1. The Young Head of the Family (China)There was once a family consisting of a father, his four sons, and his three daughters-in-law.The three daughters-in-law, that is, the wives of the three elder sons, were recently brought into the house, and were all from one village a few miles away. Having no mother-in-law with them in their new home, and being lonesome and homesick for their former families, they constantly bothered the old man by asking permission to visit their former village. Vexed by these continual pleas, he set himself to invent a method of putting an end to them, and at last gave the young women permission in this way: "You are always begging me to allow you to go and visit your mothers, and thinking that I am very hard-hearted because I do not let you go. Now you may go, but only upon condition that when you come back you willeach bring me something I want. One of youshall bring me some fire wrapped inpaper, the other shall bring me some wind in apaper, and the third shall bring me some musicin wind. Unless you promise to bring me these,you are never to ask me to let you go home;and if you go and fail to get these for me,you are never to come back." Theold man did not suppose that these conditions would be accepted, as theywere difficult to understand, much less to fulfill, but the girls were young andthoughtless, and in their anxiety to get away did not consider any of that. Sothey made ready with speed, and in great glee started off on foot to visittheir mothers. After they had walked a long distance; chatting about whatthey should do and whom they should see in their native village, the highheel of one of them slipped from under her foot, and she fell down. Owing tothis mishap they all stopped to adjust the misplaced footgear, and whiledoing this the conditions under which alone they could return to theirhusbands came to mind, and they began to cry. While they sat there crying by the roadside a young girl cameriding along on a water buffalo. She stopped and asked them what was thematter, and whether she could help them. They told her she could do themno good; but she persisted in offering her sympathy and inviting their confidence, till at lastthey told her their story. At once, she said that if they would go home with her she wouldshow them a way out of their trouble. Their case seemed so hopeless, and the girl on thewater buffalo seemed so sure of her own power to help them, that they finally went with her toher fathers house, where she showed them how to comply with their father-in-laws demand.
2. How can the first daughter-in-law bring back fire wrapped in paper? How can the second daughter-in-law bring back wind in a paper? How can the third daughter-in-law bring back music in wind? For the first, a paper lantern would do. When lighted, it would be a fire, and itspaper surface would encompass the blaze, so that it would truly be "some fire wrapped inpaper." For the second, a paper fan would suffice. When flapped,wind would issue from it, and the "wind wrapped in paper" couldthus be carried to the old man. For the third, a set of chimes wouldprovide music in the wind. The three young women thanked the wise child, andwent on their way rejoicing. After a pleasant visit to their homevillage, they took a paper lantern, a fan and a set of chimes, andreturned to their father-in-laws house. As soon as he saw themapproach he began to vent his anger at their light regard for hiscommands, but they assured him that they had perfectly obeyedhim, and showed him that what they had brought fulfilled the conditions required. Muchastonished, he inquired how it was that they had suddenly become so clever, and they toldhim the story of their journey, and of the girl that had so fortunately come to their relief. He inquired whether the girl was already betrothed, and finding that she was not, he engaged a go-between to see if he could arrange for the girl on the water buffalo to marry his youngest son. Having succeeded in securing the girl as a daughter-in-law, he brought her home. The father told all the rest of the family that as there was no mother in the house, and as this girl had shown herself to be possessed of extraordinary wisdom, that she should be the head of the household. Some happy and prosperous years passed, theyoung wife bore many children, and all fared very well in the household.
3. The Empty Pot (China) B Y royal proclamation, the Emperor of China announced a contest to decide the nextheir to the throne. The Emperor was old and had no son, and because he had been a plant-lover for years, he declared that any boy who wanted to be king should come to the palaceto receive one royal seed. Whichever boy could show the best results within six monthswould win the contest and become the next to wear the crown. You can imagine the excitement! Every boy in China fancied himself likely to win.Parents of boys who were talented at growing plants imagined living in splendor at thepalace. On the day the seeds were to be handed out, thick crowds of hopeful boys throngedthe palace. Each boy returned home with one precious possibility in his palm. And so it was with the boy Jun. He was already considered the best gardener inthe village. His neighbors fought over the melons, bokchoy, and snow peas that flourishedfrom his garden. Anyone looking for Jun would probably find him bobbing between his rows,pulling out new weeds, moving one sapling over to catch more morning sun, transplantinganother to the shade. Jun carefully carried the Emperors seed home, sealing it securely inhis hands so it wouldnt fall, but not so tightly that it might crush. At home, he spread the bottom of a flowerpot with large stones, covered thestones with pebbles, then filled the pot with rich black moist soil. He pressed the seed aboutan inch below the surface and covered it with light soil. Over the next few days Jun, alongwith every boy he knew and hundreds he did not know, watered his pot every day andwatched for the telltale unfurling of the first leaf as it burst through the surface. Cheun was the first boy in Juns vilage to announce that his seed was sproutingthrough the soil, and his announcement was met with whoops of excitement andcongratulations. He bragged that he would surely be the next emperor and practiced hisroyal skills by bossing around the younger, adoring children. Manchu was the next boywhose tiny plant had emerged from his pot, then it was Wong. Jun was puzzled - none ofthese boys could grow plants as well as he! But Juns seed did not grow. Soon sprouts emerged from pots all over the village. Boys moved their plantsoutside so the baby leaves could bask in the warmth of the sun. They built stone fencesaround their pots and zealously guarded them from mischievous children who mightaccidentally - or not so accidentally - topple them over. Soon, dozens of sprouts in potsthroughout Juns village were stretching out their first leaves. But Juns seed did not grow. He was confused - what was wrong? Jun carefully repotted his seed into a newpot with the very best and richest black loam from his garden. He crumbled every ball of soilinto tiny particles. He gently pressed in the seed, and kept the top moist and watched the potevery day. Still Juns seed did not grow. Strong, powerful stalks soon emerged from the pots cared for by other boys inJuns village. Jun was thrown into despair. The other boys laughed at him and started tomockingly say "as empty as Juns pot" if there were no treats in their pockets, or if they hadjust finished their bowls of rice. Jun repotted his plant yet again, this time sprinkling dried fishthroughout the soil as fertilizer. Even so, his seed did not grow.
