Each tale is introduced here by both its English and its Arabic name, and by the name and age of the teller (when available) and her or his place of residence.
Tales are identified as to Type following Aarne and Thompson's Types of the Folktale (abbreviated as "AT"); citations for international parallels to the tales included here may be found in that volume as well. Motif numbers are drawn from Thompson's Motif-Index of Folk-Literature .
In the "Parallels" section, we have listed Arabic parallels according to their geographic proximity to Palestine, beginning with the Mashreq and moving westward to Egypt and North Africa. For multiple entries within a geographic location, authors are listed in alphabetical order and entries are separated by semicolons (although multiple entries for a single author are separated by commas). A book or article title may be found by reference to the Bibliography; in cases where an author has multiple publications, the specific date of publication is given in parentheses. Roman numerals always indicate volume number, whether for book or for journal (for journal abbreviations, see Key to References, p. xix); arabic numerals indicate either page number (when directly preceded by a colon) or tale number (when no punctuation comes before), or, very occasionally, the number of a journal issue (following a roman numeral and preceding a colon). In addition, tales are cited by title.
Only tales drawn from the Arabic tradition are cited as parallels as such, or as variants. We do draw attention, however, to parallels deriving from other countries in the Middle East (notably Israel, Iran, and Turkey) and from areas on its periphery (Greece, Italy, Central Asia, India). References from culturally more remote areas are occasionally cited when particularly appropriate. Except for the Palestinian references, we cannot claim that our survey of Arabic parallels is exhaustive, although we did search the accessible major resources thoroughly (including No-
wak's comprehensive—though with regard to AT typology occasionally spotty—Beitrâge ) and feel confident that it is fairly broad.
We have tried, in our survey of motifs, to be as thorough as possible. One difficulty we did encounter, however, was the absence of motif numbers for many narrative details encountered in the Palestinian and Arabic traditions. Motifs are arranged alphabetically.
Although this book, we believe, fills a gap in the scientific study of the Palestinian folktale, we must acknowledge other significant contributions to the field. The most important (and the most frequently cited) is the excellent collection by Schmidt and Kahle, Volkserzâhlungen aus Palâstina , set down in the village of Birzeit in the early part of this century. Considering that their work was done before the availability of portable recording equipment, we can only marvel at the size of their collection— 132 items, all transliterated—and the degree of accuracy in the transcription of the village dialect in which the tales were narrated. The primary interest of the authors, however, was linguistic and religious, and so these areas receive the greatest emphasis in their scholarly paraphernalia. Thus the authors provide in their introduction a fairly complete grammar of the Palestinian dialect, as well as a sizable glossary at the end; and the footnotes tend to emphasize biblical parallels. The importance of this work cannot be overestimated, particularly because it makes the Arabic tales accessible to Western readers through facing-page translations into German.
Another valuable work is Hanauer's 1935 Folklore of the Holy Land (which is still in print), a charming collection of folk narrative material dealing with beliefs about cosmology, the jinn, plants, and animals. It also contains folktales, saints' legends, Juha tales, and tales illustrating proverbs. Although this work describes the wealth of the Palestinian tradition well, including the Palestinian Jewish tradition, we suspect that the author tampered with the material somewhat by embellishing it for effect.
More recently, particularly since the founding of TM and TŠ , the Palestinian folktale has received much serious attention from Palestinian and other Arab scholars and writers, most notably al-Sarisi, Sirhan, and al-Khalili. These writers do show an awareness of the importance of dialect in setting down the tale, but only Sirloin does so consistently. Al-Sarisi's first book (1980), which contains only a sampling of folktales, is adapted from his master's thesis in the Department of Arabic at the University of Cairo, and with his training in folkloristics, his approach is the most scholarly of the three. Although some of his material on methodology, which was appropriate to his thesis, is extraneous in the book, the author does devote much attention to the study of the social context. In 1985 he
published the complete texts of the tales he collected for his graduate research in the refugee camps in Jordan, but the awareness of both author and tellers was obviously focused on village life in Palestine—that is, predating refugee-camp days. Sirhan's study, which focuses on the Palestinian customs and beliefs that underlie the tales, is also valuable, particularly his analysis of the role of the hero, the role of women, and the importance of social relations in understanding the tales. Finally, we have al-Khalili's work, which is certainly the most doctrinaire of the three, because his approach invariably concerns class struggle. If used cautiously, such an approach can yield useful insights, for undoubtedly the conflict between haves and have-nots does exist in folktales. Yet an overweighted emphasis on class is bound to distort the nature of the material. Indeed, all three authors suffer from too much analysis, with the tales receiving relatively little space in the books.
This note would not be complete without mention of Hilma Granqvist, even though her work is not primarily in the folktale. Having devoted her entire career to the study of Palestinian ethnography, she is the giant to whom subsequent researchers must look to achieve familiarity with the anthropological context that animates the folktales. Her work is thorough and forms a necessary adjunct to the study of this material—as readers will by now have seen from our frequent references to her work in the footnotes, to corroborate our own insights and to provide further evidence of their validity.
1. TUNJUR, TUNJUR. Narrated by Fatme, fifty-five, from the village of `Arrabe, Galilee (also Tales 9, 11, 23, 24, 26, 36, 38, 43; see Introduction, "The Tellers").
Type 591 —The Thieving Pot.
Parallels : None.
Salient Motifs : D1605. 1 Magic thieving pot; T548. 1 Child born in answer to
Thompson's comment (Folktale : 78) that this type is restricted to a relatively small area in Europe (basically, Scandinavia) seems to hold true for the Arab cultural area as well. We have not been able to locate any parallels, nor does Nowak list any in her index. The motif of wishing for a child (T548. 1) is used as an introduction to bring the magic pot into being, thereby integrating the themes of poverty and lack of offspring.
2. THE WOMAN WHO MARRIED HER SON ('Illi tjawwazat ibinha). Narrated by an eighty-two-year-old woman from the village of Rafidya, district of Nablus.
Type 705 —Born from a Fish.
Parallels : Palestine—al-Khalili (1979) 10 "The Woman with Cut-Off Hands"; al-Sarisi (1985): 137-140 "Gazelle," 228-230 "End of an Unfaithful Woman." Syria—Ramadan: 109-111 "The Apple of Pregnancy." Egypt—Dorson (1975): 159-163 "Falconer's Daughter." Sudan—al-Shahi and Moore 9 "The Wife and the Prince's Son," 10 "The Heron and the Crescent Bird." Tunisia—Contes de Tunisle : 29-32 "La jeune fille qui naquit d'un pomme."
Salient Motifs : B535.0.7 Bird as nurse for child; D1601.12 Self-cutting shears; H151.5 Attention attracted by hints dropped by heroine as menial: recognition follows; K1816 Disguise as menial; K1911.3.2 True bride takes house near husband. This eventually secures his attention; N365.1 Boy unwittingly commits incest with his mother; Q414 Punishment: burning alive; S22 Parricide; S51 Cruel mother-in-law; T579.8 Signs of pregnancy; W181 Jealousy.
Although the tale related here lacks the usual opening for this type (i.e., Motifs T511.1 Conception from eating fruit, and T578 Pregnant man), the complete type is actually more common in the Palestinian tradition. One version we collected contains this opening, as do the versions cited above (al-Khalili ; al-Sarisi : 228-230). The parallelism in detail among all versions cited is quite close, with the Egyptian version coming the closest, including almost identical phrasing for the servants' questions and the mistress's answer (Q: Lady, O lady, whose house is next to ours, / Haven't you got some grapes for the craving that is ours? A : Shame, shame ... / The falcon and the peacock nursed me, / Now the Sultan's son has impregnated his mother, / And her craving hits nobody but me! / Scissors, cut off a piece of his tongue / So that he will not tell on me).
In his discussion of this type, Thompson (Folktale : 123) notes that it shares narrative elements with other tales of slandered wives. It is important to note, however, that the mother/son incest that forms part of the narrative structure of all the Arabic parallels cited is not part of Type 705 as analyzed by Thompson. In fact, The Types does not include any tales in which incest is committed; rather, all those listed (Types : 566) are instances in which it is averted.
