The Shoes Of The Miser

Words: Mikal Hrafspa (Mikal the Ram)
Notes from Mikal:
This is a tale for adults. By this I mean it's bawdy, but not obscene. It is an old arabic tale that predates the rise of Islam, and probably originates near the Baghdad caliphate. In fact, it's short some of the more questionable material and is worded a little more like our own modern language. I composed this version as a campfire tale for late nights.

THERE WAS A YOUNG girl in the city of Baghdad who was fair beyond comparison.The gods had blessed her with the grace of the wind and the beauty of a ripe fruit.Her father was a merchant in the city, widely known as a miser.He would not even give curses to beggars!So most people believed that the beautiful daughter of this miser was never to find a lover.Her father would never let anything from his grasp.

Also in the city was a toung man who greatly desired the miser's daughter, and wished to have her for his own.But he knew what the townsfolk said of her father, and figured if he was going to get into the garden of her delights he would have to fool the gate-keeper.

So one morning he put on a poor working-man's clothing and went to the market-place where men sit and wait to be hired.He knew the miser would not pay well, so he would be hiring men most every week.Sure enough, the miser came to the market and began looking at the men for hire."Hire me," the young man said."I work for little money and eat little food."

That was all that the miser needed to hear.He hired him on the spot and led the young man to his house.Now, the young man touogh 'tis only a matter of time before I will be alone with his daughter.

But the young man found he had not one, but two problems;The miser's wife was as fair and desirable as the daughter, making his choice near impossible, and the miser never let the young man out of his sight.From dawn until late into the night he was always following after him, demanding he work harder.It seemed the young man would never get to be alone with either of the lovely ladies.

Then one day the miser heard that a market fair in another city was gathering great crowds.He made up his mind that he should go and nothing would do but that his new hired man should go as well."But who will guard your wife and daughter?" the young man asked.He hoped to be left at home with them.

"They can guard themselves," the miser answered."Now go and pack for our journey!"

While he was packing, the young man hit upon an idea.He pulled out the miser's best shoes and hid them under the bed.Then he finished packing and lashed the packs to the back of a donkey.They were just a stone's throw from the house, at the top of the hill, when the young man cried out; "Master!I fear I have left your best shoes behind!"

"Then check for them, lackwit!" the miser growled.And of course when the pack was empty, no trace of the shoes was found."Go and fetch them!" the miser cried."I cannot go without them!I shall wait here for your return."

So the young man ran back down the hill, and beat on the door.When the miser's wife came to the door, he told her; "My master has decided we may be gone for some time and he fears you will be lonely.So he has commanded me to make love to you and to his daughter as well, to keep you from crying in his absence."

The wife was amazed."This I cannot believe!My husband asked you to make love to us?Prove you are telling the truth!"

So the young man called back up the hill."Good master," he cried. "Your wife does not believe me.She wishes to know if I should just have one."

"One?" cried the miser, "What good is that?Both of them, foolish boy!And be quick about it!"

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