4. Six months passed. The day approached when the boys were supposed to bringtheir plants to the palace for judging. Cheun, Manchu, Wong and hundreds of other boyscleaned their pots till they shone, gently wiped the great leaves till the green veins glistened,and prepared themselves by dressing in their finest clothes. Some mothers or fathers walkedalongside their son to hold the plant upright as he carried the pot to the palace, to keep theplant from tipping over. "What will I do?" wailed Jun to his parents as he gazed out the window at the otherboys joyfully preparing their triumphant return to the palace. "My seed wouldnt grow! My potis empty!" "You did the best you could," said his father, shaking his head. Added his mother,"Jun, just bring the emperor your pot," said his mother, "it was the best you could do." Shame-faced, Jun carried his empty pot on the road to the palace, while gleefulboys carrying pots tottering with huge plants strode to his right and left. At the palace, all the boys lined up in rows with their blossoming plants andawaited judgment. The Emperor, wrapped in his richly embroidered silk robe, strode downthe line of hopeful entrants, viewing each plant with a frown. When he came to Jun, hescowled even more and said, "What is this? You brought me an empty pot?" It was all Jun could do to keep from crying. "If you please, Your Majesty," said Jun,"I tried my best. I planted your seed with the best soil I could find, I kept it moist and watchedit every day. When the seed didnt grow I repotted it in new soil, and I even repotted it again.But it just didnt grow. Im sorry." Jun hung his head. "Hmm," said the Emperor. Turning so everyone could hear he thundered, "I dontknow where all these other boys got their seeds. There is no way anything could grow fromthe seeds we passed out for the contest, because those seeds had all been cooked!" And he smiled at Jun.
5. The Four Friends (India)O NCE upon a time there were four dear friends, a Crow, a Rat, a large Turtle, and a Deer.Every day in the heat of the noontime sun, the four of them liked nothing better than to gatherby Turtles pond in a cool shady place, and spend the long afternoon together discussingmatters of philosophy, poetry, art and nature, and sharing their thoughts on all matters. One day, three of the friends -- that is, Turtle, Rat, and Crow -- gathered at the usualnoontime hour by Turtles pond, and waited for Deer to arrive. But she did not. After awhilethey became very much alarmed, and worried that she might have come upon some sort ofaccident. They determined to go in search of her. Crow flew up into the air to see what discoveries she could make. To her horror, shesaw at a distance poor Deer caught in a Hunters net! Crow immediately flew back to the pondto share the terrible news with Rat and Turtle. You may be sure all three friends were terriblyupset. "The four of us have always been friends," said Turtle. "We cant just let poor Deerface death at the hands of some hunter. No! There must be some way for us to save her." Crow said, "You know, Friend Rat can chew through the net that binds her foot andset her free! Friend Rat, I must carry you to Deer, and right away, too, before the Hunterreturns and finishes her off!" "Yes, of course," nodded Rat. "Why wait? Lets go at once." So Crow carried Rat in her bill and delivered him to the place where Deer wastrapped. Immediately, Rat started to chew upon the net that held Deers foot, and had almostset her free by the time -- who should arrive -- but Turtle! "Turtle!" cried Deer, "Why have you come here? You are so far now from the safetyof your pond. Im afraid youve put yourself in terrible danger." "Alas!" replied Turtle, "I could not stay at home knowing that you were in danger." "Oh, friend Turtle," said Deer, "your coming here troubles me more than the loss ofmy own freedom. For if the Hunter should happen to come at this very moment, what wouldyou do to escape? For my part I am almost freed, thanks to Rat, and Ill run away; Crow will flyto safety; Rat will dive into any hole; only you, who are so slow of foot, can all-too-easily becaught by the Hunter." No sooner had Deer spoken these words than the Hunter appeared. Deer, alreadyloosened from her trap, ran away; Crow flew upward into the sky; Rat slipped into a hole; and,as Deer had said, only the slow-paced Turtle could find no safe place to hide. When the Hunter arrived, he was surprised to discover his net torn and the deergone. Annoyed, he looked about to see if he could discover who had done him the mischief.Then he noticed Turtle.
6. "Oh!" said the Hunter, smiling at Turtle. "Very well, I am glad enough to see youhere. It looks like I shall not go home empty-handed after all. My deer may be gone, but heresa good-sized Turtle, and thats worth something, Im sure." With that he took up Turtle, dropped him in his sack, threw the sack over hisshoulder, and trudged off. When the Hunter had disappeared into the woods, the three friends came out oftheir hiding places. Oh, how they cried about the unhappy turn of events for poor Turtle! At lastCrow said, "Dear friends, our moans and groans will do Turtle no good. We must try to think ofa way to save his life." "Well yes," said Rat. "And perhaps theres a way after all. Crow, if you fly upwards,youll be able to see exactly where the hunter has gone to. Deer, if you run forward andovertake the Hunter, and then let him see you, surely hell lay down his sack to run after you(and dont call me Shirley!). That will give us enough time to rescue poor Turtle." "Thats not a bad idea," replied Deer. "In fact, if I pretend to be injured in one leg, asI easily could have been from having worked free of his net, and then run limping by at a littledistance before him, that will encourage the Hunter all the more to follow me. Im sure I coulddraw him a good distance from his sack. Then you, friend Rat, will have enough time to chewthe string on the sack and let poor Turtle out." Everyone agreed to the plan. Immediately Deer ran before the Hunter, limping andappearing so faint and feeble that the Hunter was sure she would be an easy mark to catch.Setting down his sack, he ran after Deer with all his might. But as soon as he approached her,the cunning creature burst into a full-fledged chase, until she had dragged him deep into thewoods. Then out scampered Rat, who gnawed the string that tied the sack. At last Turtle wasfree! Off he scrambled and hid himself in a thick bush. Finally the Hunter, tired of running, gave up on catching Deer and returned to hissack. "Well," he said, approaching the sack, "at least I have something safe here: A Turtle isnot nearly as fast as that stupid Deer. And even if you were," he said to the sack, "your legscouldnt do you any good tied up in my sack." When the Hunter found that his sack was torn, and besides that, empty as well, hewas much amazed, and thought himself in a place of hobgoblins and ghosts. He could notbelieve that a Deer should free herself out of his strong nets, then by and by appear hoppingbefore him, and make a fool out of him, and then a Turtle, a poor feeble creature as everyoneknows, should break the string of his sack by himself and escape! Struck with panic and fear,he ran home as if a thousand spirits were nipping at his heels. Safe at last, the four friends congratulated each other on their escapes and declaredanew their everlasting friendship.
