Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thousand and One Nights - 6

The Merchant and the Genie

This gazelle is the daughter of my father's brother and my own flesh and blood. I married her whilst she was yet of tender age and lived with her near thirty years, without being blessed with a child by her. So I took me a concubine and had by her a son like the rising full moon, with eyes and eyebrows of perfect beauty; and he grew up and flourished till he reached the age of fifteen, when I had occasion to journey to a certain city, and set out thither with great store of merchandise. Now my wife had studied sorcery and magic from her youth: so, I being gone, she turned my son into a calf and his mother into a cow and delivered them both to the cowherd: and when, after a long absence, I returned from my journey and inquired after my son and his mother, my wife said to me, "Thy slave died and her son ran away, whither I know not."

Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Illiad by Homer.

More About This Book

From the Arab world: these stories date back to the Middle Ages.

Picture: Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryār.

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