Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence. Another tale from the Han

The fire had settled down for the night and glowed comfortably. The camel drivers relaxed. It had been a long day, covering rough terrain, but in this friendly caravanserai dusty journeys could be forgotten with a full belly.

When the coffee had been poured all eyes looked expectantly at Hamid. He was the resident storyteller and his latest visitors wanted a new story.

 'We've heard all the ones about princesses and flying carpets. Give us something different.'

 'Tell us one about a dog'.

 'No I want one about magic.'

 'Give us a story about travellers.'

Hamid smiled at his audience and began his story.

 'I heard of a Christian hermit who once lived high in the Urals.
He was a reluctant hermit and unhappy. He'd been cast out of his monastery. At chapter meeting the Almoner said nobody could tolerate the snoring that woke everyone every single night, then the Abbot said Brother Pyotr's farting made the chapel stink to high Heaven and choked them all. On top of that it was universally agreed that Brother Pyotr was grouchy, which is not ideal in a holy monk.

So they had put him in a hut in the mountains, called it a hermitage and waved goodbye. He was visited once a month with food, when the monks remembered.
 Time passed and Pyotr grew lonely and even more ill-natured.
 In the same region lived a Djinn by the will of Allah. This Djinn was also lonely; although he could fly all over the world very fast whenever he wished he found that most people were scared of him. They never stayed around long enough to find out his good qualities.
But this Djinn had another small problem; he'd found a casket on his travels. It had fallen from the camel-bag of a wise man and the Djinn could not unlock it despite all his magic. So he'd tucked it under his arm and carried it everywhere.
Well, the Djinn chanced upon the hermit when both were wandering in the foothills because Allah willed it so.

 'Hello Djinn' said Pyotr.

 'Uh Hullo' said the Djinn, who'd thought himself invisible. He was not a very clever Djinn, he didn't realise that holy men could see all magical beings.

 'What have you got there?' asked Pyotr.

'A casket. A strange casket 'cause it won't undo; there's no key.' the Djinn looked downcast.

 'I can undo that.' said Pyotr

 'You can? Do it then. Please' said the Djinn thrusting the casket forward. He was always polite and kindly.

 'You need to do me a favour in return.' said Pyotr folding his arms.

 There was a pause.

 'I do ? Oh Yes I do, don't I?' The Djinn was rather forgetful.

'What do you desire? One wish only.'

  'I don't want to be lonely any more.'

 'As you wish. Just a minute'....... The Djinn gave an eloquent little twirl. 'Shazam!!!!'

The hermit looked around and the hills were as empty as before.

 'You are a poor excuse for a Djinn. All that messing about and nothing's changed. Why are we still here and not in some great city?'

 'It has changed. It really has, you'll see. Please open the casket now.'

 Pyotr picked up a rock and smashed the lock clean off the casket.

 'You broke my casket' wailed the Djinn.

 'But it's open, isn't it? Now give me my wish.'

 'I have. I'm your wish . I am your friend. You aren't lonely now.'

'I don't want you for a friend.'

 'Why not?'

 'Because you're a Djinn and stupid too.'

 'You are not very nice. Hermits are supposed to be kind to strangers.'

 'But not necessarily to friends.' Pyotr grinned nastily.

The Djinn looked inside his casket, it held a beautiful orange topaz. The Djinn smiled. He loved pretty things. He looked back at Pyotr and sighed.

 ' Kay. What do you want instead of a friend?'

 'I want to be a dog.
'Not any old wild dog , I want to be a beautiful educated hound that can run like the wind, then the great King in Novgorod will want me in his palace. He will take me hunting and feed me delicacies. A Borzoi would be suitable. You can take me to him when you leave here.'

Now the Djinn had never seen a Borzoi so he furrowed his brow and thought; it took a while, then he remembered seeing an attractive dog once. Maybe that was the hound Pyotr meant.

 'Hmmm. Abracadabra..Shazam!!!!!'

  Pyotr was gone, in his place was a pug.The pug looked extremely cross.

 'Ooops?' said the Djinn.

 'But you're so cute!' said the Djinn and scooped the pug up into his arms.

 'You are the mostest beautifullest hound in the wide world.'

 The pug screwed it's face up and stuck out a little pink tongue.

 'Oh you're adorable. I can't let you go to some tyrant king. You won't be happy there. Stay with me. We'll be bestest friends forever. Oh, I forgot, we are friends already aren't we?'

The Djinn flew off with the pug, the broken casket and the topaz inside it. He had the topaz set in a collar for the dog and made the casket into a basket and they settled down in an oasis because the Djinn didn't need to fly anywhere now.
 The pug squirmed, grumbled and farted all day and snored when he slept but the Djinn didn't mind. He had a friend.

And the moral of the story is two-fold. Remember Djinns can be nice and remember to be precise if you are granted a wish'.

 The camel-drivers applauded and gave Hamid a generous handful of coins before they all fell asleep.

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