The cobbler and the bird

The cobbler and the bird


From the Iraqi narratives:


It was said that a poor cobbler named “Asfour”, He lived in the Old City of Baghdad. He had a wife named Jarada, who reminded him every day of his poverty and inability to provide her with a more comfortable life.
The cobbler and the bird
.. Follows
And one day, She saw locusts, As she walks around the market, A lady in a luxurious robe, And sweeten her fingers with diamond rings, Pearl necklaces are attached to her chest, Gold earrings are hanging, A group of beautiful maids walk around her. When I asked about this lady, They told her: “She is the wife of the king’s chief astrologer.” I asked: “And what does the mine do? ” . They told her: “Looking to the stars in the sky, Then he predicts what will happen in the future, reads people’s minds, and knows where things are missing.”


The cobbler’s wife said to herself: “And why doesn’t my husband become an astrologer, So he became as rich as this lady? “. Then she rushed home as fast as she could.


When the cobbler saw his wife’s eager face, he asked her, “What happened, my dear?”
She said angrily, “What made you choose this petty profession and stay all your life working in shoemakers? Why don’t you become an astrologer, earn a lot of money, end our poverty and hunger, and become rich?”


A bird shouted: “Are you crazy, wife?! How do I become an astrologer when I know nothing about the stars?! ” ، The wife said: “Enough. Don’t talk to me and don’t come near me… If you don’t start working as an astrologer tomorrow, I will return to my family home, And I won’t live with you anymore! “.


The cobbler’s sadness at his wife’s condition and decision, And confused what to do: He loves his wife, And he doesn’t want to lose her, However.. How to become a mine?!


As for his wife, who dreams of getting rich, I have collected some old pamphlets for him, She borrowed a small carpet from her father’s house, She told him: “That’s all you need to become a mine.”


The next morning, the wife urged her husband to sit among the astrologers in the market, and he said to her, “Why are you forcing me to do something I don’t know? People will make fun of me and laugh at me!” But his wife insisted on what she said, threatening to separate him if he didn’t. Finally the man did what she wanted, took the carpet and notebooks, went to the market, and sat in the place where astrologers used to sit, and his heart beating violently, in fear and awe!
The cobbler and the bird
.. Follows


The Sultan’s wife happened to be going to the market, To buy clothes for her first child, whom she expects to be born within days, And I saw a bird sitting alone, And around him his old notebooks, I was surprised by his appearance, She asked one of her maidservants to ask him about his industry.


The maid returned to her lady and said, “This is a new mine, he says he knows the future.” The sultana said, “Go to him, give him this dinar, and ask him, ‘Will the baby I am waiting for be male or female?'” The maidservant went on asking a bird, and gave him the dinar, and he ate the gold piece of it and he does not believe what he sees, this is the first time in his life he holds in his hand that expensive coin! Then he turned his notebooks over paper after paper, biting his lip while he was silent and did not speak.


Asfour was saying to himself: “The safest answer is the answer that may be half wrong and not all of them are wrong. If I say she’s going to have a son, She may give birth to a girl, If you say a girl, she may give birth to a son, But if she says she will give birth to a boy and a girl, Only half of my answer would be wrong whether I only gave birth to a boy or only a girl. Or two boys or two girls, And my answer would all be correct if I gave birth to a boy and a girl.” So his face lifted up to heaven and shook his head and said: “A boy and a girl, There is no one like them on earth.”


The maidservant hurried to the Sultana, The answer of ” Sheikh Asfour Al-Munajem” was conveyed to her.
Before the morning comes, The sultana had given birth to a son and a girl, as the “astrologer’s bird” said. The storytelling was filled with shouts of joy and jubilation.


The next day, The Sultana hurried and gave some of her servants a mule, luxurious clothes and a thousand dinars as a gift to the astrologer Asfour, She told them: “Look for him, And they gave him a thousand dinars, And make him wear these beautiful clothes, and rides the mule, Then they brought him to the door of the palace, I thank Him for preaching this blessed Christmas.”
The cobbler and the bird
.. Follows


As for the astrologer’s bird, As soon as the maid left the dinar in his hand and left, Even collecting notebooks and carpets, And he ran running until he got home, He looked for his wife and told her: “Today I took a dinar, But I lied to the Sultan’s wife. Tomorrow my lies will be embarrassed, And they hang me. Take this dinar, And if anyone comes to ask for me, Tell me I’m not here and give them their dinar to go away from us.”
And a sad bird became sad, Think about what could happen to him tomorrow.


