Thursday, January 4, 2018

Carpe Diem #1341 The Story of the second Old Man and of the Two Black Dogs

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

a misty autumn night -
she, the moon, sends ghosts from behind thin clouds
back into the world

© Chèvrefeuille

I was leaving through my archives on a quest to find haiku (or tanka) about fairytales. I ran into several, but none of them would fit this episode, but than I ran into the above haiku. It's a haiku I wrote back in 2014. In this haiku "the moon" plays the leading role and the time of day is evening or night, so I thought "yes ... this one I can use to start the new episode with". Why? Well the fairytales of 1001 Nights are told by Scheherazade as a king of bedtime story ... so this haiku fits and not only through the moon, but also because of "ghosts" in line two (2).

Today I love to share the Story of the second Old Man and of the Two Black Dogs. Scheherazade still tells her stories to escape from her master's ordeal to murder her. As long as she tells stories the Sultan will not murder her ... so she tells the story of "Arabian Nights", a story in which there are more than one stories (stories within a story).

The Story of the second Old Man and of the Two Black Dogs:

Great prince of the genii, you must know that we are three brothers–these two black dogs and myself. Our father died, leaving us each a thousand sequins. With this sum we all three took up the same profession, and became merchants. A short time after we had opened our shops, my eldest brother, one of these two dogs, resolved to travel in foreign countries for the sake of merchandise. With this intention he sold all he had and bought merchandise suitable to the voyages he was about to make. He set out, and was away a whole year. At the end of this time a beggar came to my shop. “Good-day,” I said. “Good-day,” he answered; “is it possible that you do not recognize me?” Then I looked at him closely and saw he was my brother. I made him come into my house, and asked him how he had fared in his enterprise.
“Do not question me,” he replied, “see me, you see all I have. It would but renew my trouble to tell of all the misfortunes that have befallen me in a year, and have brought me to this state.”
I shut up my shop, paid him every attention, taking him to the bath, giving him my most beautiful robes. I examined my accounts, and found that I had doubled my capital–that is, that I now possessed two thousand sequins. I gave my brother half, saying: “Now, brother, you can forget your losses.” He accepted them with joy, and we lived together as we had before.

The Story of the Second Old Man and of the Two Black Dogs (project Gutenberg)

Some time afterwards my second brother wished also to sell his business and travel. My eldest brother and I did all we could to dissuade him, but it was of no use. He joined a caravan and set out. He came back at the end of a year in the same state as his elder brother. I took care of him, and as I had a thousand sequins to spare I gave them to him, and he re-opened his shop.
One day, my two brothers came to me to propose that we should make a journey and trade. At first I refused to go. “You traveled,” I said, “and what did you gain?” But they came to me repeatedly, and after having held out for five years I at last gave way. But when they had made their preparation, and they began to buy the merchandise we needed, they found they had spent every piece of the thousand sequins I had given them. I did not reproach them. I divided my six thousand sequins with them, giving a thousand to each and keeping one for myself, and the other three I buried in a corner of my house. We bought merchandise, loaded a vessel with it, and set forth with a favorable wind.

peony blooms
her beautiful colors
arouse the senses

© Chèvrefeuille

After two months’ sailing we arrived at a seaport, where we disembarked and did a great trade. Then we bought the merchandise of the country, and were just going to sail once more, when I was stopped on the shore by a beautiful though poorly dressed woman. She came up to me, kissed my hand, and implored me to marry her, and take her on board. At first I refused, but she begged so hard and promised to be such a good wife to me, that at last I consented. I got her some beautiful dresses, and after having married her, we embarked and set sail. During the voyage, I discovered so many good qualities in my wife that I began to love her more and more. But my brothers began to be jealous of my prosperity, and set to work to plot against my life. One night when we were sleeping they threw my wife and myself into the sea. My wife, however, was a fairy, and so she did not let me drown, but transported me to an island. When the day dawned, she said to me,

The Story of the second Old Man and of the Two Black Dogs, the fairy (image found on Pinterest)

“When I saw you on the sea-shore I took a great fancy to you, and wished to try your good nature, so I presented myself in the disguise you saw. Now I have rewarded you by saving your life. But I am very angry with your brothers, and I shall not rest till I have taken their lives.”
I thanked the fairy for all that she had done for me, but I begged her not to kill my brothers.

rough sea
thundering waves
home safe

© Chèvrefeuille

Well another wonderful story ... the story goes on HERE

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 11th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, a new weekend-meditation, later on. For now ... have fun!

1 comment:

  1. I am enjoying your 1001 Arabian Nights prompts. Just reading them is a lot of fun. A childhood favorite book, your posts are making me realize it would be great to revisit the tales as an adult. I'm experiencing a different perspective than when I was a child.