The Three Apples | Arabian Nights
A young man named Jafar and his wife, Hasina, used to live in the city of Baghdad. Hasina was very pretty, and Jafar cared deeply about her. Hasina would think, “I’m lucky to have such a kind and loving husband.” Jafar would never say no to her when she asked for something. He gave her everything she wanted. They were happy and loved each other.
One day, Jafar asked Hasina, “Is there anything I can do for you?” “You have already showered so much love on me,” said Hasina, smiling. Jafar said, “Anything you ask me, my dear. May be a hidden wish… just tell me. I want to fulfil all your dreams.”
Hasina then said, “I need you to help me with one thing. But first you promise me that you will do as I wish. Only then I will tell you what I want.” “You are my beloved. No one is dearer to me than you. And you know that very well. A word from your mouth is a command to me. Ask for anything… just anything,” said Jafar encouragingly. Also read Bedtime stories.
Hasina felt glad. In a soft voice, she said, “I wish to have three apples. But I am afraid that this is not the season for apples.” “O my dear, only this much? I would have got the heavens for you. And you are talking of apples! So, what if this is not the season? I will get it for you. Here I go… and will be right back,” said Jafar as he took leave of Hasina.
Jafar knew that he had made a difficult promise. But he did not want to dishearten his wife. So, he decided to go to the nearby towns in search of apples. “I have to get the apples at any cost,” he murmured. After a long and hard search, finally Jafar succeeded in finding the apples. Getting three apples, Jafar returned happily to his house. Also read Panchatanta Stories.
“Here, my dear! See what I’ve brought, three apples for you!” Jafar called out to Hasina. She was overjoyed to see the apples. “Thank you, O dear! I knew you would get me all that I want,” Hasina smiled. “They look so fresh. Ummm! They must be tasty. But before having them I shall take a bath.”
Then Hasina kept the apples on the table and went to take a bath. Jafar and Hasina had a little son. He was very mischievous. When he saw the apples on the table, he picked them up. “It looks delicious,” he thought. “I will show this to my friends. They will be surprised.” And he ran out of the house into the street. Suddenly, he tripped over a piece of stone and the apples in his tiny hands fell on the road. Read our Moral Stories.
Just then a stranger happened to pass by. He saw that the apples were all over the ground. “Eh! Apples? In this season?” the stranger was amazed. “If somehow I get these apples, I can get a good price for them in the market,” he thought. So, he went close to the boy and said in a sweet voice, “O baby, how did you fall down? Are you okay? Here, hold my hand and get up.”
The stranger extended his hand towards the little boy, but not to support him, rather to push him far away. Then the stranger hastily picked up the three juicy apples and took to his heels. “Waaaaaan…” cried the little boy.
He came back home and narrated everything to his mother. “I am sad that the three apples are gone. But don’t worry, my son. You are more valuable than those apples. I am glad that you are safe. Don’t cry,” Hasina consoled her son.
In the evening, Jafar went to the market to buy some grocery. There he saw a man selling the three apples that he had brought for his wife. He was startled. “If I am not mistaken, these are the same three apples that I took so much pain for. How did Hasina dare to give them away to this stranger?” thought Jafar.
“I ran for miles and miles and then got these apples for her. And she doesn’t even value them. She is not worthy of my love.” And so, thinking, Jafar returned home. As soon as he saw Hasina, he flew into a rage. He instantly drew out his knife and shouted, “You disloyal woman! I fulfil all your desires. And you cheat me! Take this…!”
Just then their son came running and cried out to Jafar, “Father, O father! There was a stranger out there in the streets. This after noon, he snatched away my three apples. And now he took away my toys. Can you please get it back for me?”
On hearing this, Jafar realised how the apples reached the stranger. He felt ashamed of himself. “O God! What a horrible thing I was about to do!” he blabbered. “Forgive me, Hasina! I was really crazy to have mistaken you,” he apologised to his wife. From that day, the love and trust between Jafar and Hasina grew even stronger than before and they lived happily with their little son.
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