And when the morning came, I accept the servants of the sultana asking at the door: “Where is the new mine house? ” . A bird heard them and his heart was filled with terror, He said to his wife: “Look. This is the result of your advice! You tell me to make a mine. I work as a mine, And don’t think about the consequences?! Go meet them then, And you take the slaps and kicks!! Tell them I’m a crazy man, I don’t know what to say.” Then faster, He hid inside the house.


The wife opened the door, They said to her: “The Sultan’s wife asks for a bird mine.” So the wife hurried to say, Pretending to be painkiller and humiliating: “He, my lord, is a poor crazy man, He didn’t know what to say, Take the dinar and forgive it! “. And the butler said, He does not understand the meaning of her statement: “You’re the crazy one, woman!! The Sultana sends him with us a thousand dinars, mules and expensive clothes, Let him go out to go with us.”


As if the woman was hit by a touch of madness, She went looking for her husband around the house, screaming: “Wealth has arrived, bird…. happiness and happiness oh bird The Sultana sent you a thousand dinars and mules, O bird! “.


A bird said from his hiding place: “I’ll be the mule if you believe this! “.
But the wife hurried and grabbed her husband by his clothes, She dragged him to the door, saying to the servants of the Sultana: “This is the astrologer of Sheikh Asfour.”


The servants soon took him to the bathroom and then dressed him in his new clothes. And ride him mule, And they gave him a thousand dinars in a big bag, He placed it in front of him on the back of his mule.
And the astrologer walked Sheikh Asfour and behind him a large crowd, They sing and dance …
Thus, Overnight Sheikh Asfour became the most famous astrologer in the city!!
The cobbler and the bird


And it happened the next day, That the Sultan was eating in the garden of his palace, And when he arose to wash his hands over the pond, He had the seal of the Sultanate on his finger, And it has a diamond worth a thousand dinars, And he forgot the ring on the edge of the pond, A lame duck came and swallowed the ring.


The Sultan had a small servant, Watch the duck swallow the ring, But he said nothing about it when he asked the sultan about his ring. The servant wanted to wait a few days for the noise to subside in search of the ring, Then he slaughters the duck and takes the ring.


The Sultan ordered the astrologers to be brought in, and when they gathered in front of him, he said to them, “I have lost the seal of the Sultanate, which I inherited from my father and grandfather. It is a ring that is very dear to me, so whoever guides me to its place, has a thousand dinars from me!”
And when a day passed and the astrologers did not know where the ring was, The Sultan said: “Bring us the Sultana mine.”


So the Sultan’s guards went to Sheikh Asfour in his house, And they called out to him. And as soon as Asfour knew the reason for the Sultan summoning him, Until fear rode him, And he entered his wife with his face yellow, And his saliva has dried up, He whispered to her: “If chance had saved me from the sultana last time, Chance will not save me from the Sultan this time, And he will hang me if my lies and deception appear, What should I do? “.
His wife shouted at him: “Be brave, man, Use resourcefulness and intelligence, This time chance may also serve you.”


Asfour said, “If I am betrayed by resourcefulness and intelligence, I will tell them that you are the reason I pretend to be wise and knowledgeable, and I will make them give you the largest share of what I deserve from slapping and kicking.” Then he went out, rode his mule, and headed to the Sultan’s palace, where he entered the waiting hall, until the Sultan allowed him to enter.


And on the door of the hall were curtains of silk, Inscribed with drawings of some birds and animals, From ducks, pigeons, deer, rabbits and others.


And the obsessions and worries took the mind of a bird and himself, He stared at the curtains and shook his head.
At this moment, the servant who had seen the duck crept in to watch Sheikh Asfora, and he heard about his story with the Sultana, and his ingenuity in knowing things, and he saw a bird staring at the curtains, and his heart was troubled, and he said to himself: “This masterful astrologer stares at drawing the duck over the curtains! He knew that she was the one who swallowed the ring, and he would also know that I watched it and hid it, and he would tell the Sultan to hang me!”


