Foolish Servant : Arabian Nights Story

Foolish Servant

Once upon a time, there was a rich merchant called, Zubair. He often travelled from one place to another with his goods. One day in the market, he came upon a beautiful girl. Zubair got carried away by her grace. “She seems to be of noble birth,” he thought.

Zubair decided to make her his bride. But before he could talk to her, she disappeared in the crowd. Zubair returned home but could not forget the beautiful maiden. There happened to be an old maid in Zubair’s house. Zubair called her and said, “I met a girl in the market today. I want to know more about her.” He described the girl’s features. “I believe she is the wazir’s daughter. I will fix up a meeting with her,” assured the old maid.

The next morning, the maid went up to Zubair and said, “Today, at noon you can meet the maiden. The wazir will be out on some work.” Zubair was very happy. “I think I need to shave and tone up my face. Call the barber!” he ordered; the barber was before him. But even before giving him a shave, the barber said, “Today is not an auspicious day.” Zubair got angry. He shouted at the barber, “Please do your job and leave. I did not ask for your advice. I am already late for my appointment.”

The barber again said, “I am sure you are going to meet a maiden. That’s why you are trying to look your best. Hmm… you want to impress her, right?” “Yes, that’s right,” said Zubair, getting irritated. “Now can you get on with your work so that I can leave without further delay!” The barber proposed, “Why don’t you take me along. I may be of some help.” Zubair was so eager to leave for his meeting that he agreed to the barber’s s request.

After his shave, Zubair and the barber started for the wazir’s house. But when they reached there, it was well past noon. Zubair was anxious. “Wait outside,” he fumed at the barber. “I don’t know how the maiden will react. I am already late.” “Uh! Don’t worry. Her anger should be easily overcome. I’ll take care of it,” said the barber. At this, Zubair got terribly angry. He warned the barber, “You better behave yourself while I go in. And don’t you ever dare to disturb me.” Saying this, Zubair entered the house while the barber waited outside.

But as luck would have it, the wazir came back right at that moment. Zubair was taken aback! He hid behind the door, scared. The wazir saw the door of his house open. He called out to his servants and yelled, “Why is the door open? Can’t you be careful?” When the barber heard this loud voice, he thought that Zubair is in trouble. He rushed into the house, calling out, “Master … are you all right?”

“Master? Which master?” asked the wazir. “My master, Zubair, he just came in here. Is he fine? the barber panicked. Hiding behind the door, Zubair was listening to all this. He knew that he’d be in trouble. “Let me escape,” he thought.

So, he jumped out through a window. Though he saved himself he fell into a deep sense of shame and anger. “The barber spoilt my day,” Zubair muttered. From that day, he vowed never to see the barber again.

Moral: We should not be friends with idiots.

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