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In the great city of Isfahan lived Ahmed the cobbler, an honest fellow whose sole wish was to to pass through life quietly; and he might have done so but for his wife who hated to accept the lowliness of his profession. Noor was her name. She was ever forming foolish schemes of riches and grandeur to which her husband would indulgently smile and change her subject.
It happened one evening she came home all in a fluster and she told her husband meeting the wife of the chief astrologer to the king. “What a magnificent dress! And jewellery, oh my eyes were dazzled!” Ahmad smiled and let it pass. Oh no for the next three days and nights she dinned into his head that he was no good. “If you care for me, you will stop this nonsense!” “What nonsense dear?’ “This cobbling! It is so humiliating, O husband of mine.” “But it feeds us and keeps a roof over our heads. It is my livelihood.” Ahmad could not believe his ears.
He hoped she would change the subject. Oh no! She was in no mood to give it as a hopeless case.
She wanted him to take up astrology. “But I am old and too set in my ways to learn a new trade. Astrology will be the death of me!” At the end of a month he almost plucked his beard out in frustration. “The moment he saw the moon he put an ice pack on his head and said, “My head is spinning! The moon phase has entered into the House of Saturn!” He pretended to talk gibberish but she thought he was an astrologer speaking such words as any astrologer would be proud of. “You see, how simple it is? You are an astrologer Only you never realized.” He groaned inwards and beat his head against the wall in frustration. He felt sick. For a week he stayed in bed afraid to look up. The most dreadful event of the day was when his wife having served tea in bed, would point to some charts horoscopes drawn or an almanac almost crumbling which she had collected from the neighbourhood. Whenever she came he would say, “Go away, signs are bad. Inauspicious to say the least.”
At the end of the week a group of his friends descended on him. They had heard what his wife was telling to all and sundry in the neighbourhood. They said, “Your wife is right! Give over cobbling; it is a vile, low trade, and never yields more than ten or twelve dinars a day. You are born astrologer!”
“No I am not!” said Ahmad with his last ounce of energy.
The Imam who was rather fond of him said, “Ahmad you are too modest”. The baker who allowed him credit was sure he should give up tools of his trade. “Never sell your talents short, Ahmad. An Astrologer counts gold every night.” His wife would snort and say, “Tell him, by the Word of the Merciful Prophet, he had done enough counting blisters on his fingers to last a life time.”
Poor Ahmad! No one would believe him. Next day he rose up early and went out. Having sold his little stock, bought an astrolabe, an astronomical almanac, and a table of the twelve signs of the zodiac. Furnished with these he went to the marketplace, crying, “I am an astrologer! I know the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the twelve signs of the zodiac; I can calculate nativities; I can foretell everything that is to happen!”
It so happened that the king’s jeweller was passing by. He was in great distress, having lost the richest ruby belonging to the crown. Every search had been made to recover this inestimable jewel, but to no purpose; and the date of delivering the ruby in its new setting was almost due. He had no way of talking his way out without the ruby. In this hopeless state, while wandering about the town, he reached the crowd around Ahmed and asked what was the matter. “Don’t you know Ahmed the cobbler?” said one of the bystanders, laughing; “he has been inspired, and is become an astrologer.”
Somewhat buoyed up at the news he went directly to Ahmad. The cobbler astrologer was almost trying to make himself scarce but the King’s jeweller held out a purse of 100 pieces of gold in advance and promised the other hundred on delivery of the lost ruby. “But if you do not succeed within six hours, I will use all my influence at court to have you put to death as an impostor.” Without a word he walked off.
Poor Ahmed just quaked. But he could not retreat; nor had he the least idea where to begin. He opened the almanac and blindly thrust his finger on a sheet. He looked where it had pointed. “Home.” He burst out laughing like a mad man. Home was where all his misery began and he inwardly cursed his wife for putting his neck into gallows. He saw a woman in veil running as though avoiding a thunderbolt. He said, “It is a sign. I have a clue to begin with.” He hurried his steps after her. Most was amazement to see her going into the Jewellers’ house.
She was indeed the slave to the wife of the Jeweller’s wife. Breathless with fear she cried, “You are discovered, my dear mistress, you are found out by a vile astrologer. Before six hours are past the whole story will be known, and you will be branded as a thief.”
The jeweller’s wife, hastily throwing on her veil, went in search of the dreaded astrologer. In fact he was heading towards her. On seeing she threw herself at his feet, crying, “Spare my honour and my life, and I will confess everything!” “What can you have to confess to me?” exclaimed Ahmed in amazement.
“Oh, nothing! nothing that you are not already aware of!” She cried and said, “You know too well by your art hat I stole the ruby from the king’s crown. I did so to punish my husband, who uses me most cruelly; But you, the astrologer from whom nothing is hidden. I beg only for mercy, and will return the ruby. From inside her street clothes she handed the ruby and said, “Here take it.”
Later at night at home ,-two hundred pieces of gold pieces made Noor very happy. Instantly she arranged to list all the shakers and movers of the city whose fortunes could be made by consulting a chart prepared by Her Astrologer husband. She was sure to insist that he charged a piece of gold towards the trouble he had to read the horoscope. “ One piece of gold?” Ahmad was stunned. “A family of two can live with ease one whole year. Let us not ask for the moon, of moon of my dreams.” He said. She laughed him to scorn, “It is nothing compared to what you shall demand for satisfaction. Ten percent of the sum involved I shall consider worthwhile.” Ahmad simply sighed. She was becoming impossible.
Next day ten attendants from the palace arrived. Bowing they said the Sultan wanted to consult him straightaway. Sweating and fearing for his neck he accompanied them. The sultan went straight to the point, “Here are two horoscopes. One is mine and the other is that of the king of Samarkhand. Compare the two and tell me the truth. Future of Persia depends entirely on you. You are, as reported to me, the most inspired astrologer. I shall not forget you if you should give me satisfaction.”
Ahmad thought his whole world would come crashing on him if he made a single error. He took the horoscopes of both kings and wanted a quiet hour to study them. Immediately he was guided to a saloon on the palace grounds. Dismissing all he threw himself on the divan and he collapsed. He saw a dream. It was terrible. In his mind’s eye he thought he was kneeling with his head on the chopping block. And horrible, oh horrible the sultan’s executioner was sharpening his axe.
Poor Ahmad. He got up and began walking in circles.
Suddenly he found a way out. He walked back to the palace and sought audience with his royal master. He said after bowing deeply that he was ready with his results. The sultan called him privately to another room and asked what was his opinion. He said, “If I tell the truth my royal master will die of black-death; That certainly would bring the King of Samarkhand to the gates of the city. If I tell a lie, the King of Samarkhand shall certainly die and also your son who is even standing next in line.
The sultan digested this piece of news and asked, “Is there a way to prevent any of these from happening, Most Illustrious Astrologer?” Ahmad watched from corner of his eye and saw the Sultan had accepted his decision as predestined from the Lord of three worlds. “No master”
“So be it” said the sultan. “Is there any favour you wish me to do in return?” He bowed and said, “Please issue a royal decree so I need never practice astrology.”
The sultan was somewhat taken aback but he accepted his decision. He duly presented him with a Deed of Exemption. Since then he never glanced at a horoscope let alone draw one. For once his wife Noor had not a word to say for or against it.
(Selected from the Wow-Wow Tales by Q-BITZ)
Benny

