King Suleiman, the snake and the mole.
Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 28.05.2009:
King Suleiman went to visit Syria, for a change of air. The mole heard that Suleiman was in Syria. She came to lay a complaint: Why, oh ruler, have I no eyes like other creatures?” Suleiman replied, saying: “This is not the place of judgement – the judgement seat is in Jerusalem the noble city; there is my throne.”
Afterwards the snake also learnt that the famous ruler was in Syria. She came and complained: “Oh ruler of the age, why have I no feet like other creatures?” He gave an answer like the one to the mole: “Oh snake, oh mole, meet me in Jerusalem; there is my throne.”
Now Suleiman had a noble steed, one with four kidneys, as the saying is. He rode like the wind; he reached his throne. He found the mole and the snake waiting there for him. No need to send back for them. They were rested and pleased. Suleiman said to the mole: “You arrived before my horse could. If you had eyes, you would ruin the world. God preserve us from your evil.” So also he said to the snake: “You arrived before my horse could. If God had created you with feet, you would ruin the world. God preserve us from your evil.” And he drove them away from the judgement seat.
See: Grace Crowfoot and Louise Baldensperger, Arab Folk Stories from Artas, Birzeit University, 1987.