reading notes: persian tales part b
A picture of shazam
An unlucky brother went on a journey to find his luck. along the way, he was asked by a wolf where he could find food, by a female queen as to why her subjects would not obey her, and by a gardener as to why his crops would not grow. The man found his luck and the luck gave him all the answers to the peoples questions. He told the woman and in response she asked to marry him, but he declined. he told the gardener that there were four gold jars and all he had to do was dig them up. the gardener told him to stay and share in the wealth, and he declined this as well. he went to the wolf and told him to eat any fool that passes by, so the wolf promptly ate the man and declared that he had not met a bigger fool.
A king was looking for a certain prophet, shazam, yeah shazam, and was offering anything to find him. A poor man in a lot of debt said that he would bring shazam to the king, if first the king gave him a lot of money. if the man could not do so in 40 days, then they would have his head. The man paid off all of his debts and gave the rest of the money to his wife, telling her that he was off to lose her head and that she should live a happy life with that money. He went to get beheaded and was happy with his choices, but shazam magically appeared and the king gave the man a town and a fortune.
A baker threw whatever he could not sell into the river, so that the fish could eat it. A man came along and told the baker that he would hire him to do nothing for forty days, and then two hours of work on the fortieth day. the baker gladly agreed and on the day forty, the man tied the baker in a cow's hide. A giant bird grabbed the baker and flew him to his nest. The baker asked how to get down, and the man said throw down the jewels and I'll tell you. Once the jewels were down, the man told the baker there was no way down and he was going to die. The baker decided to jump into the river, thought dying with the fish would be more pleasant. the fish saved the baker, for they recognized him as the one who fed them. the baker disguised himself and later tricked the man into putting on the cow hide, and the bird took him to its nest. the baker got the man to throw down the jewels and told him he could jump in the river, the man did this but the fish did not save him.
Story source: Persian Tales, translated by D.L.R. Lorimer and E.O. Lorimer and illustrated by Hilda Roberts (1919).