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A man was walking hunched over as though reeling from a severe blow. He clutched however a valise tight as though his life depended on it. On the way he met one man who was in no better condition than he was. He was waiting for someone in the middle of nowhere.

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Each one looked at other and they came together.
Then the first man with the valise opened up. He asked what was he there for.
“I sold dreams.”
“Dreams! Man with the valise could not believe. “You ought to be walking like a rooster and not as though hit on the head with a spade.”
The second man explained that he was there to meet a man who should be selling his life back.
“How will you know the man who can give you life back?”
Oh that is easy, said the second man, “ He shall have a valise. It is a peculiar valise. I can only tell you when I inspect it myself.”
The first man became very interested. No more slouch and his whole frame changed. Straightening up he said, “I have a bag. Such as sales people carry. Want to look at it?”
Second man looked at the man once over, from head to toe. “OK. Let have a look.” He held it out.
He peered into it and glanced at him curiously. Then he shot his hand into it.

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He bent as far as he could and strangely his hand had come out through the bottom. He stood up and frowned, “It has no bottom.” Then he stood back and laughed. “So you are the one who is going to give me life back?”
The first man straightened up and said, “I waited here for you. I am Death and I collect.”
“With a valise having no bottom?” He laughed.
“Yes,” Death was in dead earnest. He added, “I shall not leave here. Either you or dreams you sell must fill in my valise.” They shook hands and waited.
The second man said sharply, “Don’t waste time. Give me life back.”
“You find a customer and I shall let you go.”
The man who sold dreams was in high spirits. “Aha!” He clapped hands, “I sell dreams!”
One salesman came by, “I sell the finest caviar. He opened a tin and showed its contents. “He rattled the names of all the rich and famous who have been his satisfied customers. “I sold all but one. The man who sells dreams said, “Can I sample it? ”
“Why?”
“So you can sell all my customers whose list is never ending.” The caviar salesman looked at him incredulous at first. He was not sure whether he was pulling his leg or not. He was not. “OK let me see your list. Then I shall decide.”
The man who sold dreams looked at Death who also had meanwhile transformed. Stranger still the landscape also had changed! He looked nattily dressed and a red Ferrari drew up by the kerb where he stood. The chauffeur put on his gloves to hand over from the back seat of the car a leather-bound ledger and gave to the man who sold dreams. He in turn let the caviar salesman examine it. He was impressed, “ Oh my God all those clientele I would give my left hand for!” He whistled, “I cooled my heels so long in their anterooms hoping for a five minute interview.” The caviar salesman wrung his hands and said, “I let you have my last sample and also do whatever you tell me.”
“Hop in his car. ” With alacrity he hopped in the flashy car and they drove off.
Oh boy there was no let up! The man who sold dreams was indeed busy. Men came in droves and ladies had their wish-list. How confidently he handled every request! Each one went off on cloud number nine! So much noise they created and the man who sold dreams looked still fresh as roses in bloom.
By sundown. He had done his day’s work and whom does he see but Death?
Death was slouching all the more and dragged his feet. He shuddered as if he had seen a ghost. He held out his valise and showed. It still was empty. “I am deadbeat, man,” he said. He gasped and coughed, “You sold more dreams that I could possibly carry. “I shall consider our bargain cancelled if you let me tag along”. The man agreed.
They walked on but the man who sold dreams walked as though he was the lord and master of all that he surveyed.

