The Fisherman and the Genie | Arabian Nights
One hot afternoon, a poor fisherman cast his net into the sea. For quite some time, he waited but could not catch any fish. Hmm! “It seems today I will have to go without food,” he thought. He again tried for an hour. But to no avail, and no fish fell victim to his line.
The fisherman was disheartened. But he did not give up. Once again, he casts his net, and this time, the net seems to be heavy. “Ah, there! It looks like a huge fish has been caught, “he smiled hopefully.” He dragged his net out. But lo! All he could find was a big brass jar, whose lid was tightly closed.
The fisherman became curious. He hastily opened the jar. Thick smoke blew out of it. There was dust all around. And then… there arose a ferocious-looking creature out of the smoke. With his big, red eyes, he stared down at the fisherman and growled, “Ha! Ha! Ha! I am a genie.
Someone had locked me inside this jar. For a long time, I haven’t eaten anything. I am hungry. Come on! “Get set to become my food.”
Hearing this, the fisherman was frightened. But he gathered courage and said, “What wrong have I done to you, O Genie?” In fact, I have set you free from the jar, haven’t I? Why are you trying to kill me?” The genie roared, “Look here, young man. I don’t have time to argue. I am bound by an oath, and I have to kill the first human I see. So I can’t spare you.”
“All right, I am ready to become your prey if you desire.” But first, answer my small question,” said the fisherman. When the genie heard the fisherman’s question, he replied, “Yes, what do you want? Please, tell me quickly.” “You’re huge; how did you fit in such a small jar?” “Heh!” the genie laughed. That’s very simple. We can change shape as and when required. As large as a mountain or as tiny as an ant,” boasted the genie.
The fisherman taunted him, “I don’t believe you. If you can prove it to me, I will accept your power, and you can eat me up.” The foolish genie reduced his size and dived into the jar to prove his words. The clever fisherman was waiting for this, and he quickly closed the jar and threw it back into the sea. The wicked genie was trapped again, and the fisherman heaved a sigh of relief.
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