~~Story narrated by Scheherazade
Once upon a time, a merchant was travelling from his hometown to another place through a desert. As he had travelled for many days, he was tired and hungry, so he sat under a tree near an oasis and started to eat some dates. As he ate, he spat out the seeds of the dates onto the sand in front of him. After he had finished eating, a huge storm of dust gathered in front of him and from the darkness, a big and terrible genie appeared. The genie then threatened to kill the man for having killed his son.
The merchant was perplexed and said that he did not kill anyone. Then the genie shouted and said that he had just killed his son when he spat out the seeds. Apparently, one of the seeds had fallen in his son’s eye and he had died. Hence, the genie was here to take revenge on the merchant for his son’s death. The merchant was shaken beyond words and begged the genie to give him some time in order to see his family for one last time and settle his personal affairs. The genie was hesitant to let go of the merchant at first, but later he consented with the merchant saying that he would await her under the same tree once all his works were complete.
After this, the genie disappeared and the merchant went back to his home, where his family was happy to receive him. But, he was heartbroken and when he conveyed the news to his wife and child, they were heartbroken too. After that, he started to settle all of his business affairs and then he repaid all his loans as well as donated a huge amount of his wealth to the poor and needy. After a few years, he went back and sat under the same tree, where he had killed the genie’s son.
While he was waiting, a man with a gazelle came and enquired as to why he was waiting at a place where there were many evil genies roaming about. The merchant then recalled the past to him and he decided to wait beside him, in order to see the genie responsible for this. After this, another man with two dogs came and sat beside them. They were followed by another man who came with his mule. The storm started once again and from the darkness, the same terrible genie appeared and asked the merchant to stand up, so he could kill him. At this point, the man who came with the gazelle stood up and made a request to the genie saying that if he (genie) liked his story which he had to tell, then he could reduce the punishment by one third for the merchant. The genie agreed to listen to the story.
~~In Shahryar’s room
At this point of the story, Shahryar had stood up in order to go to the royal court and Scheherazade too stopped narrating to her sister. The little sister then urged her sister to continue, but she could not as the king was about to leave. Finally, Shahryar decided to not kill her, in order to listen to the story which she had to tell. With this, he left his room and walked by the advisor who was awaiting order to kill the wife. But to his surprise, he got no such order and he was happy to know that his daughter would live longer.
To know what happened next, proceed to Arabian Nights – Chapter 3!