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You Gain When You Give

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

There was a man, who was told by a Bedouin fortune teller: “When you are forty years old, you will die, a serpent will kill you.” So when the forty years were nearly passed he thought: “If I make a great feast for rich and poor, perhaps I will stay alive. He gathered people together and made a big feast for them. He slew five sheep and five camels and prepared rice and ground wheat to supply them with a great meal. But it was no good. The next day he saw a serpent following him. He realized that when he prepared the feast he had forgotten the blind woman. He told his wife: “Go knead dough, knead for her a cake, bring it to her and ask her forgiveness.” The blind woman said to her: “The bit you give pays your due” and at that word the serpent, still following the man, burst and died.

From: Grace Crowfoot and Louise Baldensperger, “Arab Folklore Stories from Artas”, republished by Birzeit University in 1987, edited and introduced by Abdellatif Barghouthy

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