3. PRECIOUS ONE AND WORN-OUT ONE (Il-galye w-il-balye). Narrated by a man in his seventies from the village of Rammun, district of Ramallab (also Tale 20).
Type 301 —The Three Stolen Princesses.
Parallels : Palestine—`Abd al-Hadi 26 "Clever Hasan"; Bauer: 182-186 "The Two Brothers"; Littmann (1905) 8 "The Feather-Bird" (opens with Type 550); al-Khalili (1979) 9 "The Three Apples." Syria—Oestrup 6 "Les trois princes et l'oiseau d'or." Iraq—Qasir
(1970) 2 "The King and His Three Sons." Egypt—Artin Pacha 6 "Les trois fils du sultan." Algeria—Galley: 116-145 "Mohamed ben es-sultan." General Arabic—Chauvin IV 181 "Les trois frères"; Nowak, Types 155, 177, 195 (but not 300, as listed on p. 408). Other parallels in Galley: 150-151, and in Nowak under each type. Cf. Boratav 22 "L'aigle du monde souterrain"; Walker and Uysal 1 "Blind Padishah and His Three Sons"; Surmelian 1 "Apples," and
Salient Motifs : C742 Tabu: striking monster twice; G84 Fee-fi-fofum; G530.1 Help from ogre's wife; G532 Hero hidden and ogre deceived by his wife when he says he smells human blood; G634 Genie sleeps with eyes open; H95 Recognition by bracelet; H1471 Watch for devastating monster. Youngest brother alone successful; K2211.0.1 Treacherous elder brother(s); N681 Husband (lover) arrives just as wife (mistress) is to marry; R111.2.1 Princess(es) rescued from lower world; T92.9 Father and son rivals in love.
The bulk of Thompson's discussion (Folktale : 53) centers on the "Bear's Son" theme (Part I of the six-part analysis of this type), which is missing from all the Arabic examples. Furthermore, Part VI of the analysis restricts the conflict to one between the hero and "impostors." Significantly, in all the versions cited here the "impostors" are members of the hero's immediate family—his brothers (Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, and Syria) or his brothers and father (Palestine). The Arabic tale therefore uses the type to focus on a very important issue in the culture: the relationship among brothers. Sibling rivalry motivates the tale from the start, taking the place of the Bear's Son motif in the narrative structure. This rivalry is translated in the course of the tale into sexual jealousy, which leads the brothers to betray the hero so that one of them can wed the beautiful maiden he rescues. The version offered here brings out the Oedipal implications of this rivalry clearly. In view of the thematic importance of polygyny in this corpus, we note that our tale further adapts the type to focus the conflict on the struggle between the son of one wife (Worn-out One) and the children of the other (Precious One), who are aligned with their father. The fact that, in contrast to all the other Arabic examples, the tale is named after the wives leads us to conclude that Palestinian tellers consider the conflict to be between the co-wives rather than among their children.
4. ŠWEŠ, ŠWEŠ. Narrated by a woman in her seventies from the village of Jab`a, district of Hebron (also Tales 7, 27, 41, 42).
Type 1477* —Old Maid Tells Wolf to Come to Bed.
Parallels : None.
Salient Motifs : B600 Marriage of person to animal; K1984.5 Blind fiancée betrays self. Mistakes one object for another; K2214 Treacherous children [son]; S21 Cruel son; X120 Humor of bad eyesight.
Although we have not been able to locate an exact parallel, a similar incident is presented humorously in "The Wishing Tree," recorded by al-Juhayman (II 19). In this tale, the head of a household, wanting to find out the most secret desires of his wife, mother, and sister, informs them about a tree that fulfills wishes. He hides inside the trunk of the tree, and each betrays her secrets to him. The mother declares her wish to marry their shepherd. After telling his mother to prepare herself to receive the shepherd that night, he disguises himself as the shepherd and goes into her tent, having first eaten plenty of garlic, onions, and other gas-producing substances. Sitting in a corner of the tent, away from his mother, who had in the meantime beautified herself to receive her husband, the man pollutes the air with flatulence. Driven to despair, the mother cannot wait for daylight, at which time she insists on being divorced from the shepherd. Her son, pretending it had been difficult to arrange the marriage in the first place, reluctantly agrees.
5. THE GOLDEN PAIL (Minšal id-dahab). Šafi`, sixty-five, from the village of `Arrabe, Galilee (also Tales 8, 10, 15, 25, 44; see Introduction, "The Tellers").
Type 531 —The Clever Horse.
Parallels : Palestinet—`Abd al-Hadi 61 "Who Is Worthy of the Kingdom?" (exact parallel), 29 "The King of China's Daughter"; Campbell (1954): 48-57 "The Story of the Bashak"; al-Sarisi (1985): 178-180 "The Magic Horse." Syria—Oestrup 5 "Le fils cadet du marchand." Lebanon—al-Bustani: 185-197 "Clever Hasan." Iraq— Stevens 39 "Melek Muhammad and the Ogre." General Arabic— Nowak, Types 171, 176, 197 (parallels following each). Cf. Kunos: 134-142 "Cow-Peri"; Surmelian 6 "Bird-Peri," 13 "Hunter's Son."
Salient Motifs : B211.1.3 Speaking horse; B401 Helpful horse; B470 Helpful fish; B548.2.1 Fish recovers ring from the sea; B571 Animals perform tasks for man; D840 Magic object found; E80 Water of life. Resuscitation by water; H911 Tasks assigned at suggestion of jealous rivals; H931 Tasks assigned in order to get rid of hero; H1213 Quest for remarkable bird caused by the sight of one of its feathers; H1321.1 Quest for water of life; K775.1 Capture by taking aboard ship to inspect wares; L111.8 Heroes sons of wife not favorite of king; Q112.0.1 Kingdom as reward; W195 Envy.
In his comment on this tale Thompson observes that the tradition
is "not always coherent," using the example of the pen in the story ("for it is not always clear why the hero should have a pen and what good it is to serve in the tale") to corroborate his observation (Folk-tale : 62-63). The Arabic versions cited do not seem to suffer from lack of coherence. On the contrary, the version included here, like the others, is woven together well, with the action progressing from the feather (the pen in the type) to the bird, and so on. It forms part of a cycle of adventure tales (centering on the exploits of a hero with the generic name—"Clever Hasan" or "Clever Mhammad") popular with Arab raconteurs. Collectors also seem fond of these tales, for they predominate in the available literature over the sort of household tale that constitutes the bulk of this collection. Although belonging primarily to Type 531, this version also takes the sibling rivalry that underlies the narrative in Type 550 (as in the example from Oestrup) and makes it the motivating force for beginning the action. And, not surprisingly, the rivalry here is between brothers who are sons of co-wives, the son of the less desired one (as in the previous tale) proving himself against his brothers.
6. HALF-A-HALFLING (Nuss nses). Narrated by a woman in her fifties from the village of `En Yabrud, district of Ramallah.
Type 327B —The Dwarf and the Giant.
Parallels : Palestine—al-Sarisi (1985): 189-190 "Fly, O Bran, Fly!" Sirloin (1974): 152-159 "Half-a-Halfling." Sudan—al-Shahi and Moore 19 "Ab Daba Daba." General Arabic—A. Shah (1969): 52-56 "Small Abdul and the Ogress"; Nowak, Types 177, 179 (parallels following each). Tunisia—Contes de Tunisie : 121-122 "Chétiran et ses frères." Cf. Lorimer 18, 38 "Half-Boy"—both tales; Boratav 9 "Kléoghlan qui alla épouser la femme-des-braves."