7. The Magic Horse (Iran)I N ANCIENT PERSIA, the New Year was celebrated at the beginning of spring. At that time a grandfeast was observed throughout the land, and at the royal palace, artists, natives and strangers wereinvited to present their finest skills or treasures to the king. If the king was pleased, he would grant thema fine gift. Near the end of one of these feasts, a traveler came before the king and presented a beautiful,artificial horse, richly decorated. "I flatter myself, sir," said the stranger, addressing himself to the king, "that your majesty has neverseen anything as wonderful as this." "Any capable artist can create a horse such as this one," frowned the king. "Sir," replied the traveler, "it is not its decoration, but its use that makes this horse so exceptional.On his back I can ride through the air to the most distant part of the earth, in a very short time. I caneven teach anyone else how to ride the magic horse." The king was interested. "On that mountaintop over there," he said, pointing to a mountain overten miles away, "there is a palm-tree of a particular quality, which I happen to like. Go, if your horse isas fast as you claim, and fetch me a branch of it." The stranger mounted his horse. Turning a peg in the neck, away he and the horse flew. Within 15 minutes he returned with a palm branch in his hand. He laid it at the kings feet. The king was impressed. At once he asked to purchase the horse. "Your Majesty," said the traveler, "the artist who sold me this horse made me swear that I should never part with him for money." "What would it take then?" demanded the king. The stranger replied that he would gladly give thehorse away if his majesty would only bestow on him the hand of the princess, his daughter, in marriage. When the royal courtiers heard this extravagant request, they burst out laughing. Young PrinceFirouz Shah was enraged, even more so when he saw his father, the king, looking thoughtful, as if hewere seriously considering the offer. Stepping up to his father, Prince Firouz said, "Forgive me, father, but is it possible you can hesitatea moment what answer to make to this insolent fellow? Can you bear to think of degrading our royalhouse by an alliance with a traveling salesman?" In truth, the king was worried that if he refused the marriage request, then another king could getthe magic horse. He asked his son to examine the horse carefully, and report his opinion of it. The prince approached the horse. The traveler came forward to show the prince how to manage it,but the haughty young man was in too great a fury to listen. Leaping into the saddle, he turned the peg.
8. In an instant, the horse rose into the air, with him upon it. The stranger was terribly alarmed when he saw the prince fly away on the magic horse before hehad learned how to manage it. He threw himself at the kings feet, and begged the king not to blame himfor any accident which might happen to befall the prince, since it was his own carelessness that hadexposed him to the danger. At once, the king realized the danger of the princes situation. He cursed thestranger and his fatal horse, and ordered his officers to seize him and carry him to prison. "If my son the prince does not return safely," said he, "in a very short time, your paltry life, atleast, shall be sacrificed to my vengeance!" In the meantime, Prince Firouz was carried through the air with breathtaking speed. Soon he couldscarcely see the earth at all. He tried turning the peg the other way, but when he did, the horse only rosefurther from the earth. He was greatly alarmed and began to regret his pride and anger. He turned thepeg every which way but nothing worked. On examining the horse closely, he at last discovered anotherpeg behind the ear. On turning that peg he soon found that the horse started to descend. As he drew near the earth, he realized it had already become already dark. Spotting a rooftophigher than all others, he landed the horse upon it and dismounted. Hungry and tired, he groped aboutand found he was on the roof of some large building. At last he came to some steps. Climbing down thesteps, he found a door, then a light. He saw a number of guards asleep on pallets, with their swordslying beside them. This, along with the fact that this was the highest rooftop in the land, convinced himthat he must be in a palace. He knew that if any of the guards awakened he would be in great danger, sohe decided to quietly climb the steps back to the roof, and to sleep for the night in a dark corner, thenbefore dawn to leave on his magic horse before anyone woke. But the princess had already been awakened by the sounds she heard on the roof. She instructedher guards to find out what had alighted and to bring the trespasser to her at once. The guards roughlybrought the prince before her, and he fell on his knees. "Forgive me, princess, for awakening you," he said. "I am the son of a king, and one who has takenan entirely unexpected adventure, the particulars of which I would be happy to relate to you." The lady was the daughter of the king of Bengal. Many of her attendants by this time wereawakened also. The princess told Firouz she would be glad to hear all about his adventure in themorning, but for the present asked him to withdraw. At the same time she ordered her attendants toconduct him to a chamber, and to supply him with food and refreshments. The next day, the prince remained a guest of the princess. Over the next few days the two of themgot to know each other, and it was not long before they fell in love. One afternoon the prince said to her, "Ah, my princess, everything seems different now. I wasthinking about that scoundrel who tried to trick his way into the royal family. He was a no-good louse tobe sure, but he may be in prison or even executed on my account, when I know that I jumped on thathorse before he had a chance to show me how it works." The princess said, "Are you thinking of going back now?" "Will you come?" he asked. The princess of Bengal was glad to agree. The next morning, she left a note so none would worry and they left at daybreak to the roof wherethe horse still remained. Prince Firouz helped the princess to alight. Turning the peg, they were out of
9. sight before any attendants in the palace were stirring. In thirty minutes the prince arrived at the capitalof Persia. He landed at the prison. Indeed, the stranger was imprisoned there, and nearly beside himself sincehis execution was scheduled to take place the very next morning. The prince took the princess on his magic horse to a cottage in the woods not far from the palace. "Stay here while I go see my father," he said to the princess. "Ill show my father Im well and urgehim to hold the execution of the fellow who brought the horse. Most of all, I want to tell my father allabout you, and Im sure hell prepare a suitable reception at the palace to welcome you." He explained to her the particulars on how to operate the magic horse, in the event she might needto flee for safety while he was away. Indeed, danger was lurking even as they spoke. A thief behind the bushes had overheard theirconversation, all of it. "What luck!" he thought with glee, "a princess alone and a magic horse! Ill takeher to the Sultan of Cashmere, who is seeking a bride, and gain a handsome reward." The thief waited for the prince to disappear into the woods, then sprang on the princess, mountingthe magic horse, and holding her securely in front of him. Overjoyed at how easy it all was, he turnedthe peg exactly how he learned to do it, and the horse immediately rose into the air. Astonished was theprince on the ground to hear the alarmed cries of his lady love, circling overhead, as the magic horsedipped and dove from inexperienced hands, and he could do nothing about it. He cursed the kidnapperwith a thousand curses. While the king was overjoyed to see his son, and at his request ordered a stay of execution for theseller of the horse, he understood why his son must leave again so quickly. The prince put on theclothing of a dervish, and determined never to return till he had found his princess again. The sultan of Cashmere was very impressed with the Princess of Bengal. Her distress at herkidnapping only added to her natural beauty. The Sultan delivered the promised reward and escorted theprincess to his palace. He directed his attendants to bring the horse after them. The princess hoped the Sultan of Cashmere would prove honorable and reasonable and wouldreturn her to her beloved prince of Persia, but she was much disappointed. In fact, the next morning she was awakened early by the sound of trumpets and the beating ofdrums, which echoed through the palace and city. When she asked the cause of this rejoicing, she wastold it was to celebrate her marriage with their sultan, which was to take place later that day. Desperate, there was only one thing she felt she could do. She rose and dressed herself carelessly,and in her whole behavior appeared to be unbalanced in her mind. The sultan was soon told of thisstrange development. When he came to visit her, she put on the appearance of frenzy, flew at him, andthis she did every time he came into the room. The sultan was much disturbed, and offered largerewards to any doctor who could cure her, but whenever any doctors approached, the princess would flyat them, too, and beat her fists, so that all began to lose hope for her recovery. During this time, Prince Firouz, disguised as a dervish, had been traveling through manyprovinces, full of grief, and uncertain which way to go to find his beloved princess. With nearly all hopegone, he rested on a rock. Then who should happen to pass before him but the seller of the magicalhorse, more tattered looking than ever, whom his father had apparently released from prison.
