The story of donkeys, bulls and their master – Alif Laila
There was a big merchant in whose village there were many houses and factories in which different types of animals lived. One day he along with his family went to the village to see the factories. He also saw his cattle shed where a donkey and a bull were tied. He saw that they were talking to each other. That merchant understood the dialect of animals and birds. He stood silently and started listening to both of them.
The bull said to the donkey, ‘You are very lucky, live happily ever after. The owner always takes care of you. You have cream and dalai every day, barley to eat and clean water to drink at both the times. Even after so much respect, only this work is taken from you that sometimes the master sits on your back and goes some distance. You are never short of grains and grass.
|Alif laila kahani 57 alif laila bhejo|
|Alif laila kahani 58 aladdin ka chirag alif laila|
|Alif laila kahani 59 alif laila bengali|
|Alif laila kahani 60 papiya sengupta alif laila|
‘And the luckier you are, the more unfortunate I am. As soon as it is morning, I go with the plow on my back. There all day long I plow the plow. The pudding keeps on whipping me regularly. My shoulders have been peeled off the back and yoke from his whipping. Even after doing such hard work from morning till evening, these people put dry and rotten straw in front of me which is not eaten by me. Throughout the night I lay hungry and thirsty in my dung and urine and envy your comfort.’
The donkey heard this and said, ‘O brother, everything you say is true, you are really in great trouble. But it seems that you are happy in this, you yourself do not want to live happily. Even if you die while working hard, these people will not take pity on your condition. So you do one thing, then they will not take so much effort from you and you will be dry.’
The bull asked what could be such a solution. The donkey said, ‘You have shown yourself to be sick. Do not eat one evening’s grain and straw and lie down quietly at your place.’ The bull liked this suggestion very much. He listened to the donkey and said, ‘I will do the same. You have told me a very good solution. God bless you.’
On the next morning, when the ploughman went to the cattle shed thinking that he should take the bull to plow the field as usual, he saw that the night’s sandal was kept as it is and the bull was lying on the ground gasping, his eyes closed and his The stomach is bloated. The plowman understood that the bull had become ill and thought that he would not plow it in the plow. He informed the merchant about the disease of the bull.
The merchant came to know after hearing that the bull had shown himself to be sick by working on the education of the donkey, so he asked the plowman to plow the donkey with a plow today. So the plowman plowed the donkey with a plow and made him work for the whole day. There was no practice of donkey plowing the field. He got very tired and his hands and feet started getting cold. Apart from the physical labor, he had been hit so hard all day that while returning home in the evening, even his feet were not moving properly.
Here the bull remained very comfortably throughout the day. He ate all the sand and kept praying to the donkey. When the donkey came from the field falling down, the bull said that brother, I got great happiness because of your teachings. The donkey could not answer due to fatigue and came and fell on his place. He started accusing himself in his heart that you have ruined your comfort and convenience in order to comfort the bull.
The minister told such a story, ‘Daughter, you live in great comfort at this time. Why do you want to put yourself in trouble like a donkey?’ Shehrzad after listening to his father said, ‘I do not give up my stubbornness with this story. I will follow you like this until you marry me to the emperor.’ The minister said, ‘If you persist in insistence, I will punish you the same way that the merchant gave to his wife.’ Shehrzad asked, ‘Why did the merchant punish the woman and what happened to the donkey and the bull?’
The minister said, ‘The next day, after dinner, the merchant sat down with his wife in the cattle shed and listened to the animals. The donkey asked the bull, ‘If the plowman brings you grain and grass in the morning, what will you do?’ ‘I will do as you have said,’ said the bull. The donkey said, ‘No, don’t do this, otherwise you will die. While returning in the evening I heard that our master was telling his cook that tomorrow bring a butcher and a chamar and sell the meat and skin of the bull which has become ill. I told you what I had heard as a friendship. Now it is good for you that when the fodder is put in front of you in the morning, you get up early and eat it and become healthy. Then our master, seeing you healthy, will give up his intention to kill you.’ Hearing this, the bull got frightened and said, ‘Brother, may God keep you happy always. Because of you my life was saved. Now I will do as you have said.
Hearing this, the merchant burst out laughing. His wife was surprised to hear this. She started asking, ‘Why are you laughing for no reason?’ The merchant said that this is not to be told, I can only say that I laughed listening to the talk of the bull and the donkey. The woman said, ‘Teach me also that knowledge by which we can understand the speech of animals.’ The merchant refused this. The woman said, ‘After all, why don’t you teach me this?’ The merchant said, ‘If I teach you this knowledge, I will not live.’ The woman said, ‘You are deceiving me. Did the man who taught you this die after teaching? how will you die You lie. Whatever happens, I will continue to learn this knowledge from you. If you don’t teach me, I will give up my life.’
Saying this the woman came into the house and closed the door of her cell and kept shouting and abusing her throughout the night. The merchant slept at night, but saw the same condition on the second day as well, then started explaining to the woman that you insist in vain, this knowledge is not worth your learning. The woman said that until you tell me this secret, I will stop eating and drinking and will continue to cry like this. The merchant said that if I accept your stupidity, then I will lose my life. The woman said, ‘You live or die by my strength, but I will live by learning from you how to understand the speech of animals.’