Salient Motifs : B413 Helpful goat; D2072.0.2.1 Horse enchanted so that he stands still; D2165.1 Escape by flying through the air; F571.2 Sending to the older; G123 Giant ogress with breasts thrown over her shoulders; G514.1 Ogre trapped in box (cage); K550 Escape by false plea; L111.1 Seal of humiliation put by youngest brother [-in-law] on the backs of his rivals; L1112.2 Very small hero; N812 Giant or ogre as helper; T550.6 Only half a son is borne by queen who ate merely half of mango [pomegranate]; T671 Adoption by suckling. Ogress who suckles hero claims him as her son.
The Sirhan version is very dose to ours, with the difference that the conflict is between first cousins rather than brothers. The last part of our tale, the adventure with the ghouleh, is sometimes narrated as a separate tale of adventure, as we see from `Abd al-Hadi 22 ("How
Am I to Sleep, and How Am I to Sleep?") Nowak cites parallels from Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, the Arabian Nights , and Turkey. The fact that Lorimer was able to collect two versions of the tale, one from each of the two communities represented in Persian Tales , is significant. It demonstrates the popularity of this tale in the Middle East, where the parallels cited here show a wide distribution, covering both the Mashreq and the Maghreb.
The small size of the hero could lead to some confusion in typology between AT 327B and AT700 ("Tom Thumb"), but, as Thompson explains (Folktale : 37), the two are separate types, with our tale resembling more closely Perrault's "Le petit Poucet" than it does "Tom Thumb." The Turkish version is a close parallel.
7. THE ORPHAN'S COW (Baqrat il-yatama). See Tale 4.
Type 450 —Little Brother and Little Sister.
Parallels : Palestine—al-Sarisi (1980) 7 "The Orphan-Girl and the Prophet's Cow," (1985): 284-285 "The Orphans' Cow"; TM I 2:
70-73 "The Seven Boys Turned into Bulls"; TM IV 15:48-50 "Orphans' Cow." Syria—Ramadan: 89-92 "The Tale of Sa`da." Egypt—Dulac 2 [no title; reprinted as No. 37 in Basset (1903)]. Algeria—Desparmet I:127-139 "L'enfant allaité par une ghoule"; Mouliéras II 27 "Les deux orphelins jumeaux." Morocco—Scelles-Millie (1970) 14 "L'orphelin élevé par les abeilles." North Africa— Scelles-Millie (1972) 10 "Les deux orphelins." General Arabic—No-wak, Type 138 (Tunisia and Hadramaut), but not Types 177 and 188 (as listed on p. 408). Cf. Kunos: 1-11 "The Stag Prince"; Surmelian 8 "The Red Cow"; Dawkins 2 "Little Boy and Little Girl."
Salient Motifs : B355.2 Life of helpful animal demanded as cure for reigned sickness; B535.0.1 Cow as nurse cares for children; D114 Transformation: man to ungulate; D927 Magic spring; K2212.2 Treacherous sister-in-law; K2252 Treacherous maidservant; L111.4.2 Orphan heroine; P253.2 Sister faithful to her transformed brother; Q112.0.1 Kingdom as reward; R156 Brother rescues sister; S31 Cruel stepmother; S51 Cruel mother-in-law; W195 Envy.
Our version of this tale differs in both its opening and its ending from the plot outlined by Thompson for Type 450 (Folktale : 118). "The Orphans' Cow" does not end with the typical final episode of the substituted bride (as in several of the versions cited above), even though such an event is prepared for at the beginning. In place of that our tale substitutes jealousy on the part of the king's household, which brings about the reversal of fortune for the orphan queen. The tale also substitutes Motif B535.0.1 for Part II of the type analysis
("Kind and Unkind"). This feature is shared by all the Arabic versions of the tale.
Glancing over the ending of the tale, we note a certain uniformity in all the parallels cited. In the version recorded by Scelles-Millie (1972), the gazelle-brother calls down to his sister in the well in words that reflect the same order of thought as in our tale: "O ma soeur, ô ma soeur très chère / Voici les couteaux bien aiguisès / Les chaudrons sur le feu préparés / Les chasseurs jurent la mort de ton frère." In the Turkish version the brother's call to the sister is close to the one reported here. This version also explains the occurrence of the fish in the sister's response: a jealous slave girl pushes the orphan into a fountain in the middle of the palace garden and then takes her place as the substituted bride; in the fountain the girl is swallowed by a fish, and her response to his plea is "Here I am in the fish's belly / In my hand a golden saucer / On my foot a silver sandal / In my arms a little Padishah!"
In the Moroccan version cited above the sister is not swallowed by a fish; rather, a boa wraps itself around the girl's legs in order to protect her and her baby. The sister is thus bound and is unable to come to her brother's rescue. She describes the situation thus: "O mon frère, mon frère bien-aimè / Le boa est à mes pieds enroulé / Le ills du Roi sur mon sein reposé / Comment trouver le moyen d'échapper?"
For more discussion, see Dawkins: 8-9; and Scelles-Millie (1970: 132-133, 1972: 110-116; parallels in both).
8. SUMAC! YOU SON OF A WHORE, SUMAC! (Summaq, ya bni š-šarmuta, summaq!). Šafi` (see Tale 5).
Type 315A —The Cannibal Sister.
Parallels : Palestine—`Abd al-Hadi 16 "The Country Is Calling for Its People"; al-Sarisi (1985): 159-160 "The Ghouleh Sister." Syria— Ramadan: 178-182 "Scythe-Handed Woman." Cf. Walker and Uysal: 86-90 "Caldron-Headed Ax-Toothed Sister"; Dorson (1968) 125 "Rangtang."
Salient Motifs : B381 Thorn removed from lions paw [helping lioness with difficult birth]. In gratitude the lion later rewards the man; B524.1.2 Dogs [lion cubs] rescue fleeing master from tree refuge; G275.2 Witch overcome by helpful dogs [lion cubs] of hero; G312.7 Ogress devours horses; G346 Devastating monster. Lays waste to the land; G550 Rescue from ogre; H1471 Watch for devastating monster. Youngest brother alone successful; K551.1 Respite from death granted until prayer is finished; N1.1 Hero makes fortune through gambling; N2 Extraordinary stakes at gambling; N2.4
Helpful animals lost in wager; R251 Flight on a tree, which ogre tries to cut down; T548.1 Child born in answer to prayer.
The only parallels listed in AT are five versions from India. Dorson, however, in his introductory note to the tale, cites other parallels from black American sources. He also notes that the fantastic names of the dogs distinguish the plot of this tale. Among those he lists are Jimmie Bingo and Jim Bolden; Take-um, Cut-Throat, and Suck-Blood; Crack-er-Bone and Smash-er-Meat; Wham, Jam, and Jenny-Mo-Wham; Bark and Berry; and Jupiter and Kerry.
The motif of the sister's ghoulishness discovered by the youngest brother serves as the opening episode in the Romanian tale "The Land Where Time Stood Still," anthologized by Idries Shah (1979: 230-232). In this tale the youngest brother's discovery that his sister is a ghouleh spurs him to leave his father's kingdom, without revealing her identity to him, in search of the land where there is neither death nor old age. After realizing his quest, he longs to see his family and returns, only to find the place of his birth has vanished. Although the two tales are obviously not parallel, it is still interesting to note that the destruction wrought by time in the Romanian tale is achieved by the ghoulish sister in ours. The Syrian and Turkish versions closely parallel ours.
9. THE GREEN BIRD (It-ter li-xzar). Fatme (see Tale 1).
Type 720 —My Mother Slew Me, My Father Ate Me.
Parallels : Palestine—al-Sarisi. (1980) 8, (1985): 204-205 "Little Green Bird"; Schmidt-Kahle I 49 (no title; cited in Nowak, Type 314). Egypt—Dulac 1 (no title). Tunisia—Ben Hammadi: 207-210 "The Green Bird." Cf. Lorimer 14 "The Boy Who Became a Bulbul"; Dorson (1958) 119 "Eating the Baby."
Salient Motifs : E607. I Bones of dead collected and buried. Return in another form directly from the grave; E613.0.1 Reincarnation of murdered child as bird; G61 Relative's flesh eaten unwittingly; N271 Murder will out; Q2 Kind and unkind; Q56 Love rewarded; Q211 Murder punished; S31 Cruel stepmother; S31.5 Girl persuades her father to marry a widow [neighbor] who has treated her kindly.