And fear drove the servant and approached a bird while he was troubled, He said: “I beg you and I implore you by God, Say nothing about me to the Sultan… I was afraid to mention to the Sultan that it was the lame duck that swallowed the ring from the edge of the pond, When the Sultan was washing his hands in the orchard, He forgot the ring there.”


And I felt a bird shake a lot His fame has lost his service this time, He turned to the servant and said: “I have known the whole truth from the stars, And if you don’t confess to me now, I would have told the Sultan the truth, and he would kill you, But as long as you have confessed to me, I won’t tell the Sultan anything. And don’t tell anyone anything about it, Otherwise you will make the Sultan cut your neck.”


A bird entered the Sultan, and found around him all the ministers and astrologers. The Sultan said to him, “We want you to know where my ring went.” Asfour pointed to the rest of the astrologers and said, “How can he hide it from all these intelligent geniuses?” The Sultan said, “They all couldn’t find out where he was, and if you find him, you have a thousand dinars.” A bird said:
“And where were you, O Sultan, when the ring was lost from you? ” . The Sultan replied:
“I was in the palace orchard.” Asfour said: “Take us to the garden.”
And when they entered the garden, Asfour said:
“I want everyone in the garden to pass in front of me, of man, bird and animal.”


And the rest of the astrologers wink sarcastically, But the Sultan ordered the execution of Asfour’s request.
And he passed in front of the Sultan and in front of a bird a procession with all the servants and boys who work in the garden, Then deer and rabbits living in the park, Then the bird species of geese, ostriches and peacocks passed in front of them, Then it was the ducks’ turn at the end. And when it passed before them, He shook his head, He raised his arms up and shouted: “Catch this duck.”


And here the rest of the astrologers started laughing at him and mocking!


The Sultan had been used to enjoying the sight of this duck, whenever he saw it laughing at the way it walked, he said to a bird: “This duck I am optimistic about, and I do not allow anyone to hurt her.” Asfour said, “If you want the ring, it’s in her belly.” The Sultan said: “If we do not find anything in her womb?!” Asfour said: “Do to me whatever you want!” The Sultan ordered the duck to be slaughtered, feeling very sorry for it, and saying to himself: “By God, if we do not find the ring in it, I will kill it immediately and at the hour.”


But they found the ring in her pocket!! And when they drove him out and the Sultan saw him, Jinn of joy, And he shouted to a bird: “By Allah, there is no such thing in this world as you. You deserve two thousand dinars, not an alpha.”
And he took the bird of two thousand, And he hurried home, almost flying from joy, And the rest of the astrologers almost die of rage and envy.


As soon as a bird arrived at his house, Until he told his wife what had happened, He said to her: “Let’s go to another distant country, We are satisfied with the gold and dinars that have come to us.
I’m afraid to have a third experience. I go with her to the grave.”


His wife shouted stubbornly and said:
“By God, I do not move from this country from which all this good has come to us.”
The cobbler and the bird
.. Follows


A bird and his wife lived spending generously from the wealth that landed on them, And astrologers envy him and dare not harm him.
But one day they gathered and went to the Sultan and said to him: “O great Sultan, how did you offer us a bird?! He is ignorant and understands nothing?”
The Sultan replied: “He knew what you couldn’t know.”
Said: “Chance served him.”


The Sultan said: “Therefore I will set up an experiment to judge between you and him. I’ll go to the orchard and hide something, If you know Him, I will judge you, And if he overcomes you, I will not hear a word from you against him anymore.”
They said: “We have accepted your rule, O Sultan.”


Then the Sultan arose, and entered the orchard, and one of the small birds chased a locust, so the locusts hurried and entered under the tail of the Sultan’s clothes, and the bird rushed and entered after it. The Sultan hurried and grabbed the two under his clothes, then hid them in his hands, and said to astrologers: “Whoever was able to know what was in my hands, I judged his superiority over his opponent, let’s summon Sheikh Asfour!”.
One of the servants hurried to bring a bird from his house, He said to him: “The Sultan asks for you.”


A bird entered his wife, and he was on his knees, and said: “The third is the judge. This time the Sultan will hang me, And he will take gold from you.” His wife said: “Trust in God and trust in Him.”
Asfour said goodbye to his wife, confident that he would not return to her intact this time.
And when he reached the Sultan. He found him holding his hands over his clothes, And one of the astrologers says: “In your hand, O Sultan Zahr Rayhan.”


