The Monkey Advisor | Arabian Nights

The Monkey Advisor

Many years ago, there lived a poet. He was always searching for quiet, cozy corners to compose his poems. Once, he ventured into a forest. “Hmm, this would be the right place to get inspiration,” he thought.

But he was unaware that he had entered into the domain of fierce demons. Everything around us seemed still and calm. But it was just the onset of something horrifying. The poet was engrossed in writing his poems. All of a sudden, a demon appeared before him! “Errr! Who’s that?” the poet shrieked. He had never anticipated any such thing.

The demon was giant and ugly. He emitted fire through his nostrils. “Who are you, and how dare you enter our land?” roared the demon. The poet was frightened. He stammered, “I… I am a p… poet. I did not come here with any evil intention. I was looking for a quiet place to write my poems, and I chanced upon this place. B… Believe me… I didn’t even know that this was your territory.”

The angry demon was not ready to listen to any of his excuses. “You have made an unpardonable mistake.” You will be punished, and I will turn you into a monkey.” He growled. And even before the poet could realize what was happening, he was transformed into a monkey. The demon roared in laughter, “Ha! Ha! Ha! Now you shall remain thus,” and disappeared from the place.

The poet wept bitterly. But there was nothing he could do. From that day, he had to live on fruits and sleep on the branches like other monkeys. He could neither talk like a human nor compose poems. He wandered from place to place. One fine day, he reached a port from where a ship was about to set sail. The monkey-poet stealthily jumped into the ship, and the ship sailed off.

Monkey jumped into the ship

Some of the passengers noticed him. “A monkey on board!” they screamed. Suddenly, there was a commotion on the ship. “Someone, throw him into the water,” the passengers cried in fear. “Kill him before he bites us.” Now, the captain of the ship was a kind man. He felt sorry for the monkey. He appealed to the passengers, “Relax! There is no need to panic. The poor creature is as fearful of you as you are of him. I assure you he won’t cause any harm to you. Let him be here.”

The monkey-poet was grateful to the captain. He sat crouched in a corner and did not trouble anyone on board. The ship soon reached Baghdad. The monkey-poet quickly jumped out of the ship and into the streets he went, wandering. There he heard the news that the Sultan was looking for a chief advisor. There was an announcement: “All are invited to write a letter to the Sultan. The one whose letter is adjudged the best shall be elected the chief advisor.”

The monkey-poet also decided to participate in the contest. So, he wrote a message to the Sultan. The Sultan was incredibly impressed with the monkey’s message. “This writer be brought here immediately,” he ordered. In no time, the monkey-poet was before the Sultan.

“This monkey! You mean a monkey wrote this letter to me?” the Sultan asked his minister. “Yes, my lord. He claims to have written this letter,” replied the minister.

All the courtiers jeered at the monkey-poet, “he can’t even talk like humans. How come he wrote a letter?” But he stood graciously before the Sultan. Seeing his confidence, the Sultan decided to test him. “Can you rewrite the whole thing again without seeing the original letter?” the Sultan asked.

The monkey-poet had just been waiting for this. He grabbed a pen and a piece of paper at once and rewrote the whole letter as fast as possible. The Sultan and his courtiers bit their fingers in surprise. “This is no ordinary monkey,” said the Sultan, who was known for his wisdom. He called his daughter, who was an excellent magician. Seeing the monkey poet, the princess said, “He is a gifted poet, and is presently under the influence of a curse.”

Then, with her magical powers, the princess broke the spell the demon had cast upon the poet. Within seconds, the monkey was transformed into his original human form… and the poet stood smiling before the court. There were cheers all around. The poet was grateful to the princess for restoring him to his actual form. He was unanimously elected the chief advisor to the Sultan. He served the Sultan faithfully for many years to come.

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