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Sindbad's third voyage


After the story of the second voyage there followed a short pensive pause; then rich Sindbad addressed the poor carrier Sindbad as follows: "So you see, my friend, that one can only amass wealth at the risk of one's life. As a labourer, you do not risk looking death in the face. Remember then: the gain corresponds to the investment!" Sindbad the Sailor beckoned to a slave and had him bring one hundred gold mithkals as a gift for the carrier. Sindbad the Sailor's guests sat there well-contented and of good cheer, and were still under the spell of the wondrous tale when their host began the story of his third voyage.

"I must tell you, noble gentlemen, that the tale of the roc is not yet over. After all the dangers, misery and distress I had to endure, the sea devil induced my poor tortured soul to recount the adventure of the extraordinary roc bird and its egg to a group of my Baghdad friends - the evil spirit was obviously determined not to give me up. My tale was received with scepticism, which was deeply wounding to my pride and vanity. I equipped a large tall newly rigged ship, and challenged the doubters to accompany me to the island so that I could convince them there and then of the truth of my words. When we arrived at the bleak desert island, we could see from afar the gleaming dome: the egg of the roc bird. My friends and guests, the merchants, disembarked and, although they were full of amazement, they were still not convinced that such a huge bird could exist which would be capable of laying an egg of that size. They rather thought that this shimmering round object was a freak of nature. Therefore they wantonly began to bombard the shell of the egg with large stones until it broke. - The Roc bird attacks "I beseech you: stop, for heavens' sake! The roc bird will wreck out ship and destroy us!" I appealed to them. But they did not heed my words and could not be brought to desist from their foolish plan. All at once the sun disappeared and the skies darkened. As soon as we raised our eyes to see what had come between us and the sun, we saw that it was the roc bird with its huge wings. When the airborn monster saw that its egg had been broken, it uttered a terrible scream which echoed loudeer than thunder. Everybody fled in panic to my ship. But it was too late. We had hardly reefed the sails when the bird appeared over us, a colossal piece of rock in its claws. img "Air-raid" It hurled the rock with such force on to the stern of our ship that we were catapulted into the air together with the planks of our smashed vessel; the impact drove the water assunder so that for a moment we could see the bottom of the ocean. I was the only person who managed with great difficulty to keep hold of a plank of wood and thus save myself.

My lucky star brought me to an island resembling the Garden of Eden with its shimmering fruit trees, flowers, clear streams and warbling birds. Little did I know what new trials awaited me here. Close by I saw a little old mal with long grey hair sitting on the bank of a strem: the colour of his skin was green like the unripe fruit of a banana tree. He indicated to me that he wanted to cross to the other side of the stream. As I felt sorry for the old man, I took him up on my back intending to carry him over. But no sooner had I lifted him up than the scoundrel sat on my shoulders, his legs so firmly around my throat that I was unable to breathe and I was afraid I was about to lose consciousness. The green sea devil His grip became tighter and tighter. My sole thought was: the sea devil has now trapped me and got me in his claws. At that moment I stumbled over a big round fruit. I recognised it at once as one whose juice has an intoxicating effect. I fell to the ground as though in a faint, but in my fall seized hold of the pumpkin and took a big drink out of it. The green monster on my shoulders that was trying to strangle me at once wanted the fruit and drank the rest of the juice. Very soon it fell off me and lay on the ground in a deep sleep - and I was saved. Not long after this my miraculous escape, a ship arrived at the island which took me on board. The passengers had me tell my story and were most astonished. - "The old green man who sat on your shoulders," they said, "is called the Sheik of the Seas, and you are the only person who was ridden by him who has succeeded in escaping with his life."

After weeks at sea under good conditions we reached a city with high buildings called the City of Monkeys because there were so many monkeys in the area that they actually caome into the city and pestered the inhabitants. In this City of Monkeys there was a prosperous trade in coconuts. The residents had a strange manner of taking possession of the goods. A coconut battle They would throw stones at the top of the palm trees on which the monkeys were sitting; these became so annoyed that they picked off the coconuts and threw them down at the people below, who then only had to collect the valuable booty. As I was destitute, I took an active part in this business. Day and night I threw stones at the monkeys and accumulated an impressive harvest, which I sold for a considerable sum of money. I was now able to purchase everything which pleased me and which I wanted, and therefore had a pleasant stay in the City of the Monkeys. I took the next ship which cast its anchor on the strand to return to Baghdad. Once I had arrived, I went to greet my family and friends and told them that the doubters who had accompanied me had fallen victim to their distrust and scepticism and that they had been destroyed by the roc bird itself.