Another says: “But green leaves.” A third said: “But the fruits of lemons.”
And each one mentioned something, And the Sultan says to each of them:
“Not true. unsound.”


Finally there is nothing left but a bird, Sitting thinking about the predicament that his wife has put him into, The Sultan said: “Why don’t you speak, Sheikh Asfour? It’s your turn and only you are left.”


A bird said, As if it were happening itself, His concern was heightened by what his wife had pushed him to: “And what shall I say, O King?! If it wasn’t for Jarada, today’s bird wouldn’t have fallen into the hands of the Sultan!! “.


Here the Sultan’s captives cheered and shouted: “There is no one in the world like you, Sheikh Asfour. You are the Sultan of wisdom and knowledge! “. And the Sultan took out of his hand locusts and birds, Then he said:
“They gave him three thousand dinars!!”


The astrologers were astonished, Their astonishment increased, and they said: “Really. There is never anything like him in this world! “.
And spread the news of the success of Asfour and his victory over his rivals this great victory, But a bird was not happy with this, He went to his wife and said:


“You refuse to leave this country, And I am afraid that the deception of lying and astrology will be revealed, So if anyone asks about me, Tell him I died, People stop me and forget about me, And we live with the immense wealth that has landed on us in safety and bliss.”


For the first time his wife agreed, She, too, began to fear what the future held for them.
Asfour was cut off from visiting the Sultan for three days, And he sent to ask about him, They said to him: “A bird died three days ago.” Then Asfour and his wife hurried to move to a distant dwelling.


And it happened that same night that the Sultan went out in disguise, To know the state of his flock. And chance drove him to the shore of the river, He longed to eat fish that fishermen roasted immediately after catching it. He sat on the shore waiting for the fishermen to come out by fishing. Suddenly, the Sultan heard a man sitting near him say:


“It’s better to travel from this country, Jerada.” He heard a woman answer her interlocutor and say: “People will soon forget you, bird, Everyone now thinks that the astrologer Asfoura is dead.”
The Sultan was astonished when he heard this conversation, and looked closely at the man and knew that he was Sheikh Asfour, so he asked some of his servants to track him down, to know where his house was.


The next day, The Sultan went undercover to Beit Asfour, knocking on the door, So he opened a bird, not expecting that there would be anyone who knew his new home, Then he is surprised by those who say to him: Where is Sheikh Asfour’s wife? “.


Asfour almost denied and said that there are no relatives of Sheikh Asfour in the house, However, the undercover sultan added: “We have sent the Sultan to pay condolences on the death of her husband. Let’s give her a sum of money to use for life.”


Here a bird feared his wife’s quarrel, If he spends those who come to give her money, Enter the visitors, He hurried to his wife to tell her the news.


The wife pretended to be sad, and went out to receive visitors with tears falling from her eyes, but she was surprised by the visitor asking: “If Sheikh Asfour has died, who opened the door?”


The woman fell silent, as she felt that the question would be followed by other questions!! When the Sultan noticed that the wife was silent, he hurried to ask his second question: “Woman… Answer my question and tell the truth: Isn’t Sheikh Asfour the one who opened the door for us?”


The woman realized that all the plans she had made with her husband had collapsed, So she hurried out of the room, She intended to run away with her husband through the back door of the house.
Here the Sultan’s laughter rose and he stood calling: “Oh Sheikh Asfour… I am the Sultan. I give you safety. “.


Then Sheikh Asfour knew the voice of the Sultan, And his heart was reassured when he heard him giving him security, And he took his wife’s hand, He returned to where the Sultan sitted.


The Sultan laughed again and asked: “Why did you do this, Sheikh Asfour? Why did you broadcast the news of your death? “. Asfour said: “As long as you have given me safety, sire, I will tell you the truth… Astrology is all lies and pretense, and it was my wife who pushed me to become an astrologer, and chance sometimes served me and trickery at other times, but I refused to continue with this charlatanism and absurdity!”


Then the Sultan burst out laughing and giggling and said: “You deserve, Your frankness has a greater reward than all you have taken for pretending to know the future and the unseen.” He ordered him five thousand dinars.
And since that day, He became a remorseful bird for the Sultan, He tells him the funniest anecdotes and jokes, And entertain him with stories and tales, After he stopped astrology and claims.


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