Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-5
|Arabian Nights Stories-5|
|Story No 91-2, 3/11|
Sindbaad on the Mountains of the Diamonds
See also for the account of this island "The Fifth Voyage of Sindbaad of the Sea"
On the 543rd Night
Shaharzaad continued - "So Sindbaad started the story of his second voyage - "Thus I was living a very comfortable life that it came to mind that I should again travel to other places. So I purchased a large quantity of goods suitable for travels and embarked a new vessel. We sailed, from one sea to another, from one land to another, from island to island. Wherever we landed, we met merchants, sellers and buyers, we sold and bought things. Thus we continued to do until Destiny brought us to a beautiful island where there were beautiful trees laden with fruits and flowers, flowing rivers, and chirping birds; but there was no one living there, neither man nor a Jinn. We just landed there to amuse ourselves.
I also disembarked the ship and admiring God's creation came to a spring and sat there to eat my food. After eating my food, I felt the cool breeze and I slept. When I arose, I did not see any human being nor Jennie. The vessel had gone and not any of them remembered me to take on the vessel. A severe grief came upon me, I did not have anything with me, neither food, nor drink, nor an extra pair of clothes. I felt at the point of destruction, being mad. I thought, "I was saved last time but this time there is no chance. I blamed myself for this but what to do now, so I stood up and walked about the island. Once I climbed up a tree and looked around. I happened to indistinctly see a white thing in the distance. So I descended the tree and proceeded in the same direction until I arrived at that place.
It was a huge dome but it had no door to enter. I could not climb it because it was very smooth. So I put a mark there where I was standing and went around the dome measuring its circumference. It was 50 full paces. At the close of the day, the Sun was hidden, darkness came over, so I imagined as if a cloud came over it, but this was summer, so I looked above and found that it was not a cloud, but it was huge bird whose wing had hidden the Sun. So I remembered the story ..."
On the 544th Night
"So I wondered at this and I remembered a story which travelers and voyagers told me long time ago, that how on a certain island a huge bird named Rukh who used to feed its young ones with elephants. So I became convinced that this dome was the egg of the same Rukh. In the meantime the bird came down upon the dome, spread its wings and slept over it. Glory be to Him who does not sleep.
I got an idea, I arose, unwound my turban, twisted it to make a rope, tied its one knot in my waist and the other one in one of the legs of that bird, thinking it might take me to a land of cities. I did not sleep the whole night lest the bird flies with me when I am unaware. In the morning the bird rose from its egg and flew. I also flew with it. It descended me upon upon a high hill. I loosened my turban and landed safely and walked away. The bird took a serpent in its beak and flew up away again. As I walked around, I found myself on a high spot beneath which was a large deep valley, and by the side of it was a high mountain, no one could see its summit.
I again blamed myself for this situation. It was better to be on that island where I could eat fruits and drink sweet water; but here, there was nothing, neither trees, nor fruits, nor rivers. I had fallen into a worse danger. So I descended and walked towards the valley. I found the valley to be composed of diamonds, minerals, jewels onyx etc. Besides that valley was full of venomous snakes also, everyone as large as a palm tree, which could gulp an elephant. They appeared in night and hid themselves in the day time fearing the Rukh birds etc. I passed the day there, but as night fell I looked for a place to sleep. I have forgotten about the food or drink, first I had to save my life.
I found a cave and its door too; so I entered it moving the stone covering its mouth. I thought I would be safe here for the night, tomorrow I will go from here. But as I entered the cave I saw a large snake sleeping over its eggs. I submitted myself to my Fate and Destiny, passed the night sleepless; and as soon as the morning broke, I removed the stone and I came out of the cave giddy with sleeplessness and hunger and fear.
I was walking around, that a great slaughtered animal fell before me, but I did not see anyone around. I was extremely wondered at this. I remembered a story told by the merchants and voyagers that in the mountains of the diamonds they had experienced great terrors and no one could access the diamonds; but the merchants who imported them knew some techniques how to obtain them. They take a sheep, slaughter it, and skin it and cut up its flesh which they throw down in the bottom of the valley. And when this flesh comes down some precious stones stick to it. The merchants leave it till midday, at that time the vultures etc come and take it away on the mountain top. When they have come, the merchants come and cry out at them and they fly away from the flesh. Then the merchants take out the stones from that flesh and take them away to their countries. This is the only way to take diamonds from there. So when I saw that slaughtered animal, I remembered that story." Seeing the morning broke, Shaharzaad stopped the story here.
On the 545th Night
Shaharzaad again continued her story - "So Sindbaad the Seaman continued telling his story to the other Sindbad - "Nobody can take diamonds other than this way. So when I saw that animal, I rose and went to the animal, selected a great number of stones, put them in my pockets, girdle, in my turban; and while I was doing this, another slaughtered animal fell in front of me. I bound myself to it with my turban and laying myself on my back, placed it on my chest and held it firmly. Thus it was raised high above the ground by a vulture. A vulture descended upon it, seized it and flew up with me attached to it. It descended on the top of a mountain. At the same time, something made a loud sound there, so it left the animal there and flew away. I loosened myself from the animal and stood aside.
The merchant who made this sound came there and saw me standing there. He got afraid seeing me there, he could not speak. He checked the beast and could not find anything stuck to it, so he uttered a loud cry and beat his head. I advanced to him and he asked me - "Who are you, and what is the reason of your coming to this place?" I said - "Do not fear, nor be alarmed. I am a good man and a merchant. My tale is extraordinary and the cause of my coming to this mountain and this valley is also wondrous. You will receive what will rejoice you. I have with me abundance of diamonds which I will give to you as much as they suffice to you. And every piece, which I will give to you, is better than all that would come to you by other means." For this he thanked me and prayed for me.
Seeing me talking to him, other merchants also came there and took me with them. I told them my story on our way. They told me that no one came there alive from that valley before me. I passed my night with them in a safe and pleasant place. Next day, we journeyed looking at the valley of the serpents until we came at a garden in a beautiful island where there were huge camphor trees under which a hundred men could rest. Whoever wanted to have camphor from these trees, he would make a cut in its upper part, the liquid camphor will flow from it, and will solidify in camphor. After this the tree will dry up and can be used as a firewood only.
In that island there were rhinoceros also which roam like oxen and buffaloes in our country, but the weight of that animal is greater than the camel and it eats the tender leaves of trees. it is a huge beast with a single horn, thick and in the middle of its head, about a half yard long. There were some animals like buffaloes and oxen also which are not found in our country. The people who have been here told me that this rhino could lift the elephant on its horn and can roam about the island eating grass without even sensing it. And when the elephant dies on its horn, and the elephant's fat melts because of heat and flows upon the head of the rhino, it enters the eyes of the rhino and makes it blind. Then it lies down upon the shore, and Rukh comes and carries it off (with the elephant) to feed its young ones with the elephant.
This valley contains diamond in great quantity. I bought many goods in exchange of those diamonds. Then I went to Basaraa, stayed there for a few days, then I came back to Bagadaad to my home."
"When I came back home, I met my relations and family, bestowed them with gifts and alms and began to eat well. I forgot my sufferings. Whoever heard my coming back, he came to see me and wondered at the severity of suffering and congratulated on my safety. This was the account of my second voyage. Tomorrow I will tell you the account of my third voyage. Then all ate food and Sindbaad the Seaman gave 100 Deenaars to Sindbaad the Hammaal. Hamaal thanked him a lot and came back his home.
Next day he again went to Sindbaad's palace to hear his story of his third voyage. Many others also arrived. They all had food and drink then Sindbaad said - "Now you listen to the account of my third voyage which is more wondrous than the previous ones ..."
Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/24/14