10. "And where, I may ask, is the magic horse?" he said with a smile. "Has it proved as unpredictable aitem to you as it did to me?" The two sat and shared their troubles. In the way of telling tales, the scruffy man related a story ofa princess from Bengal had become mad on the day of her wedding with the Sultan of Cashmere. As hedescribed the circumstances, a flicker of hope lit the princes heart. Could this princess of Bengal be thesame lost love he sought? The prince determined to find out. Arriving at the capital city of Cashmere, he put on the clothes of a doctor. Presenting himselfbefore the sultan, he claimed that he could cure the princess. "First," said the pretend doctor, "I must see her where she cannot see me." So he was led into acloset, where he could watch her through a hole in the door. She was carelessly singing a song, in whichshe mourned her unhappy fate. "Yes!" he thought, trying to contain his excitement. "It is my bride!" When he left the closet, he told the Sultan that indeed the princess could be cured, but he wouldneed to speak with her alone. The Sultan agreed. As soon as the prince entered her room, she began to rave at him in her usualfurious manner, at which point he held her wrists and whispered urgently, "I am Firouz, the prince ofPersia." The princess stopped raving at once, and the attendants withdrew, delighted at this proof of thedoctors abilities. In more whispers, the prince shared his plan with her. Then he returned to the Sultan.The pretend doctor shook his head, and said, "All depends upon a mere chance. You see, the princess, afew hours before she was taken ill, must have touched something enchanted. Unless I can obtain thatsomething, whatever it was, I cannot cure her." The Sultan of Cashmere remembered the horse, which was still kept in his treasury. He showed itto the imaginary doctor. On seeing it, the young man said, very gravely, "I congratulate Your Majesty.This indeed is the magic object that enchanted the princess. Let this horse be brought out into the greatsquare before the palace, and let the princess be there. I promise that in a few minutes she shall beperfectly cured." Accordingly, the following morning the magic horse was placed in the middle of the square, andthe supposed doctor drew a large circle. He placed around it chafing dishes, with a little fire in each.The sultan, with all his nobles and ministers of state, watched with great interest. The princess wasbrought out with her head covered in veils, and led to within the circle. The pretend doctor placed herupon the enchanted horse. He then went round to each chafing dish and threw in a certain powder,which soon raised such a cloud of smoke that neither the physician, the princess, nor the magic horsecould be seen through it. At that instant the prince of Persia mounted the horse himself. Turning thepeg, while the magic horse rose into the air, he called down: "Sultan of Cashmere, a brides heart mustbe won, not purchased!" The same day the prince of Persia and his beloved princess arrived safely at his fathers court.Their wedding was immediately celebrated with the greatest splendor that had ever been seen in thatland and they lived happily ever after.
11. Ali Cogia& the Merchant of Baghdad (Iraq)Over a thousand years ago, in the reign of the famous Caliph Haroun al-Raschid, there livedin Baghdad a merchant who needed to travel on an extended journey. He sold nearly all of hishousehold goods and rented out his home. The only thing left for him to do was to find a safeplace to leave his private treasure - one thousand pieces of gold. Finally, he decided to put thethousand pieces of gold into a large jar and cover the gold with olives. When he had closedthe mouth of the jar, he carried it to a friend of his, who was also a merchant, and said to him,"You know, my friend, that in a few days I plan to depart on my journey. I beg you to takecharge of a jar of olives, and keep it for me till I return." The merchant promised that he would, and in an obliging manner said, "Here, takethe key of my warehouse and set your jar where you please. I promise you shall find it therewhen you return." Ali Cogias journey was extended much longer than he expected. In fact, he wasseven years absent from Baghdad, when he finally decided to return. All this time his friend, with whom he had left his jar of olives, neither thought of himnor of the jar. One evening this merchant was supping with his family and the conversationhappened to fall upon olives. The merchants wife mentioned that she had not tasted any for along while. "Now that you speak of olives," said the merchant, "you remind me of a jar that AliCogia left with me seven years ago. He put it in my warehouse to be kept for him until hereturned. What has become of him I know not, though when the caravan came back, they toldme he had gone to Egypt. Certainly he must be dead by now, since he has not returned in allthis time, and we may go ahead and eat the olives, if they are still good. Give me a plate and acandle. I will fetch some of them and well taste them." "Please, husband," said the wife, "do not commit so base an action; you know thatnothing is more sacred than what is committed to ones care and trust. Besides, do you thinkthe olives can be good, after theyve been kept so long? They must be all moldy and spoiled.Besides, if Ali Cogia should return and find that they had been opened, what would he think ofyour honor? I beg of you to let them alone." Nevertheless, after supper, the merchant entered the warehouse, found the jar,opened it and found the olives moldy. But to see if they were all in the same condition to thebottom, he shook the jar and some of the gold pieces tumbled out. The merchant noticed at once that the top only was laid with olives, and whatremained was gold coin. He immediately put the olives into the jar again, covered it up, andreturned to his wife. "Indeed, wife," said he, "you were in the right to say that the olives wereall moldy for I found them so, and have made up the jar just as Ali Cogia left it. He will notnotice that they had been touched, if he should ever return." In the days ahead the merchant thought only about how he might appropriate AliCogias gold to his own use, and yet escape detection in case his old friend should return andask for the jar. The next morning the merchant went and bought some olives of that year, andthen secretly went and emptied the jar both of the old moldy olives and of the gold. Then,filling the jar entirely with new olives, he covered it up and put it in the place where Ali Cogliahad left it. About a month later, Ali Cogia arrived at Baghdad. The next morning he went to paya visit to his friend, the merchant, who expressed great joy at his return after so many yearsabsence. After the usual compliments on both sides on such a meeting, Ali Cogia asked the
