6. The Tale of the Birds and Beasts and the Carpenter

Two peafowl meet a duck who tells them a story how he met a lion-cub, an ass, a steed and a camel. Then the lion met a carpenter who tricked him to go in a chest and burnt it. When the duck has finished his story an antelope appears and a ship with crew comes ashore. The peafowl and antelope fly and run away, the duck is petrified and taken by the crew. The peafowl claim it was because he did not praise Allah.

A peacock and hen are very cautious when they eat because of the beasts on their island. At night they come from the trees to eat, at day they stay in them. One day they meet a duck which is horrified of the son of Adam, man. The peafowl say they will protect him. The duck had a nightmare about the son of Adam. When he afterwards met a lion-cub he told him his story and urged to slay him when he encounters one. When they came to a fork in the road they met an ass telling them he was running from the son of Adam because they put painful tools and gear on him. The ass joined the cub and the duck and they met a steed who said he ran away from the son of Adam because of all the things he made him do like turning in the mill. Next they met a camel who had a similar story.

Then there came a carpenter with children and some planks. The lion went to him and asked what he was doing. He said he had come because King lynx had asked him to build a wooden house as protection against the son of Adam. The Lion said to the carpenter he had to create such a structure for him. The carpenter agreed and built a chest which fitted lion, but when the lion tested the structure the carpenter closed the trap and burnt the lion in it.

The peofowl say that the duck is safe on this island. Then there comes an antelope which says she came on the island this day and enjoyed the many herbs of the earth. They catch sight of a ship and its crew lands ashore. The peafowl go to the trees, the antelope runs into the bushes but the duck is petrified and stays in one place. He is taken by the crew to their ship. The peofowl say that it is her own fault, because she neglected to say Subhan’ Allah, glory to God.

The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 03

One thought on “6. The Tale of the Birds and Beasts and the Carpenter

  1. Hey, thanks for the summary. It was great. Really helped out with a research paper.

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