The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-33

The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

beans, fall backwards and only sniff at thy meat and withdraw thee and taste it not, and be satis fied with thy crushed straw and chaff; and on this wise feign thou art sick, and cease not doing thus for a day or two days or even three days, so shalt thou have rest from toil and moil.” When the Bull heard these words he knew the Ass to be his friend and thanked him, saying, “Right is thy rede;” and prayed that all blessings might requite him, and cried, “O Father Wakener! [FN#29] thou hast made up for my failings.” (Now[FN#30] the merchant, O my daughter, understood all that passed between them.) Next day the driver took the Bull, and settling the plough on his neck,[FN#31] made him work as wont; but the Bull began to shirk his ploughing, according to the advice of the Ass, and the ploughman drubbed him till he broke the yoke and made off; but the man caught him up and leathered him till he despaired of his life. Not the less, however, would he do nothing but stand still and drop down till the evening. Then the herd led him home and stabled him in his stall: but he drew back from his manger and neither stamped nor ramped nor butted nor bellowed as he was wont to do; whereat the man wondered. He brought him the beans and husks, but he sniffed at them and left them and lay down as far from them as he could and passed the whole night fasting. The peasant came next morning; and, seeing the manger full of beans, the crushed straw untasted and the ox lying on his back in sorriest plight, with legs outstretched and swollen belly, he was concerned for him, and said to himself, “By Allah, he hath assuredly sickened and this is the cause why he would not plough yesterday.” Then he went to the merchant and reported, “O my master, the Bull is ailing; he refused his fodder last night; nay more, he hath not tasted a scrap of it this morning.” Now the merchant farmer understood what all this meant, because he had overheard the talk between the Bull and the Ass, so quoth he, “Take that rascal donkey, and set the yoke on his neck, and bind him to the plough and make him do Bull’s work.” Thereupon the ploughman took the Ass, and worked him through the live long day at the Bull’s task; and, when he failed for weakness, he made him eat stick till his ribs were sore and his sides were sunken and his neck was hayed by the yoke; and when he came home in the evening he could hardly drag his limbs along, either fore hand or hind legs. But as for the Bull, he had passed the day lying at full length and had eaten his fodder with an excellent appetite, and he ceased not calling down blessings on the Ass for his good advice, unknowing what had come to him on his ac count. So when night set in and the Ass returned to the byte the Bull rose up before him in honour, and said, “May good tidings gladden thy heart, O