Dec 19, 2010

From the Tales of His Highness The Sultan

The Seventh Tale
Ashraf Nasr

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

free. "

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.........










Egypt Writers` Conference

25th Session

Egypt _ Cairo _ 2010

Culture Changes, Reality Transitions


القصة باللغة العربية

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