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Burton: The Spider and the Wind

[Go back to The Serpent-Charmer and His Wife]

A Spider once attached herself to a high gate and retired and span her web there and dwelt therein in peace, giving thanks to the Almighty, who had made this dwelling-place easy to her and had set her in safety from noxious reptiles. On this wise she abode a long while, still giving thanks to Allah for her ease and regular supply of daily bread, till her Creator bethought Him to try her and make essay of her gratitude and patience. So he sent upon her a strong east Wind, which carried her away, web and all, and cast her into the main. The waves washed her ashore, and she thanked the Lord for safety and began to upbraid the Wind, saying, "O Wind, why hast thou dealt thus with me and what good hast thou gotten by bearing me hither from my abiding-place, where indeed I was in safety, secure in my home on the top of that gate?" Replied the Wind, saying, "O Spider, hast thou not learnt that this world is a house of calamities; and, say me, who can boast of lasting happiness that such portion shall be thine? Wottest thou not that Allah tempteth His creatures in order to learn by trial what may be their powers of patience? How, then, cloth it beset thee to upbraid me, thou who hast been saved by me from the vasty deep?" "Thy words are true, O Wind," replied the Spider, "yet not the less do I desire to escape from this stranger land into which thy violence hath cast me." The Wind rejoined, "Cease thy blaming, for right soon I will bear thee back and replace thee in thy place, as thou wast aforetime." So the Spider waited patiently till the north-east Wind left blowing, and there arose a south-west Wind, which gently caught her up and flew with her towards her dwelling-place; and when she came to her abode, she knew it and clung to it.

[Resume King Jali'ad of Hind and His Wazir Shimas: Followed by the History of King Wird Khan, son of King Jali'ad with His Women and Wazirs]

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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