12. merchant to return him the jar of olives which he had left with him, and thanked him for havingkept the jar safely for all this time. "My dear friend," replied the merchant, "your jar has been no inconvenience. Thereis the key of my warehouse. Go and fetch your jar; you will find it where you left it." Ali Cogia went into the merchants warehouse, took his jar, and after havingreturned the key, and thanking his friend once again for the favor, he returned with the jar towhere he was temporarily lodged. But on opening the jar, and putting his hand down as low asthe pieces of gold had lain, he was greatly surprised to find no gold pieces in the jar. At first hethought he might perhaps be mistaken, and to discover the truth, he poured out all the olives,but without so much as finding one single piece of gold. For some time, he stood motionless.Then he cried out, "Is it possible?" Ali Cogia immediately returned to the merchant. "My good friend," said he, "be notsurprised to see me come back so soon. I know that the jar of olives is the same one I placedin your warehouse, but with the olives I put into the jar a thousand pieces of gold, which I donot find. Perhaps you might have used them in your business; if so, they are at your service tillit may be convenient for you to return them. Only give me an acknowledgment of my loan toyou, after which you may repay me at your own convenience." The merchant, who had expected that Ali Cogia would come with such a complaint,was prepared with an answer. "Friend Ali Cogia," said he, "when you brought your jar to me,did I touch it? Did I not give you the key of my warehouse? Did you not carry it there yourself?And did you not find it in the same place, covered in the same manner as when you left it?And now that you have come back, you demand one thousand pieces of gold. Did you evertell me such a sum was in the jar? I wonder you do not demand diamonds or pearls! It is easyenough for you to storm into my house, make a crazy accusation, insult me, and tarnish mygood name. Be gone!" These words were pronounced in such passion that those in thewarehouse started to gather around. Neighboring merchants came out of their shops to learnwhat the dispute was about. Ali Coglia shared with one and all the injustice done to him by themerchant, and the merchant continued to hotly deny any wrongdoing. Ali Cogia speedily summoned the merchant to court. To the judge, Ali Cogiaaccused the merchant of having stolen his thousand pieces of gold, which he had left withhim. The judge asked him if he had any witnesses, to which he replied that he had not takenthat precaution because he had believed the person he entrusted his money with to be hisfriend, and always took him for an honest man. Then the merchant made the same defensehe had before, saying that though its true that he had kept Ali Coglias jar in his warehouse,he had never once meddled with it. The merchant swore that as far as he knew, the jarcontained only olives. Once again, he strongly objected that he should be brought to court onthe basis of such unfounded accusations. He proposed to make an oath that he never had themoney he was accused of taking, and to swear that he did not so much as know such a sumever existed. The judge agreed to take his oath. After the merchant swore his ignorance of theentire matter, the judge dismissed the case for lack of evidence. Ali Cogia, extremely upset to find that he must accept the loss of so large a sum of money, returned to his lodgings and drew up a petition to seek justice from the Caliph Harun al-Raschid himself. He forwarded his petition to the officer of the palace, who presented it to the caliph himself. The caliph told the officer to notify Ali Coglia that an hour would be scheduled for the next day for the complaint to be heard at the palace. The officer was also told to notify the merchant to appear. That same evening the caliph, accompanied by the grand vizier, went disguised through the town as it was his custom occasionally to do. On passing through a
13. street, the caliph heard a noise. He came to a gateway through which he saw ten or twelvechildren playing by moonlight. The caliph heard one of the children say, "Lets play courtroom." As the affair of Ali Cogia and the merchant was widely discussed in Baghdad, thechildren quickly agreed on the part each one was to act. The children will solve this case. How will they do it? How would you do it? The pretend judge asked the make-believe Ali Cogia to speak. Ali Cogia, afterbowing low, related every particular and begged that he might not lose so considerable a sumof money. The pretend judge turned to the merchant and asked him why he did not return themoney. The child playing the part of the merchant gave the same reasons as the realmerchant had done, and quite heartily, too. Then he also offered to give an oath that what hehad said was the absolute truth. "Not so fast," said the pretend judge, "before you give your oath, I should like to seethe jar of olives." The child playing the part of AliCogia bowed low, walked away and in a few momentsreturned. He pretended to set a jar before the judge,telling him that it was the same jar he had left with themerchant. The supposed judge turned to the make-pretend merchant and asked him to confirm that it wasin fact the same jar, which he did confirm. Then thejudge ordered Ali Cogia to take off the cover, and thepretend judge made as if he looked into it. "They arefine olives," said he, "let me taste them." Pretending toeat some, he added, "They are excellent, but I cannotthink that olives will keep seven years and be so good.Therefore we must call before this court some olive merchants, and let me hear what is theiropinion." Two boys, posing as olive merchants, presented themselves. "Tell me," said thesham judge, "how long will olives keep fit to eat?" "Sir," replied the two merchants, "no matter how great the care taken of them, oliveswill hardly be worth anything the third year, for then they have neither taste nor color." "If that is so," answered the judge, "look into that jar and tell me how long it hasbeen since those olives were put into it." The two merchants pretended to examine and to taste the olives, and told the judgethat they were new and good. "But," said the judge, "Ali Cogia himself said he put them intothe jar seven years ago." "Sir," replied the merchants, "we can assure you they are of this years growth, andwe will maintain that any olive merchant of repute in Baghdad will say the same." The pretend judge pointed an accusing finger at the merchant. "You are a rogue,"he cried, "and deserve to be punished!" The children then concluded their play, clapping their
14. hands with great joy, and seizing the feigned criminal, they pretended to carry him off toprison. Words cannot express how much the caliph admired the boy who had passed sojust a sentence, in an affair which was to be pleaded before himself the very next day. "Take notice of this house," said the caliph to the vizier, "and bring the boy to metomorrow, that he may appear in court with me to try this case himself. Take care also toremind the real Ali Cogia to bring his jar of olives with him. And bring two olive experts aswell." The next day Ali Cogia and the merchant pleaded one after the other at the palacebefore the boy, whom the caliph had seated on the throne beside him. When the merchantproposed his oath to the court as before, the child said, "It is too soon. It is proper that weshould see the jar of olives." At these words Ali Cogia presented the jar and placed it at the caliphs feet. The boyasked the merchant whether this was in fact the jar that had been left in his warehouse forseven years, and the merchant agreed that it was so. Then the boy opened the jar. The caliphlooked at the olives, took one and tasted it, giving another to the boy. Afterwards themerchants were called, who examined the olives and reported that they were good, and ofthat year. The boy told them that Ali Coglia had said that it was seven years since he had putthe olives in the jar. Therefore, the boy concluded, the jar must have been tampered withsince that time. The wretch who was accused saw plainly that the opinions of the olive merchantswould convict him. He confessed to his crime, and revealed where the thousand pieces ofgold were hidden. The fortune was quickly located and restored to Ali Cogi. The caliph sternlytold the merchant that it was good for him that he decided to confess and to return the gold;that otherwise he would have received one hundred floggings in addition to his sentence often years in prison. The caliph turned to the judge who had tried the case before and advisedhim to take a lesson from the child so that he would perform his duty more exactly in thefuture. Embracing the boy, the monarch sent him home with a purse of a hundred pieces ofgold as a token of his admiration.
