Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Carpe Diem #1339 The Merchant and the Genius

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all liked the first episode of this 1001 Nights month in which we will read fairytales from "The Arabian Nights" or "1001 NIghts". I love fairytales, but I didn't really read the stories from "1001 Nights" ... so to me these fairytales are new and maybe that's the reason why I love to do this month. But ... the episodes will become very long every day and that's maybe a problem. So I have an idea. I will share the fairytales partially in the regular episodes and I give you the opportunity to read the other part also here at CDHK but in a separated page which you can find above in the menu. That page I have titled "And the Story Goes On".

Here is the first part of the fairytale of today "The Merchant and the Genius", a story told by Scheherazade to save her own life.

The Story of the Merchant and the Genius

There was once upon a time a merchant who possessed great wealth, in land and merchandise, as well as in ready money. He was obliged from time to time to take journeys to arrange his affairs. One day, having to go a long way from home, he mounted his horse, taking with him a small wallet in which he had put a few biscuits and dates, because he had to pass through the desert where no food was to be got. He arrived without any mishap, and, having finished his business, set out on his return. On the fourth day of his journey, the heat of the sun being very great, he turned out of his road to rest under some trees. He found at the foot of a large walnut-tree a fountain of clear and running water. He dismounted, fastened his horse to a branch of the tree, and sat by the fountain, after having taken from his wallet some of his dates and biscuits. When he had finished this frugal meal he washed his face and hands in the fountain.

When he was thus employed he saw an enormous genius, white with rage, coming towards him, with a scimitar in his hand.
“Arise,” he cried in a terrible voice, “and let me kill you as you have killed my son!”
As he uttered these words he gave a frightful yell. The merchant, quite as much terrified at the hideous face of the monster as at his words, answered him tremblingly, “Alas, good sir, what can I have done to you to deserve death?”
“I shall kill you,” repeated the genius, “as you have killed my son.”
“But,” said the merchant, “how can I have killed your son? I do not know him, and I have never even seen him.”
“When you arrived here did you not sit down on the ground?” asked the genius, “and did you not take some dates from your wallet, and whilst eating them did not you throw the stones about?”
“Yes,” said the merchant, “I certainly did so.”
“Then,” said the genius, “I tell you you have killed my son, for whilst you were throwing about the stones, my son passed by, and one of them struck him in the eye and killed him. So I shall kill you.”
“Ah, sir, forgive me!” cried the merchant.
“I will have no mercy on you,” answered the genius.
“But I killed your son quite unintentionally, so I implore you to spare my life.”
“No,” said the genius, “I shall kill you as you killed my son,” and so saying, he seized the merchant by the arm, threw him on the ground, and lifted his sabre to cut off his head.
The merchant, protesting his innocence, bewailed his wife and children, and tried pitifully to avert his fate. The genius, with his raised scimitar, waited till he had finished, but was not in the least touched.

Scheherazade and the Sultan (wikimedia)

Scheherazade, at this point, seeing that it was day, and knowing that the Sultan always rose very early to attend the council, stopped speaking.
“Indeed, sister,” said Dinarzade, “this is a wonderful story.”
“The rest is still more wonderful,” replied Scheherazade, “and you would say so, if the sultan would allow me to live another day, and would give me leave to tell it to you the next night.”

Schahriar, who had been listening to Scheherazade with pleasure, said to himself, “I will wait till tomorrow; I can always have her killed when I have heard the end of her story.”
All this time the grand-vizir was in a terrible state of anxiety. But he was much delighted when he saw the Sultan enter the council-chamber without giving the terrible command that he was expecting.

The next morning, before the day broke, Dinarzade said to her sister, “Dear sister, if you are awake I pray you to go on with your story.”
The Sultan did not wait for Scheherazade to ask his leave. “Finish,” said he, “the story of the genius and the merchant. I am curious to hear the end.”
So Scheherazade went on with the story. This happened every morning. The Sultana told a story, and the Sultan let her live to finish it.

The Story Goes On ... HERE

a new day rises
birds praising their Creator
a new story

© Chèvrefeuille

Scheherazade is a real story-teller, a Kamishibai (smiles), and by telling her stories she adds another day to here life. Isn't that a wonderful idea? Telling stories adds days to your life ... maybe that's why I once started with this warhearted family at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Telling stories to add days to your life ... telling stories makes life wonderful.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 9th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, The Story of the first Old Man and of the Hind, later on. For now ... have fun!

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