The Arabic versions cited are close parallels, our version embodying the greatest amount of detail and resembling most closely the four-part analysis in AT. We are at a loss to explain the popularity of the tale in Palestine and its almost total absence from the rest of the Arabic tradition, the only example cited by Nowak being the Schmidt-Kahle reference noted above. The fact that the tale is also found in Iran leads us to suspect wider distribution, which more col-
lecting activity would unearth. It is curious to note that in the Arabic versions the bird is always green, whereas in the black American version green flies announce the death of the boy: "My mama kilt me / My papa ate me / My sister going bury my bones."
As Thompson notes (Folktale : 116), the bird's song is the most persistent part of the tradition surrounding this tale. It entered into the mainstream of literature when it was used by Goethe as Marguerite's song in Act 5 of Faust : "Meine Mutter, die Hur / hat mich umgebracht, / mein Schwesterlein klein / hub auf das Bein / an einem kühlen Ort; / da ward ich ein schönes Waldvögelein / fliege fort, fliege fort."
10. LITTLE NIGHTINGALE CRIER (Blebl is-sayyah). Šafi` (see Tale 5).
Type 707 —The Three Golden Sons.
Parallels : Palestine—`Abal al-Hadi 24 "Little Nightingale the Crier," 41 "Lady Biqjazya" (exact parallel); Littmann (1905) "Nightingale the Crier"; Schmidt and Kahle I 46 "Die ausgesetzen Zwillingskinder"; Sirhan (1974): 148-154 "Little Nightingale the Crier." Iraq—McCarthy and Raffouli II 7 "The Nightingale"; Qasir (1970)
19 "Magic Apple"; Stevens 33 "King and Three Sisters"; TŠ IX 9 (1978): 201-204 "Branch of Samandros's Daughter." Egypt—Artin Pacha 22 "El-Schater Mouhammed"; el-Shamy 9 "Promises of the Three Sisters"; Spitta-Bey (1883) 10 "Histoire du rossignol chanteur," 11 "Histoire d'Arabe Zandyq." Sudan—al-Shahi and Moore
4 "The Princess and Her Brother Salim." Algeria—Desparmet II: 241-264 "Ghoule secourable." North Africa (Berber)—Moulieras II 69 "Prince et princesse aux fronts d'or." General Arabic—Supplemental Nights (Burton) III:491-549 "Two Sisters Who Envied Their Cadette," with variants Supplied by Chauvin VII 375; Nowak, Type 174 (not 173, as listed on p. 408). Cf. Kunos: 53-73 "Golden-Haired Children"; Lorimer 10 "Jealous Sisters"; Surmelian 4 "Lad with Golden Locks." The episode of the magic bird occurs in Oestrup 6 "Trois princes et l'oiseau d'or"; see also Chauvin VI:8, no. 273.
Salient Motifs : B131.2 Bird reveals treachery; B172.1 Magic bird petrifies those who approach; D231 Transformation: man to stone; D902 Magic rain; E1 Person comes to life; E761.4.4 Life token: ring rusts [becomes tight]; F571.2 Sending to the older; G123 Giant ogress with breasts thrown over shoulder; H1331.1.1 Quest for bird of truth; K2110.1 Calumniated wife; K2115 Animal-birth slander; K2115.2.1 Stone substituted for newly born babies; K2212 Treacherous sisters; N201 Wish for exalted husband realized; N455.4 King overhears girl's boast as to what she would do as queen. Marries her;
N812 Giant or ogre as helper; N825.1 Childless old couple adopt hero; R158 Sister rescues brother(s); S322 Children abandoned (driven forth, exposed) by hostile relative; S451 Outcast wife at last reunited with husband and children; W195 Envy.
In his note on this tale, el-Shamy remarks on the importance of the affectionate "bond between brother and sister" (p. 255). The care taken to emphasize the relationship between the sister and her brothers in fact distinguishes the Arabic versions from the others generally. Our tale goes furthest in this regard, referring explicitly to the security the sister must feel with two brothers to help her. At the end of the tale the sister brings her brothers back to life. The version given by Littmann is close to ours, duplicating it in almost every detail, except for the figure of the old crone who comes to visit Šamsizzha, which is unique to our tale (all the others combine this figure with that of the midwife). The function of the episode involving the old crone seems to be solely to bring out the relationship of mutual love among the siblings, and to show the sister's material dependence on her brothers; she has the power to change the weather, yet she is helpless to make a simple decision involving even a trivial purchase if her brothers are not there to help her. The version recorded by el-Shamy is also close to ours, sharing some details that are absent from Littmann, as for example the sister's saving of her brothers at the end.
Aside from the details of the narrative, which vary slightly from one tale to another, the majority of tales grouped here share two important features. The first is the king's readiness to accept as a gift from Allah the animals that his wife supposedly gave birth to. In the version set down by Artin Pacha, the king loves his animal offspring to the point of madness, always taking them with him and keeping one on his right knee and the other on his left. In the Grimm tale (No. 96), it will be recalled, the king, at least on the first two occasions, stoically accepts the supposed offspring (two dogs and a cat), exclaiming, "What God does, is well done!" In the Iraqi versions of Stevens, and McCarthy and Raffouli, but not of Qasir, when the king discovers his wife had borne two puppies, he becomes livid with anger and punishes her severely by burying her up to her waist and permitting passersby to throw stones at her. The motif of giving birth to a stone, incidentally, is not unusual in popular lore. Its first occurrence in the folklore of the Middle East is in the Hittite tale "The Monster Made of Stone," reconstructed by Gaster (pp. 110-124). In connection with the revival by Šamsizzha not only of her
brothers but also of what seemed like a whole creation, one is reminded of the Greek myth of Deucalion and Pyrrha (see Gaster: 124-133 for an informative discussion of this issue). It will also be recalled that Rhea, the wife of the Titan Cronus, saves the baby Zeus by presenting her husband with a stone wrapped in a blanket in place of the newborn infant.
The second feature that all the tales share is the importance accorded in them to the blood relationship between the king and his children. When he meets his children after they have grown up, the king feels mysteriously drawn to them even before he knows who they are. In the version recorded by Schmidt and Kahle, the first time the king sees his son, his soul becomes attached to him (it'allaqat rohe `ibe )—upon which the narrator asks parenthetically, "Is it possible that blood should turn into water?" (`ay hu-ddam bisir mayy ?).
The number of versions on record indicates that Type 707 is very popular in the Arab world, a conclusion that is confirmed by el-Shamy, who notes its current popularity in Egypt, where it is known as the story "of the sisters who said, 'If the king were to marry me I'd do such and such for him,'" adding that fourteen versions of it exist in the Egyptian Folklore Archives (pp. 254-255). Thompson supports this opinion as well, saying that "though no adequate investigation has been given to this story, it is clear that it is one of the eight or ten best known plots in the world. A cursory examination of easily available reference works shows 414 versions, an indication that a thorough search might bring to light several hundred more" (Folktale : 121). In the late nineteenth century Chauvin observed that the tale was popular in "the Orient" as a folktale (VII: 95). This tale is also one of the most frequently anthologized tales in selections from the Arabian Nights , especially those designed for a younger audience.
How this tale came to be part of the Arabian Nights is in itself a curious story. Chauvin notes (VII:95) that the tale's Arabic text has not been found and that Galland "composed" it for inclusion in his edition of the Mille et une nuits , as based on an Arabic version he had heard somewhere (most likely in an Arab country). Writing in the Supplemental Nights (III:619), Clouston (see Book of t he Thousand Nights and a Night ) notes the popularity of the tale in the European literary tradition and confirms Chauvin's statement: "It is clear ... that Galland neither invented the story nor borrowed it from Straparola or Madame d'Aulnois. Whence, then, did he obtain it?—that is the question. His Arabic source has not yet been discovered, but a variant of the world-wide story is at the present day (circa 1886) or-
ally current in Egypt." Clearly, then, Galland is responsible for having entered this tale as part of the canon of the Thousand and One Nights , and presumably Burton included it in his edition of the Nights following Galland's example, basing his translation, as Chauvin notes, on a Hindustani text.
