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did not even notice the fox yelp for help. Now full, the lion headed for the river where he washed his paws and brushed his teeth. Then he lay down underneath a tree. He was about to fall asleep when he jumped, panicstricken, at the screech of the owl: “The lion will die.” He now realized what he had done. His regret was utter regret – he knew that he would die the next day, as the fox had said.

Except that he did not die. He lived on and hunted foxes.

Man and Animal

Sulayman roamed from city to city because he loved to travel. One day, he arrived at a high-walled palace that was owned by an old man.

The old man greeted him and gave him the food and water he needed. The old man lived there alone, and he told Sulayman: “This is my palace. Stay with me, and you will find here forty unlocked rooms. In each room you will see wonders that shock and awe. But I advise you not to open the door of the fortieth room. You will regret it if you do.”

Sulayman asked him: “What will happen?”

The old man said: “You will turn from a man into an animal.”

BANIPAL 53 – SUMMER 2015 175

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