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Posts Tagged ‘the sheik with two greyhounds’

The second sheik contiued. ‘O Jinn my wife was a Jinn like you and she lifted me from a watery grave and flew into the air. Before I could say aboubakr-is-no-fakir-and-the-onus-is-on-younus’ I stood right in front of our house. I took my wife into our new home. Here shall we live and set up our home’. She was pleased with my words. I dug up the reserve money I had kept away from my brothers. Next morning I went as usual to the market and opened the shutters. I did business as if I had not left the place at all.
It was late evening when I went home.
After supper my wife said,’I have sent word for my sister and she assured me that your brothers would be taught a lesson. No more you need to fear them.’ Next morning I was surprised to see two greyhounds pawing piteously before my door. ‘They were my brothers and here they stand.’
The Jinn was pleased to hear the story He asked,’ But where are you taking them?’.(to be continued)
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The second Sheik continued with his story,’Oh Jinn I thought the beggar was pulling my leg with such a proposal. I saw her lift the tatters of her hood and gave a smile. O Jinn I was transfixed. I said to myself, a woman who can smile like that cannot be a beggar. Here eyes were lively as were giving me once all over. She said,’ Time flies and the night is too long to spend alone. What will you, man?’
I went towards her and said, ‘I shall marry you and surprise me, woman!’
She said with a sly look,’How will that be? Do you lift me from this state of begging? Or will I bring you to my level?’ While I furiously argued within she said, ‘I see from your face that you are already put your neck into some deep trouble. Marry me and I shall get you out of your present trap.’ It hit me between my eyes. I knew she was a heavenly creature and knew everything concerning me.’ So said boldly that I shall take her as my wife. Oh Jinn It was the first wise decision I took in my life. After marriage I brought her into the ship and we were so much in love with one another. I somehow missed the signs- how inflamed with jealousy my brothers were. I never realized my life was in danger.’


(to be continued)
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After comforting Abdel my poor brother I let him stay with me while I went on with my routine. After a month I told him that I would set him in business from my profits. Thus he set up his shop and life went on as usual. One morning he came with Kassim the second brother. Imagine my surprise Kassim was bitten by the travel bug and he was breaking out in a raging fever.Every trader that we knew was advising him restraint.But he had his brother’s blessings to live it up. They were saying loudly for all to hear that I was wasting my life. One day Abdel and Kassim were right in my shop for a showdown. They wanted me to take a trip along with them.’Come with us. We shall put some sense into you!’ they said.
They made unnecessary noise to make me change my mind. I pleaded them to be quiet but they made a scene and it went on for sometime.
There was whispered talks about us in the market. The traders looked at us with concern. O Jinn my brothers were shaming my reputation as well.

I pleaded patience with my brothers to no avail. I promised to accompany them at the end of six years. When it was due I had to close down my shop and fitted out a vessel. One evening I asked my brothers to put up their share. They stood there shamefaced and said,’ Oh Ali, you know times were not kind to us. We spent every dirham into playing stocks and we lost.’ In the end I took out remaining money I had set apart for emergencies. In short I paid their share. It looked as though sharing good times meant I was footing their follies as well. O Jinn you know when you are the youngestin the family you are paying penal interest for the mistakes of older brothers as well. We set out in our vessel. After a tedious sea journey we docked at a port and it was in Calicut I think. I wanted a little time to myself. So I excused myself to see the town and the environs. At one point I saw a beggar who sat under a tamarisk tree already blighted as the woman. She looked up and said ‘Marry me stranger, I shall make your bed as warm as you can bear.’
I thought I was among fools. ‘What have I to do with a beggar who has taken sudden fancy towards me?’ Life was not fair. First my brothers and now this stranger. I thought fate had singled me out for such a treatment. I sighed.
(to be continued)
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The second sheikh continued,’O Jinn Our father had left a substantial fortune which we divided three ways and set up trading in fine luxury goods. At first my brothers prospered and they made profits and they loved fitting themselves in the latest fashion and they opened their homes to the best society. Did they have fun. O yes they did.’ They were wont to press me to loosen up and enjoy life as they. But I wanted at first to build up enough capital before set up a home. After six years the eldest brother closed his business. I was shocked and asked why he was spoiling his future.’ My bother laughed at my fears and took all his money from the sale of his business. He said,’I intend to leave a trail of silver and when I return my vessels will be all laden with gold.’ He just took off and I did not hear a word from him for some four years. One morning I opened the shutters of my my shop. I carefully checked the goods that had come in the night before. While arranging the goods at the display stand I saw a stranger, more like a scarecrow standing in front of me.

I said,’Allah Karim, you will prosper without any handout from me.’
At this the stranger just blubbered,’Have I changed so much Ali, you speak thus to your eldest brother?’
His voice was dead giveaway. I knew it was Abdel, the man who could throw money left and right without caring where it fell. He was now in front of me and wanted me to accept the truth. Of course i just took him home.
(to be continued)
benny

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