Although Thompson is undoubtedly correct in his judgment that more recent scholarship has inadequately investigated this story, nevertheless Burton, in his footnote introducing the tale, offers a considerable number of references to the European literary tradition where the tale occurs, as well as a few variants in the folk tradition. Clouston complemented Burtons analysis, offering in Supplemental Nights (III:617-648) a wide-ranging comparative analysis. He first notes the existence of a Babylonian analog, then proceeds to offer English translations of nine variants: Modern Arabic (Spitta-Bey, cited above), North African Qaba'ili, Modem Greek, Albanian, Breton, German, Icelandic, Bengali, and Buddhist (Sanskrit). Clouston holds that this last version, although really only a truncation of AT 707, is the original form of the tale.
Curiously, Joseph Jacobs considers this tale to be one of the most popular folktales in Europe and includes it in his European Folk and Fairy Tales (1916:51-65); see his notes (pp. 233-235), where he claims that the tale is of European origin. Thompson apparently agrees with this view, for he says that the tale's "distribution would suggest European origin" (Folktale : 122); as el-Shamy observes, however (p. 256), this view should be "reconsidered in light of the new evidence provided by Arab, Berber, and African variants of Type 707." Significantly, Thompson does not cite any Arabic parallels for Type 707, not even the reference from the Thousand and One Nights .
11. THE LITTLE BIRD (Il-`asfura z-zgire). Fatme (see Tale 1).
Types 235C*; 715 —Bird Has New Clothes Made; Demi-coq.
Parallels : Tunisia—Dorson (1975): 164-165 "Sparrow and King"; Contes de Tunisle : 14-16 "Histoire de petit oiseau au grain de blé."
Salient Motifs : B171.1.1 Demi-coq crows in king's body when the king eats him; B172 Magic bird; E168 Cooked animal comes to life; F234.1.15 Fairy in form of bird; K233.1 Bird has new clothes made: flies away without paying.
The tale of the Clever Cock is very popular in Palestine, and that of the Little Bird is a unique adaptation of it. In the former, instances of which were reported by Crowfoot (PEQ LXXXIII: 162-164), Stephan (JPOS III: 185-187), and Abu-Shanab in Syria (pp. 55-57), the clever cock obtains a grain of wheat, which he exchanges for a
loaf of bread, which he exchanges for something bigger and better until eventually he obtains a bride. Like our tale, these also end with a ditty: "Kikkikeeki! I am the rare cock, I am the clever cock! For the grain I got a loaf, and for the loaf I got a bunch of onions, and for the onions I got a kid, and for the kid I got a calf, and for the calf I got a buffalo, and for the buffalo I got a bride" (Stephan).
The only Arabic versions resembling ours closely enough to be cited as parallels are from Tunisia, although Dorson (1975: 164) cites other references from North Africa. In the versions cited here, the conflict is between two masculine wills rather than between the masculine and the feminine. In Dorson, the sparrow obtains a grain of wheat, which he uses to make a necklace and challenge the king: "What the king has I have!" He makes such a disturbance that the king orders him caught ("I am not afraid!") and his throat slit ("What a beautiful necklace!"); he is then dropped into boiling water ("What a beautiful bath!") and his feathers are plucked ("Don't tickle me so hard!"). After being eaten, the bird shouts from inside the king's belly, "What a spacious palace! What a luxurious palace!" The bird causes the king so much stomach pain that he expels him. In the Dorson version the place of emergence is left vague ("There is the sparrow breaking loose . . ."), which leads us to suspect that he emerged from the king's lower end. The other Tunisian version cited here specifies the king's mouth as the place of exit, but the text was probably altered for the sake of politeness. Once free of the king's belly, the bird continues to shout: "I found a grain of barley. I made a necklace with it. I had what the king had. The king got jealous of me.... What a fat king. What a round stomach on that king!" (Dorson).
12. JUMMEZ BIN YAZUR, CHIEF OF THE BIRDS (Jummez ibin Yazur, šexit-tyur). Narrated by a woman in her sixties from Jerusalem.
Type 432 —The Prince as Bird.
Parallels : Palestine—'Abd al-Hadi 19 "Roses and Roses Daqquš," 44 "I Am the Doctor with the Cure"; al-Sarisi (1985): 282-283 "Hot Pepper"; Schmidt and Kahle I 47 "Der verzauberte Jussif." Lebanon—al-Bustani: 128-139 "Lady Rose and Hot Pepper." Syria— Ramadan: 50-57 "Peppercorn, Victim of Love," 169- 173 "Rose-blossom and Sitt el-Husun." Iraq—Stevens 6 "The Crystal Ship." Arabian Peninsula—al-Juhayman IV 17 "Little Nightingale the Crier." Sudan—Mitchnik: 93-100 "Hassan the Physician." Cf. Walker and Uysal: 104-111 "Shemsi Bani, Padishah of Pigeons"; Dawkins 15 "The Gift to the Youngest Daughter."
Salient Motifs : B614 Bird paramour; B642 Marriage to person in bird form; D641.1 Lover as bird visits mistress; D2072.0.2 Animal rendered immovable; D2072.0.3 Ship [camel caravan] held back by magic; D2072.2 Magic paralysis by curse; E113 Resuscitation by blood; H335.0.1 Bride[groom] helps suitor perform [her] tasks; H383.3 Bride test: skillful sweeping; H1129.2 Task: filling twelve bed-ticks with feathers; H1151.24 Task: stealing ogress's drum [straw tray]; H1385.5 Quest for vanished lover; K1825.1.4 Girl masks as doctor to find departed lover; K2212 Treacherous sisters; L221 Modest request: present from the journey; M205.2 Curse as punishment for broken promise; N452 Secret remedy overheard in conversation with animals (witches); S181 Wounding by trapping with sharp knives (glass); W181 Jealousy.
Despite minor variation, the Arabic tales are close parallels, conforming in narrative detail to all the episodes belonging to the type. Common motifs are D641.1 (or a variant thereof), E113, H1385.5, K2212, N452, and S181. The version from the Arabian Peninsula, however, introduces a complexity not found in any of the others. In that tale the figure of the bird-prince is ambiguous. At first he is presented more as a magic helper who can be summoned when needed than as a lover. Yet the daughter's desire for him so enrages her father that he dismisses her from the house, even though (or perhaps because) he loved her best of all his daughters. Once out of the house, the girl quickly finds a substitute father, under whose protection she is able to commune with her bird companion freely. In the end the sexual nature of the relationship is revealed when the couple become husband and wife.
The father's harsh treatment of his daughter in the tale from the Arabian Peninsula illuminates a significant feature, shared by nearly all the versions under discussion, concerning the tale's psychological structure—namely, the father's forgetting to fulfill his daughter's initial request. This forgetfulness is a symptom of the father's distress at his daughter's request, caused perhaps by jealousy and certainly (in the Arab context) by concern over family honor.
The title of the Sudanese version points to another important element common to the Arabic versions of this type: the male disguise the heroine must wear, as the traveling physician with the recipe to cure Jummez. (Significantly, this cure, except in the Lebanese version, is obtained from the blood and hearts of two birds—presumably a male and a female dove.) In the Lebanese tale the heroine, Rose, must wear a disguise twice; the second time is as a traveling
physician, but the first time, Hot Pepper does not respond to her call, and so she goes in search of him herself. After receiving her request, Hot Pepper answers in a message that says, "Explode and die, you're not going to get me!" Rose then decides to go in search of him disguised as a handsome youth, and it is in this guise that Hot Pepper (whose name is quite revealing) is first drawn to her.
