5B. Tale of the Second Eunuch, Kafur

Kafur is a slave who tells one lie each year. He also does so with his new master (who was aware of this). He tells his wife that her husband has died after a wall fell upon him. When she wants to go and see he goes ahead and tells his master his wife has been killed when the house fell down. Both wife and husband are in tears but meet each other soon enough. When the master finds out about everything Kafur is gelded and sold. He continues doing this until he is in the palace of the Commander of the Faithful and his spirit was broken.

Kafur begins being a slave when he is eight years old. He has the habit of telling his master one lie each year. Because of this he is sold (with the knowledge of this flaw). After a year the master and his merchants go and have a feast. The master asks Kafur to get something from his home. He does, but tells the mistress of the house that her husband (his master) has died because of a wall that fell over him. She is in tears and breaks, with Kafur, all chinaware. She goes to the place with the Governor and other people with spades and they are all weeping. Kafur goes ahead and tells his master his wife and his children are dead, she has been buried underneath the walls of the house. He weeps over this with the present merchants. But then the his wife appears and they are overjoyed seeing they are both alive. The master wants to blame Kafur, but he tells him he bought him with this flaw. Kafur says his master cannot set him free, because Kafur can do nothing to keep himself alive. This is only half a lie, at the end of the year it will be completed and then he can be sold at the market again.

When the master returns home he sees his house in ruins and hears the Kafur is to blame. For this he is gelded, and becomes a clean eunuch. He is sold with profit, and wherever he goes he causes trouble, and finally he goes to the palace of the Commander of the Faithful, but his spirit is broken.

The third slave is asked to tell his story, but he says his story is a long one and they still need to bury the chest. So they bury the chest and leave.

[Now the Tale of Ghanim bin Ayyub, the Distraught, the Thrall o’ Love is continued.]

From: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 02

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