THE SHORT STORIES OF ZAKARIA TAMER
Sulayman lived a happy life in the palace, looking at the wonders in each room. He spent days staring at the door of the fortieth room. He did not open it, obeying the old man’s advice. His curiosity grew and grew, until finally he was compelled to open the door. Mountains of gold covered the floor. When Sulayman saw the gold, he thought: “If I kill the old man, the gold will be mine.” He did exactly that, he killed the old man. Looking at his blood-smeared hands, he realized that the old man had not lied: here was Sulayman, who had become a vicious animal, a man killer.
Those With Long Ears
The gazelle, goat, rabbit, and bird lived together in a large meadow, full of trees and grass and a river with sweet-tasting water. One day a donkey arrived in the meadow. The rabbit, bird, gazelle and goat circled him and gawked at him, because the donkey, in olden days, was beautiful – really handsome. At that time, he did not have long ears.
The donkey said: “Your meadow is gorgeous, can I stay here?” The sheep said: “We live happy lives, free of strife.” The gazelle said: “Whoever wants to live with us is not allowed to hurt anyone.”
The bird said: “We do not fight.” And the rabbit added: “We live like brothers.” The donkey assured them that his behavior would be good behaviour and that he would not kick anyone. Then he added: “I hope we can be friends.”
176 BANIPAL 53 – SUMMER 2015