Our tale has affinities with the tale of Beauty and the Beast (Type 425C) on the one hand, and with that of Cupid and Psyche on the other. The Beauty and the Beast story frequently starts out as ours does, with the youngest daughter making a strange request that only an enchanted beastlike creature can fulfill. The parallel with "Cupid and Psyche" is even closer, for the two tales share all the major narrative features, including the tasks imposed by Venus (here, Jum-mez's sisters) and the help that Psyche receives from Cupid in executing them. See The Folktale : 102-103 for a discussion of this tale type in the European literary tradition.
13. JBENE. Narrated by a seventy-five-year-old woman from il-Mizra`a š-Šarqiyye, district of Ramallah.
Type —Motif N711.1: Prince (king) finds maiden in woods (tree) and marries her.
Parallels : Palestine—`Abd al-Hadi 8 "Jbene" (cf. 2, also called "Jbene"); Hanauer: 158-160 "Ijbeyneh"; al-Khalili (1979) 11 "Lady Jbene" (cf. 14 "Green Camel"); al-Sarisi (1980) 9, (1985): 206-210 "Jbene." Cf. Galley: 30-50 "Badr az-Zin."
Salient Motifs : D2036 Magic homesickness; K1821.2 Disguise by painting body; L162. Lowly heroine marries prince; N711.1 (see above, under Type); R111.2.5 Girl rescued from tree; S143.2 Abandonment in tall tree; T548.1 Child born in answer to prayer; Z142 Symbolic color: white; Z143 Symbolic color: black; Z143.1 Black as a symbol of grief.
We cannot explain the popularity of this tale among Palestinians and its apparent absence from the general Arabic tradition. Perhaps the clue lies in the very simplicity of its structure, which combines two popular themes—separation and reunion, and marriage—that can be developed, separately or together, to produce a more elaborate tale. Because different features of all the Palestinian versions of "Jbene" are brought together in "Badr az-Zin," it is instructive to review the process by which a more elaborate story may be constructed from the nucleus that is our tale. In our version the mother is childless but in Hanauer she has seven sons and no daughters (the
situation prevailing at the beginning of Tale 8 in this collection). When her wish is fulfilled, the brothers are given the wrong signal and they stay away from home, thereby forcing the sister to go in search of them—exactly as in "Badr az-Zin." In this manner we already have the opening episodes of AT 451 (The Maiden Who Seeks Her Brothers).
In our tale the maiden dyes herself black to disguise herself as a servant, yet this function may be split such that a maidservant, who later becomes the substitute bride or sister (Galley, al-Khalili, al-Sarisi), accompanies the girl on her journey. The discovery of her true identity uniformly occurs as a result of the animals' fasting in sympathy with her song (Motif H12). Discovery may lead to marriage (here, and in al-Sarisi or to reunion with brothers and family (Galley, al-Khalili). Further adventures may befall the heroine on the way back to her family (Galley, al-Sarisi), thereby completing AT Type 451.
14. SACKCLOTH (Abu l-lababid). Almaza (wife of Šafi'), fifty-eight, `Arrabe, Galilee (also Tales 18, 37; see Introduction, "The Tellers").
Type 510B —The Dress of Gold, of Silver, and of Stars (Cap o' Rushes).
Parallels : Palestine—'Abd al-Hadi 34 "Little Woodling." Syria— Ramadan: 223-225 "Sackcloth." Iraq—Qasir (1976) 15 "The King and the Ring"; Stevens 5 "Dungara Khshebyan." Sudan—Hurreiz 8 "The Son of Nimer"; al-Shahi and Moore 20, 23 "Fatma the Beautiful," 21 "Fatma of the Anklet," 22 "Dawm-Palm Dress." Cf. Daw-kins 40 "The Girl Whose Father Wanted to Marry Her"; Calvino 103 "Wooden Maria."
Salient Motifs : K5184.108.40.206 Girl escapes in male disguise; K1227.1 Lover put off till girl bathes and dresses. She escapes; K1816.0.2 Girl in menial disguise at lover's court; K1836 Disguise of man in women's dress; L131 Hearth abode of unpromising hero (heroine); L162 Lowly heroine marries prince; N711.6 Prince sees maiden at ball and is enamored; R213 Escape from home; R221 Heroine's threefold flight from ball; T136.3.1 Dancing at wedding; T311.1 Flight of maiden (bridegroom) to escape marriage; T411.1 Lecherous father. Unnatural father wants to marry his daughter.
The Palestinian, Syrian, and Iraqi versions are close parallels. The fact that al-Shahi and Moore chose to include so many versions in their collection reflects the popularity of the tale among the various Nile River communities represented in the book. Both el-Shamy
(p. 197) and Hurreiz (p. 161) allude to the existence of Egyptian Nubian versions of this tale, none of which are in print.
In all the Sudanese versions, the threatened incest is with the brother rather than the father. These variants illustrate an important feature of our tale, which is presented in a muted manner (no doubt purposefully, as it touches on women's honor) at the end. The son of the sultan, we recall, makes the girl remove her sackcloth (under which she is presumably naked) and then calls his mother. In the Sudanese tales this removal does not take place so easily. There is a contest at the end of each tale (wrestling, a game of chess or of mancala ), the stake being the removal of the loser's outer garment. The woman wins this contest three times in a row and absolves the man from his debt. It is only on the fourth try that the male is able to overcome the female and remove her outer garment.
In his synopsis of this type, Thompson observes that the heroine of this tale assumes a "peculiar disguise" (Folktale : 128). This observation holds true for all the Arabic versions as well. In this respect our version is the closest to Grimm 65, "Allerleirauh" (literally, "of different kinds of fur"), with even the assumed name of the heroine (Roughskin) corresponding. In the Iraqi version the dress the heroine uses for disguise is made of iron; in al-Shahi and Moore 21 it is made of wood; and in all the other Sudanese versions it is an old man's skin. Herein lies a major difference between the Arabic versions and the European ones: whereas in the former the disguise implies a change of gender, in the latter that is not necessarily the case. Correspondingly, the disguise of the hero as a woman (Motif K1321.1) is missing from the European versions. Regarding disguises, the contests that close the Sudanese tales take better advantage of the initial change of gender than our tale does, because the power implied in the (apparent) change is followed through to the end.
See al-Shahi and Moore: 50-53, where they discuss the significance of this tale in terms of the perceived tension in the society between endogamy (which, taken to an extreme, leads to incest) and marrying outside the family. See also el-Shamy (p. 197) and his observation that one woman narrator refused to tell a stranger the story of "the man who wanted to marry his daughter" because it was "disruptive of good relations and defamatory." "Is there a man," she asked, "who would marry his own daughter?" Margaret Mills touches on the question of gender change in her article "A Cinderella Variant in the Context of a Muslim Women's Ritual," in Dundes (1982): 80-92.
15. ŠAHIN. Šafi' (see Tale 5).
Type 879 (Parts III, IV )—The Basil Maiden (The Sugar Puppet, Viola).
Parallels : Palestine—Bauer: 190-196 "`Ali Zebaq and the Merchant's Daughter"; Littmann (1905) 18 "Maryam the Bedouin Woman from Hijaz"; TM III 9:114-117 "Iš-šex i-Ntaf." Syria— Ramadan: 212-217 (two versions) "Daughter of the Fava Bean Seller." Egypt—Artin Pacha 15 "Les trois filles du marchand de fèves." Sudan—Hurreiz 13 "The Daughter of the Bean Grower." Tunisia—Contes de Tunisie : 169-170 "Le fils du sultan et la fille du boulanger." Algeria—Galley: 152-174 "La fille du marchand de pois chiches" (other parallels, p. 180).
Salient Motifs : F562 People of unusual residence; F721.1 Underground passages; H1556.4 Fidelity in love tested; J1251.1 Humiliated lover in repartee with disdainful mistress; J1794 Statue mistaken for living original; K1214.1.1 Importunate lover is induced to undergo series of humiliations; K1836 Disguise of man in women's dress; K1837 Disguise of woman in man's clothes; P251 Brothers; T15 Love at first sight; T55 Girl as wooer. Forthputting woman; T61 Betrothal; T220.127.116.11 Father promises that girl may wed only man of her choice; T 131.1.2 Father's consent to sons (daughter's) marriage necessary; T160 Consummation of marriage; X52 Ridiculous nakedness or exposure; Z71.12 Formulistic number: forty.
