Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2010

The Tale of the Bull and the Ass ©

There was a merchant in Mosul and he had a wife by name Zainaba. She loved him to distraction. She wanted to engage him at all hours in conversation. While in the middle of crossword puzzle she was sure to ask whatever popped in her mind. It was her way of being of one mind. One day while he was testing his skills against so many other contestants ‘Who Want to be a Millionaire’ she called him up to ask if he remembered the last episode of ‘The Bold and the Beautiful.’ In trying to oblige her he lost his concentration and was eliminated at the penultimate round. Poor Faizal! There was no escape for him . She peppered him whether at home or by long distance.
So he took to his Koran and read at one stretch from the beginning to the end fifteen times. Every time he heard his wife’s footfalls he pushed a note for her, ‘Do not disturb! Angel Gabriel may strike me dead for impiety.’ Of course the ruse worked. Zainaba loved him as I said, to distraction. But to displease Allah, Oh no it was unthinkable.
On the fourth month Faizal was about to prepare for his evening prayer and an angel appeared and saluted him. The angel said he was sent to bless him for his devotion. ‘Such thirst for knowledge! Allah shall reward you, O righteous One.’
Faizal wasn’t sure what it was he wanted most. ‘May be you want to understand the mind of your devoted wife?’ the Angel prodded helpfully.
‘Oh no!’ he spluttered, ‘I would like to understand the animal talk. Cows chew the cud more than they care to talk. The ass may bray but only at the dawn.’ Faizal muttered aloud. The angel understood the drift and said, ‘Allah, the Most Benevolent is pleased to grant your heart’s desire.’
The angel warned Faizal not to tell this to another soul. Punishment for breaking his oath would be death, the angel had warned. Faizal was sure the chance to live among his farm animals and avoid having to answer all his wife’s questions was well worth the risk.
Thus Faizal began to show all of a sudden undue attention to his farm. His wife naturally wondered about this. Whenever she could buttonhole him he found excuses to remove himself. ‘The farm must need all the attention it can get,’ she said to herself.
One morning Faizal sat before the stalls to hear the Bull chat with the Ass.
He heard the Ass ask, ‘You think our master can follow our conversation?’
Mr. Bull said, ‘Our master is so pious that he only wants to make his wife think in the same lines as he does.’
The Ass exclaimed, ‘ If that is the case he doesn’t understand his wife at all.’
The Bull asked him to explain. The Ass said, ‘Every time I carry our mistress to the market or her folks she will tug at the reins or relax; and I instantly know what is expected of me. She tells me ‘I need to tell in many words to make your master do a thing. I wish he were as clever as you. Oh many a times I have nearly died of vexation!’’
The Bull nodded wisely, ‘Allah ought to have married her to you. Then our master would have been left in peace.’
The master burst out laughing. His wife came at that precise moment and asked, ‘What on earth has got into you!’
Faizal would not answer. It struck her odd. She came to his side, ‘No man laughs for nothing! Unless he is insane.’ She stood there and asked him to tell the reason.
‘No I cannot !’ Faizal replied. She became very amazed and suspected there was something very sinister in his laugh.
‘Why did you laugh?’ She pestered him for day and night. In the end wearied by her constant sulking and demands he thought it was better to be struck dead by the angel than living under the same roof with her. ‘I shall tell it all,’ he thought to himself, ‘and break my oath’.
Next morning he went to the Kazi’s office to set his affairs in order and came home.
The woman stood at the gate and asked eagerly, ‘Are you going to tell me or not?’
‘O woman,’ Faizal said wearily, ‘I will tell my secret after I have purified myself. For by telling it I shall die.’ Zainaba was so possessed by curiosity that she asked him to get ready.
While he was washing himself in an out-house adjoining the house he saw all the farm animals wore a sad expression except a cock that strutted among some fifty hens. The dog asked if he didn’t care for the fate of his master.
‘Why should I if he cannot manage one woman in his household?’ Faizal realized that the cock managed his harem as he deemed fit and the hens were all contented for his highhandedness.
After the ceremonial wash he went into the house. His wife approached him to ask, ‘Are you going to tell your secret or not?’ He reached for his walking stick and beat her till she pleaded mercy.
‘Do you still want to hear my secret?’
‘Oh no!’ wailed the woman.
He threatened to beat her if she ever irritated him with unnecessary demands.
She promised not to repeat this and said she had learned her lesson.
That night he went to make peace with her. After all they had lived some forty years and raised children. He tried to speak but could only bray. His wife wondered what got into him.
A month later she was going to visit her son and along the way she told the Ass, ‘I got the most wonderful husband. He is pearl among men. He loves my company and makes me feel like a woman. Only fault is that he brays like you. Then no man is perfect.’

