The next morning, before the day broke,
Dinarzade: “Dear sister, would you please tell us the story of the Merchant and the Genie.”
Shahariyaar: “Finish the story. I am curious to hear the end.”
Scheherazade: The genie considered some time
First Old Man: “O King of the Genie, I beg of you to stay your fury and to listen to me. I am
going to tell you my story and that of the Gazelle I have with me, and if you find it more
marvelous than that of the merchant whom you are about to kill, I hope that you will do away
with the third part of his punishment?”
Genie: “Very well, I agree to this.”
Narrator:(First Old Man):
This Gazelle that you see with me is my wife. We have no children of our own, therefore I adopted the son of a favorite slave, and determined to make him my heir. My wife, however, took a great dislike to both the mother and the child. When my adopted son was about ten years old I was obliged to go on a journey. Before I went I entrusted to my wife’s keeping both the mother and child and begged her to take care of them during my absence. But my wife had learned the art of witchcraft, and she turned my son into a calf and his mother into a cow and placed them under the care of a herdsman. When I returned I inquired after my slave and the child.
First Old Man’s Wife: “Your slave-girl is dead, and your son has fled, I don’t know where he’s gone.”
Narrator (First Old Man):
I searched for my son everywhere until the feast of Bairam. I ordered my herdsman to bring me a very fat cow to sacrifice. He did so. The cow that he brought was my unfortunate slave.
First Old Man: Bring me a different cow.
First Old Man’s Wife:(Shouted) “Slay her! There’s none fatter or fairer” To please her, I tried again.
First Old Man: “Take her away, and kill her; I cannot.” The herdsman killed her, but on skinning her found that she was nothing but bones. “Keep her for yourself, and if you have a fat calf, bring that in her stead.” So he brought me, my bewitched son. When the calf saw me, he broke his tether, ran to me, and shed tears. I was even more surprised and touched by this action.
First Old Man: “Take back this calf and bring me another in its place.”
First Old Man’s Wife:(Shouted) “You must kill this calf. it is a holy and blessed day and nothing is to be slain except what is pure and perfect.”
First Old Man: “Look at the cow that I have just had slaughtered at your request and how disappointed we are by results. I am extremely sorry for having killed her. So this time I’m not going to listen to you and the calf will not be sacrificed.” The herdsman took the calf away with him. The next day the herdsman asked to speak to me in private.
Herdsman: “Master, I have come to you with some bad news which I think you will like to hear.”
First Old Man: “I’m Listening.”
Herdsman: “I have a daughter who knows magic. Yesterday, when I was leading back the calf which you refused to sacrifice, I noticed that she smiled, and then directly afterward began to cry. I asked her why did she do so.”
Herdsman Daughter: “Father, this calf is the son of our master. I smile with joy at seeing him still alive, and I weep to think of his mother, who was sacrificed as a cow. These changes have been brought to our master’s wife, who hated the mother and son.” When I heard my herdsman’s words, I went with him to his house. The calf came right away and fawned all over me as before.
First Old Man: “Is it true all that you’ve said about the calf?”
Herdsman Daughter: “Yes, Oh master, He’s your son.”
First Old Man: if you can release him from this spell, you can have whatever property and cattle I have.
Herdsman Daughter: “Master, I don’t desire such goods and I shall take them only under two conditions: the first that you marry me to your son, and the second, that you allow me to bewitch your wife and imprison her.”
First Old Man: “Not only do I grant you your wish, but you may have all the cattle and the household stuff and as for my wife, anything you do to her is alright with me.” Then she took a vessel of water and pronounced some words I did not understand; then, on throwing the water over him, he immediately became a young man.
First Old Man: “My son, my dear son, this kind maiden has rescued you from a terrible enchantment, and I am sure that out of gratitude you will marry her.” He consented joyfully, but the young girl changed my wife into a gazelle before they were married.
**********[back to the Merchant place] ********
First Old Man: “After this, the herdsman’s daughter lived with us until she died. Then my son journeyed to the city of this man who seem to have offended you. And I wandered with her from town to town seeking news of my son until destiny drove me to this place, Where I saw a merchant
sitting and weeping. Such is my Tale!”
Genie: “This story is indeed strange and thus I shall grant you a third part of the punishment of his merchant.”
Second Old man: “I am going to tell you what happened to me, and I am sure that you will find my story even more astonishing than the one to which you have just been listening. But when I have related it, will you grant me also the third part of the merchant’s punishment?”
Genie: “I give you my word, but only if your adventures are truly more marvelous”