand and there was also a purse containing the gold pieces.

Next day, in the morning I ate the breakfast, kept the purse and was about to depart, that she asked me - "Where will you go?" "Where I will not be oppressed by anxiety." She asked me to sit again and I sat down there. Then she asked me - "Do you love me so much that you spent all your money on me and lost you hand? I will never leave you now." She called a Qaazee and we got married. She asked the Qaazee to write in the contract that she had got the dowry and whatever wealth and servants she had, belonged to me. Then she took me to a room where she opened a closet and there were all the handkerchiefs which I gave to her containing gold pieces. She said - "This is all your money you gave to me. Fate has afflicted you because of me, and I cannot compensate it to you. Even if I give my life to you, it would be nothing in comparison to what you have given to me." Thus she gave me all her property.

Then she became very disordered, and died in less than 50 days. After her death I found that she had lots of wealth among which were store rooms of sesame also. I sold one from them to you just now, the price of which I have not yet received. Now I want to say you something, I hope you will not oppose me. Since I have eaten your food, I give you the price of the sesame which is in your hands. This is the cause of eating with my left hand."

I replied - "You have treated me with kindness and generosity." He said - "You must come to my country for I have bought merchandise of Cairo and Alexandria? Will you accompany me?" and I said "Yes." Then I sold all that I possessed and having bought merchandise with the produce traveled with that young man to his country. Here he sold his merchandise, brought other instead, and returned to Cairo. But I think my lot still remained here to experience this."

On the 27th Night

I further said - "Is this not more wonderful  story than the story of the hunchback?" The King replied - "You must be hanged - all of you." And hearing this the King's steward Reeve came forward and said - "If you permit me I will relate to you my story, that I happened to me just before I found this hunchback, and if it be more wonderful than the events related to him, will you grant us our lives?" The King said - "First you tell your story." So the King's steward started his story like this ......

Contd on 6th Page



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