benny

Read Full Post »

Abdullah the fisherman was as poor as can be. He was wont to cast his net in the shallow waters. Those who launched out in the mid-sea brought home bigger catch. Many of Abdullah’s friends advised him to dare and go for bigger things. Poor Abdu! he quaked at the idea of exposing himself to needless risks. ‘What if I die in the enterprise? who shall feed my family?’ So he stayed at the edge of the sea and cast his net in the morning and in the evening. He just eked out a life as a fisherman.
One morning he cast his net and felt a tug. It promised a big catch. When he pulled it in with great struggle he came across an old wooden chest and it contained nothing but some worthless bonds. ‘Why Enron should entangle my net? It is more than I can understand’. Next he caught a bottle in which was a message. The King of Nigeria had promised untold wealth if only he remitted 2.5 million dollars to his account in Lichtenstein.’He looked at the golden crown burnished on the letter and the name of the king in rainbow colors. Finally he observed,’If the king of SCAM is so hard pressed for a handout from me, he must be poorer than me.’ He was sure that if the royal majesty would only open his largesse- safely stored in some Swiss banks, with his help he must be a man of straw.’ So he threw it away.
Next time he cast his net he hauled in a sealed jar he remembered the bottle he had just thrown away. He was about to throw but he heard a whimper. He was greatly surprised. He looked closely and saw the mouth was stopped with wax and against the red wax was the seal of Solomon. ‘Ah I must show some respect to a king who was mighty and wise.’
He opened it and saw puffs of smoke coming from within. It became bellows of smoke and a Jinn stepped out.

He said,’ The first thousand years I daily prayed thus,’Whoever released me shall be master of the sea. I hold the riches of the deep.’ ‘
Poor Abdul quaked and waited for the Jinn to finish his tale. ‘Next five hundred years I took an inventory and found how much my wealth was lying idle. I said whoever released me shall possess half the riches.’
The Jinn paused and began,’Next five hundred years I spent planning whoever let me out will pay with his life.’
Abdullah shuddered and felt his head reeling. He wondered how to get out of the terrible fate that awaited him. The Jinn shrilled to see the fisherman was keeping silence. He shouted, ‘ Who shall make good of my loss but you?!’
Then he said,’If you cannot I will have to kill you.’
Abdullah replied,’Killing me will not earn you interest. I have a plan to earn all the wealth that you lost.’
Jinn at first would not believe. Abdullah sensed that the Jinn what with his millennia of solitary incarceration had lost his reason. He saw nothing but wealth. Abdullah therefore had to go easy. He softly said he was sure he knew where King Solomon had left his untold riches.
Instantly the Jinn shrieked. The fisherman asked,’The name of Solomon makes you cry like a banshee. It is understandable.’
‘You do understand my feelings, don’t you?’ the Jinn exclaimed somewhat mollified. Abdullah nodded and said the best way to get back at the dead King was to steal his buried treasure.
‘Where is it?’ asked the Jinn eagerly.
‘It is buried under the Dome of the Rock.’
‘Come we shall go there instantly.’
‘Oh no’ cried the fisherman,’both Jews and Moslems are fighting for it. They have guns, bombs and many other weapons of war.
‘So what will you advise me?’
‘Get in the jar and I shall smuggle you across to Jerusalem. Then we shall see.’
The Jinn brightened. He knew he would get even with the king who had cast spells on him and put him in the jar.
‘You mean well. Do you not?” the Jinn was somewhat apprehensive. The fisherman assured him,’By the word of Madoff, my word is my bond.’
‘I quite believe you.’ the Jinn said.
He went back into the jar with a whimper. Quickly the fisherman closed the mouth with the seal of Solomon and cast the jar into the sea.
He was happy that he lived to cast his net another day.
benny