15. Two Grains of Sand A Valentines Day Story from IraqIt HAPPENED THAT a great and hot wind sprang up from the west. The very skies wereblackened with sand, and the face of the sun was hidden fromthe world. A young traveler was making his way over the desert,and he knew not where to go and which way to turn. Thesandstorm was so strong he could not even see the ears of hishorse. He thought, "My only hope is to go with the directionof the wind. If I stop, the poisonous wind will burn my lungs, andmy body will be covered by sand. If I go in any other direction Iwill surely lose my way and die." So he covered his face with his headcloth and went inthe direction of the wind. In time, his horse found a tower. "Atlast!" he thought, much relieved. "Here is shelter from the evil wind!" So he and his horse entered the cool, dark shelter of the tower. As he was brushing the sand from his eyes and hair, he heard a voice. It said, "Are you human, or are you Genie, or are you an evil spirit of the wind?" The man, whose name was Ali, replied: "I am human, what are you?" Then, before his eyes there arose a young woman, moon-faced and rose-sweet, slim as the young palm, and her glance pierced the heart of Ali. She said, "I also am human, but I am lost in this storm. I was blownby the wind, and I dont know where to go for fear of the poison-wind and the dread windspirits flying in the sky." Ali said to the young woman, "Here we have shelter until the poison-wind diesdown. But tell me, what is your name?" The young woman answered, "As to my name, I shall tell you nothing concerningit. As for you, I must not talk or have conversation with you, since I am a maiden and youare a man." Ali greatly desired to learn the girls name and to talk with her. He led her to thedoor of the tower and pointed to the howling clouds. He said, "The whole of the air is full ofsand, and there is no space in which there is not a particle of sand!" The maiden said, "Yes, it is indeed so!" Then Ali asked, "Does one grain of sand fear another grain of sand and avoidcontact with it? Rather, the grains of sand have no fear from one another as they are blownabout by the wind. You and I are but grains of sand blown together by the wind. We cannotfear one another nor can we avoid one another, for this is our fate." The young woman saw that Ali spoke the truth. She said, "My name is Salma,and I am daughter to Hussein." Ali and Salma spent the day in wholehearted conversation, while the storm blewwith the greatest of furies. The hours passed by quickly, and it came about the Salma andAli both fell asleep. When Ali awoke, the world was dark and Salma was gone. He rushedto the door of the tower, and saw that the wind was still and that the storm had passed.
16. When he tried to follow Salmas tracks in the sand, he lost them. Ali grieved, though he was not willing to weep. He worried, "She is a daughter ofthe Arabs, and the Arabs are as numerous as the grains of sand in the desert. Where,then, shall I find Salma, daughter of Hussein, amongst these millions? For she did not tellme where she lived. Two grains of sand may come together in a storm, but now they areparted and what shall bring them back together?" Ali wandered throughout the land, questing and searching for the young womanSalma. Such was his grief at her loss, that he did not even stop to comb his hair or cut hisbeard. He asked inevery town and village, "Does Hussein live here and has he a daughterSalma?" Yet none answered him and his men thought him mad, for they thought, "Thereare hundreds upon hundreds of men named Hussein and hundreds upon hundreds ofmaidens named Salma. What can we know concerning the maiden he seeks?" So Ali wandered from town to town and from tribe to tribe. He could do no worknor engage in any occupation, since he could think only of his lost love. One day, as he wandered thin and weary, on his horse which had also becomelean and hungry, the rain came to the world, and a river rose and burst over its banks. Aliand his horse came near to drowning in the floods. Seeing a mound in the distance, heswam and plunged through the mud with his horse until he reached it. He fell forward withhis lungs near filled with water and his stomach faint from lack of food. He was near todeath by the mound, but a young woman plunged into the water and saved him and hishorse. Imagine Alis amazement to realize that the maiden who had saved him was Salma! She looked into Alis face. She smiled and said, "When two grains of sand areblown together by the wind, the wind only blows them apart. But when two grains of sandcan find one another again, they stay together forever after, nor do they ever part."
17. Two Brothers (Hebrew/Arab) ONCE THERE WERE two brothers who inherited their fathers land.The brothers divided the land in half and each one farmed his own section. Over time,the older brother married and had six children, while the younger brother never married. One night, the younger brother lay awake. "Its not fair that each of us hashalf the land to farm," he thought. "My brother has six children to feed and I have none.He should have more grain than I do." So that night the younger brother went to his silo, gathered a large bundle ofwheat, and climbed the hill that separated the two farms and over to his brothers farm.Leaving the wheat in his brothers silo, the younger brother returned home, feelingpleased with himself. Earlier that very same night, the older brother was also lying awake. "Its notfair that each of us has half the land to farm," he thought. "In my old age my wife and Iwill have our grown children to take care of us, not to mention grandchildren, while mybrother will probably have none. He should at least sell more grain from the fields nowso he can provide for himself with dignity in his old age." So that night, too, he secretly gathered a large bundle of wheat, climbed thehill, left it in his brothers silo, and returned home, feeling pleased with himself. The next morning, the younger brother was surprised to see the amount ofgrain in his barn unchanged. "I must not have taken as much wheat as I thought," he said,bemused. "Tonight Ill be sure to take more." That very same moment, his older brother was also standing in his barn,musing much the same thoughts. After night fell, each brother gathered a greater amount of wheat from hisbarn and in the dark, secretly delivered it to his brothers barn. The next morning, thebrothers were again puzzled and perplexed. "How can I be mistaken?" each onescratched his head. "Theres the same amount of grain here as there was before I clearedthe pile for my brother. This is impossible! Tonight Ill make no mistake - Ill take thepile down to the very floor. That way Ill be sure the grain gets delivered to my brother." The third night, more determined than ever, each brother gathered a largepile of wheat from his barn, loaded it onto a cart, and slowly pulled his haul through thefields and up the hill to his brothers barn. At the top of the hill, under the shadow of amoon, each brother noticed a figure in the distance. Who could it be? When the two brothers recognized the form of the other brother and the loadhe was pulling behind, they realized what had happened. Without a word, they droppedthe ropes to their carts and embraced.
