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Sindbad's second voyage


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fter Sindbad the Sailor had finished the story of his first voyage, he ordered the slave to offer his listeners more food and drinks. Noticing that everybody was delighted and full of interest, the seafarer began to speak again and embarked on the tale of his second voyage:

"You see, noble gentlemen, I was now living a life of seclusion and prayer, and when I thought back on the adventure of my first voyage, it was with horror. That lasted for some time - until one day I was one again seized by the desire for adventure. I left my house; my soul was filled with longing and drew me once more to the ocean. I went off with a number of merchants in order to engage in barter all over the world - as I sought to deceive myself - though in reality it was the sea which attracted me. And so we sailed for a time until we reached a pleasant island on which fruits shimmered in scarlet ripeness among dark-leaved trees, the fragrance of blossoms wafted towards us, birds sang sweetly and the water of streams sparkled in the sunshine. The whole crew disembarked. Mindful of the island of my first voyage, I cautiously tested the ground most thoroughly lest a similar fate should overtake me. This time it really was land. But the other passengers lost sight of me during my exploration of the island. No sooner had I become aware of the new danger than it was already too late. My captain had raised anchor believing that I was in my cabin. And so I found myself once again at the mercy of the sea devil who had imprisoned me on a lonely island of his infinite kingdom. I bitterly regretted having left Baghdad, having gone to sea again and having thrown myself open to new misfortunes.From the top of a high tree, I looked to the left and right. On studying the landscape closely, I noticed a large white object in the distance. I climbed down from the top of the tree and made my way towards the shining object. The egg of the Roc bird And behold, it was white dome of considerable size towering up into the skies. While I was still puzzling as to what that colossal building could be to which I could find no entrance, the sun began its descent and night its approach.

Suddenly the last rays of sunlight were obscured from my sight. At first I thought it was a cloud, but on raising my eyes to the skies, I saw a huge bird of enormous girth with immense wings. I remembered hearing about a gigantic bird called the roc which lived on a lonely island and was said to feed its young on baby elephants. I now realised what the huge dome was - the egg of this gigantic bird. No sooner had I come to this conclusion than the bird settled on the dome, spread its wings over it to brood, and fell asleep, its claws stretched out on the earth behind it. As soon as I saw this, I took the turban from my head, folded and twisted it until it resembled a rope which I proceeded to tie firmly around my waist and bound myself securely to the bird's claws. "Perhaps it will carry me to a land with cities and people, which will be better than remaining imprisoned on this island." I was not mistaken. Sindbad the air-traveller As soon as red skies of early dawn became visible, the bird rose with a raucous scream from the egg and flew up so high into the air with me that I believed it had reached the clouds of the skies. Soon it flew slowly down bearing me towards the water, finally landing on the summit of a high mountain which rose out of the foaming seas. As soon as I reached the ground, I hastened trembling to untie my turban from its claws: the bird had not noticed me and I was able to make my escape. The bird seized something in its claws and ascended with it into the heavens. I saw that it was a snake of extraordinary length. Astonished, I walked on and realised that I was at the entrance of a gorge the bottom of which was covered with a huge layer of diamonds as big as fists. The glitter hurt my eyes. So I crept in with my eyes shut and picked up as many gleaming jewels as I could fit into my pockets. Only then did I hear rustling and hissing all around me; I quickly opened my eyes and saw to my horror that the ravine was swarming with snakes and vipers, every one of which was a long as a palm tree. The valley of the diamond serpents It was a miracle that I had escaped from these hideous monsters. Now I knew where the roc bird found its food. When I reached the top of the mountain and stood there breathing in the fresh air having so narrowly escaped death, I was overjoyed to see a frigate sailing towards the island. There were merchants on board, or rather adventurers who did not make a very favourable impression. They had heard of the treasures to be found on the island and said they had come to look for them. Knowing the ingratitude and greed of man, I did not tell them of my discovery, and assured them I had been endeavouring to find the treasure for the past month, but that despite all efforts and resourcefulness I had found nothing and was convinced it was a foolish fairy story. They believed me, sailed away and brought me home. The sea devil had failed in his second attempt to trap me; the booty I had managed to wrest from him came to a hundred times my entire fortune."

Diamonds the size of apples