Read Full Post »

conclusion:
The fat capitalist had its face pinched with mounting woes. It thought it could knock at the door of the ants and get help. So it waded through thick snow even as army of ants from abroad were converging there. Those ants hit by natural calamities knew the ants in so and so county were unaffected. To the incessant knockings of the grasshopper a door opened. The ant asked why had it come to them. The grasshopper narrated its difficulties.
The ant said it could not spare anything. ‘We are expecting great many mouths to feed.’ The ant said that the ants from all the affected counties were approaching them for help.
‘Workers of the world, unite! so says the Book,’ said the ant,’So our surplus should go to feed them. And not you.’
‘Why not me?’ asked the grasshopper,’ We belong to the same county. Where is your patriotism?’ The ant knew the grasshopper in spreading its wealth around and investing abroad to escape tax at home was merely fooling itself. ‘My patriotism is right where it belongs and it isn’t something we need to concern right now.’
The grasshopper turned away sadly but not wiser by its experience.
benny

Read Full Post »

'workers of the world unite,'so says our Book,'So you deserve no handout,'said the ant

Read Full Post »

Continued:
The grasshopper burst out laughing. It saw how the ants sweated. ‘There is no winter coming .You are storing for nothing’.The grasshopper said with a smirk,’ Global warming is a sure fact.’ The grasshopper had all the latest figures. It somersaulted and made fun of the rest. It flung at the ants,’You foot-soldiers toil to no purpose. Work your butts off so much it affects even that ant-size brain!’ The ant asked,’ Don’t you work as a matter of duty to other workers?’ ‘Why should I?’ ‘ I have my wealth spread around so I can cut a figure.’ It checked its pocketbook and said, ‘every minute some where around the world I am accumulating interest on my investments’. Ants by then had worked for the season and they filed into their hideout so they might pass the winter.
As the grasshopper predicted flash-floods occurred, but elsewhere around the world. Mount Merapi in Indonesia erupted but it went past the ants who were well hidden from its ash flow. It so happened the grasshopper received reports how its assets in South America were wiped out by a Junta that was for nationalizing the foreign companies. The law recently passed at home made outsourcing impossible and its industrial plants were brought to standstill owing to calamities abroad. The flow of raw materials dried up and machinery on lease became idle. The banks began to slap penal interest for defaulting. In the face of mounting difficulties the grasshopper felt like Job of old.( to be concluded.)

Read Full Post »

''my wealth is spread around, so I dance and cut a figure', said the grasshopper.

Read Full Post »

One summer day an ant was struggling to haul a fat juicy grain into its community store. A grasshopper who came that way saw the ant and watched it with interest. There was a file of ants engaged in the same task. The grasshopper felt genuinely concerned and after the ant had notched up its thousandth grain it approached the ant.’Mr. Ant?’ it asked,’you shall never live long enough to eat thousand grains.’
‘Why not?’
‘The times are uncertain. The mildew, rot and not to mention flash-floods, a volcanic eruption, or typhoon are all facts of life.’
‘So? ‘ the ant could not figure it out. ‘Am I not supposed to do what my forefathers were content to do all their lives?”
The grasshopper explained that the times had changed. ‘Just because your pop stored grains for the winter isn’t guarantee you will live to enjoy fruits of labor.’
‘I set an example with my work. Don’t I?’
‘What good is an example if there isn’t any to benefit?’
‘My brood of antlets?’
The grasshopper laughed and said,’Do you think they will survive a flash-flood head on?
The ant said, ‘So your conclusion?”
The grasshopper replied,’Work is a four letter word.’
The ant nodded and said,’Duty is also a four letter word. It doesn’t sound bad to me.’ (Con’d)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,017 other followers