18. Yuuki& the Tsunami (Japan)F OR AS LONG as people can remember, the shores of Japan have been sweptfrom time to time by enormous tsunamis. These awful sudden risings of the sea arecaused by earthquakes or by underwater volcanic action. The story of the boy Yuukiis the story of such a calamity. Yuuki lived with his family in the village. His grandfather, who had passedaway several years before, had taught Yuuki much about raising rice crops, solvingdisputes, and a great deal about the ways of the world. His grandfather had beenthe most respected and wealthiest resident of the village - its headman. Now Yuukisfamily cultivated the enormous fields of rice that his grandfather had passed on tothem. Yuukis village was nestled by the shore below a small mountain. Oneday, Yuuki was playing on top of the small mountain, watching the preparationsbelow for a festival that was going to take place very night to celebrate an wonderfulrice crop. All of a sudden, Yuuki felt an earthquake beneath his feet. It was notstrong enough to frighten anybody, but Yuuki, who had already felt dozens ofshocks, thought it was odd - a long, slow, spongy motion. The houses below, by thesea, rocked gently several times, then all became still again. Soon after, Yuukinoticed something even more strange. The sea darkened all of a sudden and itseemed to be rushing backward, toward the horizon. The sea was actually runningaway from the shore very fast, leaving behind wide stretches of beach that hadnever been exposed before. With a gasp, Yuuki suddenly remembered the words of his grandfather.His grandfather had told the boy how his own fathers father had told him that justbefore a terrible tsunami, the sea suddenly and quickly rolls backward. Yuuki, hisbreath heavy, ran down the mountainside to warn the people of the impendingdanger. Already many had run to the beach to witness the spectacular new stretchof ribbed sand. "Get back, get back!" shouted the boy. "There is terrible danger!" "What are you talking about, Yuuki?" laughed one person. "Look at all thegreat new shells on the beach!" "No, no! You dont understand!" cried Yuuki. "You must run away! Up tothe mountain! Everybody!" But no one would listen to him. They all laughed in his face and carried onromping in the new sand and watching the sea roll backward even more. Desperate, Yuuki could think of only thing to do. He lit a pine torch andhurried with it to the fields. There hundreds of rice-stacks stood golden and dried inthe sun. He touched the torch to the edge of each one - hurrying from one to theother as quickly as his legs could carry him. The sun-dried stalks instantly caughtfire; the strengthening sea breeze blew the blaze forward. Soon the stacks burst into
19. flame. Yuuki, terrified, ran after his friends and family calling, "Fire! Fire! Everyonerun to the mountain! Quick!" The people hurried from over the beach, like a swarming of ants, thoughto Yuukis anxious eyes the moments seemed terribly long to him. All the while, thesea was fleeing even more quickly toward the horizon. The whole village was moving up the mountain now. The growingmultitude, still knowing nothing, looked horrified at the flaming fields and at thedestruction of their homes and their livelihood. "Yuuki is mad!" cried one of the boys when they had all reached the top."He set fire to the rice on purpose: I saw him do it!" "Yuuki, is this true?" said Yuukis mother and father, frowning deeply. Yuuki hung his head. Just then, someone cried, "Look!" At the edge of the horizon a long dim line like the shadowing of a coastwhere no coast had even been - a line that thickened as they gazed, that broadenedin the way a coast-line broadens when one approaches it, yet much more quickly.For that long thin line of darkness was the returning sea, towering like a cliff, andraging swiftly toward them. "A tsunami!" shrieked the people. Then all shrieks and all sounds and allpower to hear sounds were annihilated by a nameless shock heavier than anythunder, as the colossal swell struck the shore with a weight that sent a shudderthrough the hills, and with a burst of foam like a blaze of sheet lightning. Then for aninstant nothing could be seen but a storm of spray rushing up the slope like a cloud,and the people scattered back in panic from the mere menace of it. When theylooked again, they saw a white horror of sea roaring over the place of their homes. Itdrew back, tearing out the land as it went. Twice, three times, five times the seastruck the land and ebbed, but each time with surges less strong. Then finally, thesea returned to its normal place and stayed there, though still raging, as the sea willdo after a hurricane. On the mountain for a long time no word was spoken. All staredspeechlessly at the desolation below, at the wreckage and debris that was scatteredover what was left of their village. "Im sorry I burned the fields," said Yuuki, his voice trembling. "Yuuki," said his father softly. "You saved us all." And the villagers swept up Yuuki and raised him into the air. "We weregoing to celebrate our rice harvest tonight," said one, "but now well celebrate thatwere all still alive!" And they cheered with relief and admiration at the brave Yuuki, who thatday had saved over four hundred lives.
20. The White Tiger (Korea)Long ago in a village near the Kumgang Mountains in Korea there lived a young boy. His fatherhad been missing since he was a baby, and the boy knew very well the reason why. Anenormous White Tiger still lived in the Kumgang Mountains who had tormented the village foryears, coming down to prey not only on horses and cattle, but even on the human beings wholived there. Years ago, his father, who had been the finest hunter and gunman in the land,ventured into the Kumgang Mountains to shoot the White Tiger and to save the village. He hadnever returned. When the boy was still small he already decided deep in his heart that when he grewup, he would be the one to shoot down the tiger that had overpowered his father. As soon as hewas allowed, he trained rigorously with the gun and became almost as good a gunman as hisfather had been. When he was fifteen years old, the boy went to his mother and said, "Mother, Imready now to set out for the Kumgang Mountains to find the White Tiger and defeat him. Please,let me go." The mother did not want to lose her son, too. With tears in her eyes, she said, "Evena famous marksman like your father was lost to the terrible White Tiger. Please, son, quitdreaming about such nonsense and stay safe here at home." "Dont worry, Mother," the son cried. "I shall find the White Tiger, I know it!" Finally the mother said, "Very well, as you wish. But first let me ask you one thing.Your father used to have me stand with a water jug on my head. Then he would shoot off thehandle of the water jug from one mile away without spilling any water. Can you do the samething?" When he heard this, the young son immediately tried to match his fathers skill. Hehad his mother stand one whole mile away, with a water jug on top of her head. He took carefulaim, but missed. So he gave up his idea of going to the mountains and instead, practiced threemore years with the gun. After three years, he tried again. This time he succeeded in knocking off the handle ofthe water jug on his mothers head without spilling a drop of water. Then the mother said,"Actually son, your father was able to shoot the eye out of a needle from one mile away. Canyou do this?" The son asked his mother to place a needle in a tree trunk. Then he walked back forone mile. Taking careful aim, he let go a shot, but missed. Once again, he gave up the idea ofgoing to the Kumgang Mountains and settled down to another three years of practicing evenharder. At the end of three years, he was 21 years old by that time, he again tried the sametrick. This time, with the crack of his gun, the eye of the needle fell to the ground. Now in fact, what the mother had told her son about the amazing feats his father usedto be able to do, were all lies. The mother had thought that if she told him impossible tales aboutthe father, that the boy might give up his crazy idea of seeking the terrible White Tiger. But nowthat he had actually succeeded in performing each of the feats she told him her husband coulddo, the mother could not help being impressed with his determination. So she gave permissionfor him to leave for the Kumgang Mountains. The son was thrilled. He immediately set out. At the foothills he came across a smallinn. An old woman, who was the innkeeper, asked the young man why he had come. He toldher that his father had been a victim of the White Tiger years ago and that he had practiced formany years to avenge his death.