When the merchant saw that this great fool was not giving up his stubbornness, he called his and in-laws’ relatives to convince the woman to give up her unreasonable stubbornness. Those people also explained that fool in every way but he did not give up on his insistence. She was not at all worried that her husband would die. The small children started crying after seeing this condition of their mother.
The merchant could not understand how to explain to the woman that the stubbornness of learning this knowledge is not right. He was in a strange dilemma – if I tell, I will die and if I do not tell, the woman will die crying. In this confusion, he sat outside his house.
He saw that his dog started growling after seeing his chicken being enjoyed by the chickens. He said to the rooster, ‘Aren’t you ashamed that you are doing this even on a sad day like today?’
The rooster said, ‘What has happened today that I should not enjoy?’ The dog said, ‘Today our lord is very worried. His wife has been murdered and she is asking him such a secret which will kill him immediately. If not told, the woman will die crying. Because of this all the people are unhappy and there is no one other than you who would even think about sexual intercourse.
The rooster said, ‘Our master is a fool who is a woman’s husband and he is also not under her. I have fifty chickens and all are under me. If our master does one thing, his misery will go away now.’
The dog asked what the master should do so that his foolish woman’s understanding would come back. The rooster said, ‘Our master should take a strong stick and go to the cell where his woman is screaming. Close the door from inside and beat up the woman fiercely. After sometime the woman will give up her stubbornness.’
Hearing the chicken, the merchant got up, took a thick stick and went to the cell where his wife was screaming. After closing the door from inside, the merchant started raining sticks on the woman. Even after shouting for some time, when the woman saw that the poles were going away, she got nervous. She fell at her husband’s feet and started saying that now stop the hand, now I will never insist on such a thing. On this the merchant stopped his hand.
After narrating this story, the minister told Shahrajad that if you do not give up your stubbornness, then I will punish you in the same way as the merchant had given to his wife. Shehrzad said, ‘Your words are right in their place, but I do not want to change my mind in any way. I also know many historical events and stories to justify my desire but it is useless to tell them. If you do not fulfill my wish, I will myself reach the service of the emperor without asking you.’
Now the minister was compelled. He had to obey the word of Shahrajad. He approached the emperor and pleaded in a very mournful voice, ‘My daughter wants to tie the knot with you.’ The emperor was very surprised at this. He said, ‘You know everything yet why did you take such a terrible decision for your daughter?’ The minister said, ‘The girl herself has insisted on me for this. Her happiness lies in the fact that she becomes your bride for one night and goes to the face of death in the morning. The king’s surprise increased further. He said, ‘Don’t be under the deceit that by taking care of you, I will give up my promise. As soon as the morning comes, I will hand over your daughter to your own hands to get her killed. Also remember that if you delay his killing because of child love, then I will also order your slaughter along with his.’
The minister requested, ‘I am your step servant. It is true that she is my daughter and I will be deeply saddened by her death. But I will obey your orders.’ The king listened to the minister and said, ‘If this is the case, then why should there be delay in this work. You bring your daughter tonight and marry her to me.’
The minister came to his house after taking farewell from the emperor and told the whole thing to Shahrajad. Shahrajad was very pleased to hear this and expressed his gratitude to his bereaved father and said, ‘You should not repent after marrying me. If God wishes, then you will be happy with this auspicious work for life.
Then Shehrzad took his younger sister Duniyazad in solitude and said to her, ‘I want help from you in one thing. I hope you will not deny it. Will take me to marry the emperor. You should not be saddened by this, but do as I tell you. I will put you to sleep nearby on the night of the wedding and ask the king to let you come to me so that I can give you patience before I die. I’ll start telling the story. I am sure this measure will save my life. Duniyajad said, ‘I will do as you say.’
In the evening, the minister went to the palace with Shahrajad. According to religion, he got the daughter married with the emperor and left the daughter in the palace and came home. In solitude, the emperor said to Shahrajad, ‘Take off the mask of your face.’ When the mask was lifted, the emperor was stunned by its unmatched beauty. But seeing the tears in his eyes, he started asking why are you crying. Shehrzad said, ‘I have a younger sister who loves me very much and I also love her very much. I want him to stay here today so that when the sunrise rises, both of us sisters can hug for the last time. If you allow, he should also sleep in a nearby room.’ The king said, ‘What’s wrong, call him and why in the next room, sleep in the same room on the other side.’
Thus, Duniyajad was also called to the palace. Shahryar slept with Shehrzad on the high royal bed and Duniyazad was lying on another small bed nearby. When night remained for one hour, Duniyajad woke up Shahrajad and said, ‘Sister, I could not sleep through the night worrying about your life. My mind is very disturbed. You are not getting much sleep and if you remember any good story at this time, then narrate it so that my soul will be happy. Shehrzad told the emperor that if you have permission, then in the last moments of my life, I should fulfill the wish of my dear sister. The emperor gave permission.