Although there are some differences in Part III of the analysis for this tale ("Tricks and Countertricks"), all the versions cited have enough details in common to be considered close parallels, the closest to ours being the variant in TM . The versions in Bauer and Littmann share details not found in ours, whereas the Egyptian and Algerian versions share a number of details not found in any Palestinian version—viz., the imposed task of arriving walking-riding or laughing-crying. The Algerian and Tunisian versions are the only ones embodying Part II of the analysis for the Type ("Questions and Counterquestions"); all versions share Part IV ("The Sugar Puppet"). In the Bauer version the theme of the tale is expressed directly at the end, when `Ali, newly married but not victorious, says to his bride, "Believe me, you are the man and I am the bride."
16. THE BRAVE LAD (Iš-šabb iš šuja`). Narrated by a ninety-five-year-old woman from the village of Rammun, district of Ramallah.
Type 461 (Parts II, IV )—Three Hairs from the Devil's Beard.
Parallels : Egypt—el-Shamy: 274 "Saint of the Forty."
Salient Motifs : G84 Fee-fi-fo-fum. Cannibal returning home smells
human flesh and makes exclamation; G334 Ogre keeps human prisoners; G500 Ogre defeated; G530.1 Help from ogre's wife; G532 Hero hidden and ogre deceived by his wife when he says he smells human blood; H1273.2 Quest for three hairs from the devil's beard; L101 Unpromising hero (male Cinderella); L161 Lowly hero marries princess; Q53 Reward for rescue; R11.1 Princess (maiden) abducted by monster (ogre); T68.1 Princess offered as prize to rescuer.
El-Shamy observes (p. 274) that this tale type has been adapted in the Arab Islamic tradition to accommodate the cycle of tales embodying etiological beliefs around the theme "Moses converses with God." In these stories, Prophet Moses, on his way to converse with God, meets different people who want to have their questions answered—viz., the hermit will never enter Paradise because he hid the extra piece of bread Allah had sent him to share with Moses, whereas the forty robbers will enter Paradise because they did share their food with the Prophet. See The Folktale : 140.
17. GAZELLE (Gazale). Narrated by Im Nabil, sixty-five, from the village of Turmus'ayya, district of Ramallah (Also Tales 19, 28, 30, 39; see Introduction, "The Tellers").
Types 552 (Parts II, III); 300 (Parts II, III); 302 (P0arts I, II, III) - The Girls Who Married Animals; The Dragon Slayer; The Ogre's (Devil's) Heart In The Egg.
Parallels : Palestine-Bauer: 182-186 "Two Brothers"; al-Sarisi (1985): 195-201 "Ninety-Nine Heads." Egypt-el-Shamy: 3-14 "The Trip To Wag-El-Wag." Sudan-Hurreiz 41 "Karajok"; al-Shahi And Moore 30 "Muhammad The Clever." Tunisia-al-'Irwi Iv: 35-58 "Magic Ring." General Arabic-A. Shah (1969): 1-12 "The Sultan And The Four Strange Brothers-In-Law." General Arabic- Nowak, Type 82. Other (not always close) parallels are cited in Nowak: 408 for all the AT types outlined above. Cf. Kunos: 112-133 "The Wind Demon"; Dawkins 23 "Magic Brothers-In-Law"; Megas 34 "Navel Of Earth."
Salient motifs : b18.104.22.168 Seven-Headed dragon; b11.7.1 Dragon controls water supply; b11.10 Sacrifice of human being to dragon; b11.11 Fight with dragon; b314 Helpful [animal] brothers-in-law; b450 Helpful birds; b873.2 Giant scorpion; c611 Forbidden chamber; d832 Magic objects acquired by acting as umpire for fighting heirs; d1254 Magic staff; d1421.0.3 Magic hair when thrown into fire summons supernatural helper; d1581 Tasks performed by use of magic object; e712.4 Soul hidden in box; e715 Separable soul kept in animal; e715.1 Separable soul kept in bird; g510.4 Hero over-
comes devastating animal; G512.5 Ogre killed by burning [crushing] external soul; H945 Tasks voluntarily undertaken; H1101 Task: removing mountain (mound) in one night; h1161.6 Task: killing devastating tiger; K956 Murder by destroying external soul; K975.2 Secret of external soul learned by deception; Q53 reward for rescue; R111.1.3 Rescue of princess (maiden) from dragon; S262 Periodic sacrifices to a monster; S263.3 Person sacrificed to water spirit to secure water supply.
Apparently, the "Animal Brothers-In-Law" tale lends itself comfortably to combination with other types. As Thompson observes (Folktale: 56 ), AT 552 is frequently combined with AT 300 or AT 302-or with both, as in our version. Judging from the Arabic tradition, it is easy to see why these three types are combined here, for they are all adventure tales with a generic hero whose name is usually "Clever Hasan" or "Clever Mhammad." Although Thompson acknowledges the existence of the tale, or the combination, in Palestine (without, unfortunately, citing a reference), the combination of types that we find here is not common in the Arabic tradition. Thus the version in Bauer incorporates AT 300 with AT 301 (see Tale 3, above); that in Hurreiz combines AT 552A with AT 560 and AT 401; and that in al-Shahi and Moore belongs to AT 300 (note generic name of hero), and that in Nowak to AT 302. The Tunisian version combines AT 552 with AT 560. The version in A. Shah is an elaborate form of AT 552 alone, and the Turkish version is a sophisticated combination of AT 552 and AT 302. Curiously, the only version cited above that comes closest as a parallel to ours is the Greek tale recorded by Dawkins, who provides a set of other Greek parallels and a helpful discussion with further references (pp. 121-123).
18. LOLABE. Almaza (see Tale 14).
Types 408; 310 (Part II); 313 (Part III) -The Three Oranges; Rapunzel; The Girl as Helper in the Hero's Flight.
Parallels : Palestine-al-Sarisi (1980) 6, (1985): 133-136 "Daughters of the Citron." Lebanon-al-Bustani: 140-148 "Turayya, Daughter of the Ghoul." Syria-Ramadan: 162-166 "Daughter of the Ghoul." Iraq-Jamali: 107-110 "Lilwa and Husen"; Qasir 8 "Prince Nur al-Zaman and Princess Fatit al-Rumman." Egypt-el-Shamy 8 "Louliyya, Daughter of Morgan." Tunisia-Contes de Tunisie : 33-36 "Le petit pigeon." Cf. Lorimer 22 "The Orange and Citron Princess"; A. Shah (1975): 13-18 "Girl Who Had Seven Divs for Brothers"; Kunos: 12-29 "Three Orange-Peris"; Walker and
Uysal: 64-71 "Young Lord and Cucumber Girl"; Dawkins 1 "The Three Oranges"; Calvino 107 "Love of Three Pomegranates."
Salient Motifs : D150 Transformation: man to bird; D253 Transformation: man to needle; D475.4.5 Tears become jewels; D610 Repeated transformation; D672 Obstacle flight; D765.1.2 Disenchantment by removal of enchanting pin; D1611 Magic objects answer for fugitive; F848.1 Girl's long hair as ladder into tower; G84 Fee-fi-fo-fum; G263.1.5 Witch transforms man to bird; G275.3 Witch burned; H31.7.1 Recognition by ability to shed pearls for tears; J1791.6.1 Ugly woman sees beautiful woman reflected in water and thinks it herself; K1911.1.3 False bride takes true bride's place at fountain; K1911.3 Reinstatement of true bride; K2251.1 Treacherous slave-girl; M301.2.1 Enraged old woman prophesies for youth; N711.2 Hero finds maiden in (magic) castle; Q414 Punishment: burning alive.
