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Burton: The Saker and the Birds

[Go back to The Flea and the Mouse]

There was once a saker who was a cruel tyrant"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Fifty-second Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the crow pursued, "They relate that there was once a saker who was a cruel tyrant in the days of his youth, so that the raveners of the air and the scavengers of the earth feared him, none being safe from his mischief; and many were the haps and mishaps of his tyranny and his violence, for this saker was ever in the habit of oppressing and injuring all the other birds. As the years passed over him, he grew feeble and his force failed him, so that he was often famished; but his cunning waxed stronger with the waning of his strength and redoubled in his endeavour and determined to be present at the general assembly of the birds, that he might eat of their orts and leavings; so in this manner he fed by fraud instead of feeding by fierceness and force. And out, O fox, art like this: if thy might fail thee, thy sleight faileth thee not; and I doubt not that thy seeking my society is a fraud to get thy food; but I am none of those who fall to thee and put fist into thy fist; for that Allah hath vouchsafed force to my wings and caution to my mind and sharp sight to my eyes; and I know that whoso apeth a stronger than he, wearieth himself and haply cometh to ruin. Wherefore I fear for thee lest, if thou ape a stronger than thyself, there befal thee what befel the sparrow." Asked the fox, "What befel the sparrow?" Allah upon thee, tell me his tale." And the crow began to relate the story of...

[Go to The Sparrow and the Eagle]

Burton, Richard (1821-1890). The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. London. 1885-1888. Gutenberg Vol. I. Gutenberg Vol. II. Gutenberg Vol. III. Gutenberg Vol. IV. Gutenberg Vol. V. Gutenberg Vol. V. Gutenberg Vol. VII. Gutenberg Vol. VIII. Gutenberg Vol. IX. Gutenberg Vol. X. Please consult the Gutenberg edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version.

1001 Nights Hypertext. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. The texts presented here are in the public domain. Thanks to Gene Perry for his excellent help in preparing the texts for the web. Page last updated: January 1, 2005 10:46 PM

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