The thief and his monkey


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(Another story from Arabian Nights)

A certain man had a monkey and that man was a thief, who never entered any of the street-markets of the city where he lived, but he made off with great profit.  One day he saw a man offering for sale worn clothes, and he went calling them in the market, but none bid for them and all to whom he showed them refused to buy of him.  Presently the thief who had the monkey saw the man with the ragged clothes set them in a wrapper and sit down to rest for weariness; so he made the ape sport before the seller to catch his eye and while he was busy watching the monkey, the thief stole the parcel from him.  Then he took the ape and made off to a lonely place, where he opened the wrapper and, taking out the old clothes, folded them in a piece of costly stuff.  This he carried to another bazar and tried to sell what was in the costly wrapping, making it a condition that it should not be opened, and tempting the folk with the lowness of the price he set on it.  A certain man saw the wrapper and its beauty pleased him; so he bought the parcel on these terms and carried it home, thinking that he had done well.  When his wife saw it she asked, “What is this?” and he answered, “It is costly stuff, which I have bought at lowest price, meaning to sell it again and take the profit.” She answered, “Would this stuff be sold under its value, unless it had been stolen?  You should know that who buys without examining it, falls into error and is profitless.”

Scheherazade ((Another story from Arabian Nights)

The story goes that every day King Shahryar would marry a new bride and every day he would send yesterday's wife to be beheaded. This was done in anger because King Shahryar found he had been deceived by his first wife and as punishment had his wife and a succession of three thousand others (one each night) put to death.

Against her father's protestations, Scheherazade volunteered to spend one night with the King. Once in the King's chambers, Scheherazade asked if she might bid one last farewell to her beloved sister, who had secretly been prepared to ask Scheherazade to tell a story during the long night. The King lay awake and listened with awe to Scheherazade's first story and asked for another, but Scheherazade said there wasn't time as dawn was breaking, and regretfully so, as the next story was even more exciting.

And so the King kept Scheherazade alive as he eagerly anticipated each new story and after one thousand and one adventurous nights, the King had not only been entertained but wisely educated in morality and kindness by Scheherazade who became his Queen.

Scheherazade is the storyteller of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights, which is a collection of stories. The stories she tells King Shahryar each night are the tales that make up The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights).

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