21. The old innkeeper then said, "Ah, yes, I knew your father. He was the greatestgunman in all the land. Why, he stopped here at this very inn, many years ago, before venturinginto the Kumgang Mountains. Can you see that tall tree over there in the distance? Why, yourfather used to turn his back to that tree and then shoot down the highest leaf on the highestbranch from over his shoulder. If you cant do the same thing, how can you expect to defeat theWhite Tiger?" The hunters son, when he heard this, said he also would try. He placed his gun overhis shoulder and took aim and shot. But he missed. He knew then that he still wasnt ready, andhe asked the old innkeeper to let him stay with her a while. From that day, he kept practicingshooting over his shoulder at the tree. After three more years, he was finally able to shoot downthe highest leaf on the highest branch. Then the old innkeeper told the hunters son, "Just because you can do that, it stilldoesnt mean you can outshoot your father. Why, your father used to set an ant on the side of acliff and then, from a distance of three miles away, he would shoot that ant off without evenscratching the surface of the cliff. No matter what a fine gunman you may be, certainly you cantmatch that." The young man then tried to do what the old innkeeper said his father had done.Again he failed at first and had to practice three more years. Like the young mans mother, itturns out that all that the old innkeeper had told him had been made up because she, too, onlywanted to save his life. But the hunters son, not questioning her once, had practiced until hecould do the tasks she said his father had done. The old innkeeper was filled with amazement. "With your skill now, surely you will avenge your fathers death." So saying, the oldinnkeeper prepared a bag with many rice balls for him to eat along the way. The hunters sonthanked her and started out along the path leading into the heart of the Kumgang Mountains. The young man pressed deeper and deeper into the mountains. For days and days hewandered through the wilderness. After all, the Kumgang Mountains have twelve thousandpeaks and stretch over a vast area, and he had no means of knowing just where the White Tigerwas hidden. So he wandered on through the vast mountain ranges. One day, while the hunters son was seated on a big rock nibbling a rice ball, a raggedold woman stumbled up to him and said, "Excuse me, sir. Could you spare an extra rice ball forme?" The hunters son handed the old woman several rice-balls, which she ate ravenously.Then the old woman said, "We dont see many strangers this deep into these mountains. Whatbrings you here?" When the hunters son explained, the old woman shook her head vigorously from sideto side. "Nay, good fellow," she said. "Forget about shooting the terrible White Tiger. He is tooquick. As soon as the tiger desires to pounce, his next prey is gone. From one day to the next,we never know whether we are going to survive to see the morrow. You are a young man. Youought best to leave these mountains at once and go back home while youre still alive!" Then the hunters son replied that no, he would not be persuaded to leave. Hedescribed how hard he had practiced for so many years, and that now, with his skill, he knew hecould smite the White Tiger after all. "Well," sighed the old woman, "if you are so sure, then youshould know that the only way to shoot the White Tiger is to shoot him when all you see is but awhite dot on the horizon. If you wait a single moment too late," here she shook her finger, "or ifyou miss your first shot, believe me, all will be will be lost for you." The old woman left. The hunters son immediately took to scanning the horizon untilhe was entirely familiar with every curve and shadow on each mountainside far and wide. Thushe waited for hours, his gun at readiness. While the sun was setting, a single white dotappeared in a fraction of a moment on a distant mountainside. No dot had been there themoment before, the young man was certain of that. Instantly, he fired at the white dot. His heartpounding, he raced toward the mountainside where he had aimed his shot. And there he came upon the felled White Tiger, nearly as big as a mountain itself. It
22. had collapsed with its mouth open, ready to swallow its next prey -- him! Astonished by its sizeand thrilled that he had actually defeated the legendary beast, the son stepped into the deadtigers throat. Inside the tigers mouth, he followed a black tunnel. Eventually, he came to a vastroom as large as a fairground. This was the giant White Tigers stomach. Then the young man came upon an unconscious girl who lay huddled in a heap. Theyoung hunter took the girl in his arms and nursed her until she awakened. The girl looked intohis face and thanked him with all of her heart. She then revealed that she was the daughter ofthe kings highest advisor, who was famous in the capital city. The young girl told him how justthe night before, the great White Tiger had stolen her away while she was washing her hairoutside on the veranda of her home. Suddenly, the two of them heard what sounded like a human voice. Puzzled, theygroped in the dark toward it. When lo! The voice belonged to an old man crouched in the corner.Who was it but none other than the boys father! He had survived all these years inside theWhite Tigers stomach on the prey swallowed by the great beast. The father and son rejoiced inhaving found one another at last. Then together with the young girl, the three of them escapedthrough the tigers mouth and found that they were in the middle of a large field. The young manskinned a portion of the tiger, for he wanted to take home as a remembrance the beautiful whitetiger-skin. Taking the young girl by one hand and his father by the other, he proudly returnedhome, where his mother was waiting for him. Words cannot describe her joy to see not only herson come safely back home, but her long lost husband, too! Then the young hunter took the maiden to her home in the capital city. Her fathercried tears of joy to see his daughter returning safe and sound. In gratitude, her fatherwelcomed the young hunter into his family to become his daughters husband and to be heir tohis name and fortune. The young mans mother and father proudly attended their sons wedding day. Andthe young man and his bride lived happily ever after in the grand mansion of the kings highestadvisor.