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(Selected from The Wow-Wow Tales available through Amazon.Com/kindle illustrated in full color or b&w)
Benny

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“Over the past year I’ve learned

Some ends don’t have endings.

Some empty space will never be filled.

Sometimes your hands intertwine perfectly,

But your minds just don’t.”

Emma-Lidewij (selected from Chaos & Catastrophe ©)

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My book is available through Amazon.com

 

The Book of Genesis is literally a book of beginnings. The intent of the author is to explain the narrative mode of the Holy Spirit so stories like the parables of Jesus work at many levels. Think of the Book of Genesis as a snapshot of the whole: we see Adam, Noah and the Patriarchs seated in the front row representing God’s promise to Abraham: “In thee shall at the families of the earth be blessed (Ge.12:3). In the back row what we see are multitudes, as fulfilled. Jesus, who as the light of the world gives it clarity. Consequently when the Spirit discusses the patriarchs, focus is on the nation of Israel but other nations serve as a foil to it. For instance God places Joseph in Egypt so the nation of Israel could be helped in time of a great famine. Similarly at the birth of Jesus God secures a safe hiding place there for the Holy Family. God’s Will sees all as part of his promise and in Time: time in which Joseph and Jesus were placed varies by more than a millennia. Yet these are all set in one timescale that is God’s Time. It has a bearing on us. In accepting Jesus Christ as the Saviour we have been inducted into the picture. Adoption (Ep.1:5) means transcending time and place that limit our earthly lives for heavenly places. From the same author: Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible in 2 volumes The Immanuel Factor Available as paperback/kindle

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1986929094/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522343446&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Annotated+Book+of+Genesis

Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (February 28, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1986929094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1986929097
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Price: $8.00

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Schermafdruk 2018-02-19 10.51.39

Mr. Half, the toad was smart … And he knew it. He was sure he was one in a million. He was not going to let his chance pass by. “I shall amaze the world.,” that is what he said So he stepped out one morning. He was smart alright! Hundred things he could do, -he could juggle, do handstand and cartwheel, Well, almost anything. But was he good enough? His adventures are funny and show what you can do all in one day. Are you ready young folks? Let us follow the Remarkable Mr. Half, as yellow as a buttercup in bloom and as funny as any toad that took to the road. The Remarkable Half-Half is the first in the Half-Half series. Age group: 4-8 years

Paperback:$13

soon in kindle

Product Details:

 

  • Series: Illustrated Half-Half series
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (February 15, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1985607093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1985607095
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.1 x 6 inches

 

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Some 92 fables many of which never published earlier are included in the latest. Almost Aesop-Fables is available as paperback and for kindle, available worldwide through Amazon.com

What is it about?

“Aesop may not have written down any fables but does it change their quality? Nor would it matter his lowly station in life. As a slave he would have been bound to a place and to a few men for the sake of necessity. But man is more than time and place. The author in the present work is attempting to imitate and not take his place. Almost Aesop shall we say?

Only when one sits down to imitate Aesop one realizes how timeless he is.  The same drive that makes a man rise to the top now is self-same in his time.  Take the fable of The Lioness and the Frog. Mama Frog who boasts of its countless spawn is no different than a man who struts about millions all in stock. The lioness would find her cubs though a few sufficient to make all sit up and notice. Such is solid fame. The nameless inventor of wheels did not patent his invention but think of the march of progress without him? Solid fame is what makes your relevance count even after your lifetime. It is your calling card to posterity.

Almost Aesop carries life experience in some 80 + fables sprinkled with illustrations from the author.

Almost Aesop is a companion volume to the Life of Aesop also available through Amazon.com

Here is the cover.

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Benny

 

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The second book in the Now You Know series is available in paper back and in kindle

I shall give the links for my readers to check out.

Thank you,

<b>US:</b> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077BW5PXX
<b>UK:</b> https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077BW5PXX
<b>Germany:</b> https://www.amazon.de/dp/B077BW5PXX
<b>France:</b> https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B077BW5PXX
<b>Italy:</b> https://www.amazon.it/dp/B077BW5PXX
<b>Spain:</b> https://www.amazon.es/dp/B077BW5PXX
<b>Japan:</b> https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B077BW5PXX
<b>Brazil/Portugal:</b> https://www.amazon.com.br/dp/B077BW5PXX
<b>Canada:</b> https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B077BW5PXX
<b>India:</b> https://www.amazon.in/dp/B077BW5PXX
<b>Mexico:</b> https://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B077BW5PXX
<b>Australia:</b> https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B077BW5PXX
<b>Netherlands:</b> https://www.amazon.nl/dp/B077BW5PXX

Benny

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