The Seventh Tale
People only hated and feared the tale of the blacksmith, who was so huge
and enormous as the door- may our great sultan curse him- He used to eat
and never satisfy his huger, and drink and never get drunk.
One day, there came the tax-collector to his shop, and he gave him what he
wanted, then he returned the next week to take his bribe, so the blacksmith
laughed, which made the tax-collector so angry.
The blacksmith- may Allah curse him- said that his father used to pay the
bribes because he was a weak man, but as for the black smith, he would
never do that. The neighbor gathered around his shop when they heard the
loud noise, when the black smith was kicking the tax-collector and his
assistants outside his shop. They tried to beg him not to do that: "May God
help you our brother, please don`t do that." And the fish monger tried to
interfere by giving the required money for the tax-collector, and put them
on the table, but the black smith was enraged and pushed a hot iron bar to
tax-collector`s hand, when he was taking the money from the table, and
gave the money back to the fish monger, saying : " We only pay our taxes,
not any extra bribes at all, then he squirted on the people who were
gathering around his shop, so they all ran away, and the tax-collector,
remained in shop as his prisoner. Not only he burned the tax-collector`s
hand- may Allah curse the black smith- but also he tied him, and hanged
him in his shop.
The city`s religion official, came and urged the black smith to him free,
saying: "Don`t be an infidel unbeliever, give him the money he wants
and set the man free! "
The black smith started to curse and said: " Every Friday, you yell at us in
your speech and curse the one gives the bribe, and the one who takes it, and
now you are withdrawing your words. You are such a trickster." The
religion official fled away, saying that the fire has blocked the black
smith`s mind, and the wine has wasted his life. Then, there came the Police
chief, and ordered him to set the tax-collector free, but the black smith
shouted : " He who does not care about his life only can enter and set him
The officers of the palace tried for seven days to solve the problem, before
his highness the Great Sultan knows about the matter, since they became
the laughing subject of the city. During this time, the black smith went on
living his normal life of eating, and drinking wine, and sleeping in his shop,
while the tax-collector was tied up and hung helplessly in the shop. But,
nothing can be hidden from his highness the Great Sultan, he waited for his
men to solve the problem, and he was sure they helpless as the weakest of
women, he ordered his men to attack the black smith`s shop, and to cut off
the tax-collector`s head, saying that no one dares to stand up against the
Sultan`s word. Then they tried to attack the blacksmith, but he fought them
bravely, and killed 50 men of them, before he was killed.
For several long months, the head of the blacksmith kept hung on the door
of his shop, and guarded by the strongest of guards. Then, it was brought
down and buried in an unknown place, after a strange thing has happened
during all those months, lots of flowers and roses were being put under the
black smith`s head daily, in spite of the strict guards that were there.
After that, the religion official came to his shop, and ordered the black
smith to pay the money and set the tax-collector free," Don`t be an infidel
unbeliever, set him free and pay him the money." The black smith shouted
in anger :" Every Friday you order us to avoid God`s curse by not giving a
bribe or taking it, and now you withdraw your preach, and want me to do
this, you trickster, go away!"
The religion official fled away saying that the fire has made the black smith
crazy, and the wine ,he drinks has wasted his life.
Then, there came the Police Chief, and ordered him to set the tax-collector
free, but the black smith stood angrily with his hot iron bar, threatening to
kill anybody that approaches him. The officials of the palace tried in vainly
to solve the problem friendly for seven days, before his Highness the Sultan
knows, especially that they became the laughing stock of the city. The
black smith was living his life normally in his shop, eating, drinking wine,
and sleeping, while the tax-collector was still helplessly tied.
But nothing can be hidden from the Sultan, he waited for his men to solve
the problem, but when he knew that they are acting as helpless weak
women, he ordered his palace guards to attack the shop. They did that
violently, and cut off the tax-collector`s head. The black smith fought them
strongly and bravely, and killed 50 men of them, before he was killed.
The head of the black smith remained hung on the door of the shop, for
several long months, with the protection of very strong and rough guards,
until one day it was brought down and buried in an unknown place. This
was done because they kept on finding flowers and roses under his head
every night, in spite of the tough guards.
The Religion Official decreed a legislation to ban mentioning the black
smith`s name or tale any more in the city and cursing him. But his tale kept
on spreading fear, and the story of the people who put flowers kept on
arousing wondering questions.........
THE NOSTALGIA MELODY
AND OTHER SHORT STORIES
COLLECTION OF EGYPTIAN SHORT STORIES
REVISED & INTRODUCED BY
DR. GAMAL N. EL TALLAWY
Egypt Writers` Conference
Egypt _ Cairo _ 2010
Culture Changes, Reality Transitions
القصة باللغة العربية