The Arabic tradition in folk narrative obviously finds congenial some combination Of episodes from the three types enumerated, for the majority of parallels cited take portions from one or more of these types and combine them much as was done in our tale. The only exceptions are the other Palestinian version and the Tunisian one, both of which belong to Type 408 alone. Thus, the Iraqi and Lebanese versions combine episodes from AT 310 and AT 313 with the opening episode from AT 408, and the Egyptian version combines them with initial and final episodes from AT 408. The proliferation reflected in the typology here can perhaps be blamed on Aarne-Thompson's The Types of the Folktale , which endows the tale of Rapunzel as found in Grimm (on which the analysis for Type 310 is based) with a separate type number. In his study of this tale, however, Lüthi (1976: 109-119) demonstrates, through comparison of Grimm with other European versions, that episode Ill of "The Girl as Helper in the Hero's Flight" (Type 313), which is not part of the Grimm "Rapunzel," is actually part of the Rapunzel type (310). Hence, the combination of these two types in the Arabic tradition should not be surprising, for they belong together even in the European tradition outside Grimm.
None of the Arabic versions belonging primarily to the Rapunzel type (Lebanese, Iraqi, and Egyptian) open in the same manner as Type 310, with the parents promising the child away before it is born. The fact that the opening episode of Type 408 serves to open these versions as well is understandable in view of the Arab cultural emphasis on having children, and of folk beliefs concerning vows
and curses. As we see from other tales in this collection (e.g., Tales 1, 8, 40), parents, particularly mothers, will pray to have children regardless of the consequences. And when, as here, the child does come and it is a boy, his birth is interpreted as a consequence of the vow. Therefore, failure to fulfill the conditions of the vow incurs the anger of the supernatural forces, who, through the mechanism of the old woman's curse, send the spoiled son on a dangerous journey. In this manner the son's journey seems properly motivated, arising out of causes that are inherent in the tale's dramatic situation.
See el-Shamy's extensive notes on this tale (pp. 251-254), where many other parallels and references are cited. (A word of caution, however, concerning Schmidt and Kahle I 27, which he cites as a parallel but which does not belong to any of the types discussed here.)
19. THE OLD WOMAN GHOULEH. (Il-gule 1-`ajuz). Im Nabil (see Tale 17)
Type —Motif D821 : Magic object received from old woman.
Parallels : Palestine—TM 13:124-128 (no name).
Salient Motifs : D821 (see above, under Type); D981 Magic fruit; D1071.1 Magic beads; D1074 Magic bracelet; D1420.4 Helper summoned by calling his name; G302.3.3 Demon in form of old woman; G303.4.5 The devil's feet and legs; G312 Cannibal ogre; G420 Capture by ogre; G512. Ogre killed; K800 Killing or maiming by deception; N810 Supernatural helpers; R151 Husband rescues wife.
This tale forms part of a cycle revolving around the ghouleh figure (cf. Tales 29, 30), in which the ogress obtains what she wants through trickery and is finally overcome by the family or community. It is not surprising, in view of common assumptions concerning women's tricks, that the ghouleh should gain her ends through trickery, whereas ghouls, in tales where they play a significant part (e.g., Tales 16, 20, 28), are relatively free of deceit, relying instead on brute force to gain their ends (Tale 16). Both ghouls and ghoulehs, however, do exhibit kindness, the former adopting outcast heroines (Tales 20, 28) and the latter adopting and assisting heroes in their quests (Tales 10, 22).
With reference to our discussion of endogamy in the Introduction, it is interesting to note that in the parallel cited, the role of the ghouleh is assumed by the bridegroom's seven cousins, whom he had passed over in choosing his mate.
20. LADY TATAR (Is-sit Tatar). See Tale 3.
Type 898 —The Daughter of the Sun.
Parallels : Palestine—'Abd al-Hadi 64 "Daughter of the Elephant";
al-Khalili (1979) 8 "Her Mother the Sun, Her Father the Moon." Syria—Oestrup 3 "Fille du demon"; Lewin 4 "Tochter des Nims." Arabian Peninsula—al-Juhayman Ill 14 "Daughter of the Ghoul." Egypt—Spitta-Bey (1880) 9 (no name). Cf. Calvino 74 "Daughter of the Sun."
Salient Motifs : D1030.1 Food supplied by magic; D1472.1.34 Part of human body furnishes food; D1601.9 Household articles act at command; F402.6.3 Demons live in well; G84 Fee-fi-fo-fum; H323 Suitor test: learning girl's name; J2411.3 Unsuccessful imitation of magic production of food; K2212 Treacherous sisters; L162 Lowly heroine marries prince; N774.2 Adventures from seeking (lost) domestic beast [hen]; N812 Giant or ogre as helper; T11.4.1 Love through sight of hair of unknown princess; W181 Jealousy; W195 Envy.
With Parts I ("The Virgin in the Tower") and II ("Rescued Child") of the analysis missing, each of the Arabic versions opens in its own way, but, except for the version in Lewin, they all end more or less alike, with the groom having to learn either what the bride's name is (al-Juhayman) or how to address her (all others). All involve a ghoul as well, who acts as father figure to the girl, giving her instructions on how to deal with her husband. As for the opening episode, it does not in our version prepare the way for the ending or explain why Lady Tatar (also the name of the heroine in al-Juhayman) should have the moon for a father and the sun for a mother. (We note in passing that the sun in Arabic is feminine in gender.) The version supplied by al-Khalili in synopsis form explains this matter clearly. There, a childless wife is always praying to become pregnant (an opening favored by Palestinian tellers). One day her husband brings home some milk, which she sets on the windowsill. At night the light of the moon shines on the milk, and in the morning the rays of the sun fall on it. When the woman drinks it, she becomes pregnant and gives birth to a daughter who is endowed with the magical abilities described in the tale.
21. ŠOQAK BOQAK! Narrated by Im Darwiš, sixty-five, from the village of `Arrabe, Galilee (also Tale 45; see Introduction, "The Tellers").
Type —Motif T311.1 : Flight of maiden (bridegroom) to escape marriage.
Parallels : Palestine—'Abd al-Hadi 17 "My Uncle the Gypsy" (very close parallel). Lebanon—al-Bustani: 164-171 "O Servant, O Barbarian!" Iraq—Stevens 37 "Prince, and Daughter of Thorn-Seller." Egypt—Spitta-Bey 1880) 9 (no title).
Salient Motifs : D1273 Magic formula (charm); F721.1 Underground passages; H113 Identification by handkerchief; H1322.214.171.124 Quest for bride for king (prince); K2110 Slanders; L162 Lowly heroine marries prince; N711.3 Hero finds maiden in (magic) garden; T56.4 Beautiful woman enticed by wonderful flowers; T31 1.1 Flight of maiden (bridegroom) to escape marriage; W181 Jealousy; Z65.1 Red as blood, white as snow.
The Egyptian parallel cited is actually an elaborate tale combining several types (cf. Tales 20, 26); it incorporates major details from our tale but without the poetry. In that tale the maiden (who is not yet married to the prince) comes into his garden, but his gardener stands in her way. She puts a spell on him, using the same formula as in ours—"Šqak boqak! That which is below you / May it rise to the top!"—and he turns upside down. The prince comes later and finds his garden in disarray, sees the girl, falls in love with hèr, and marries her.
The striking image of the blood on the snow (Motif Z65.1) also occurs in "The Juniper Tree" (Grimm 90). When the wife cuts her finger, with the blood running on the snow, she wishes for a child "as red as blood and as white as snow." The image is adapted in our tale to convey a feeling of beauty and sexual arousal. For an extended discussion of this image, see Cosquin: 218-246.
22. CLEVER HASAN (Iš-šasan Hasan). Narrated by a sixty-five-year-old woman from Gaza (also Tales 32, 35).
Type 314 (Parts V, VI), combined with Type 590 (Parts II-VI) -The Youth Transformed into a Horse; The Prince and the Arm Band.
Parallels : Types 314 and 590: Syria-Ramadan: 204-210 "Abu Hajlan." Arabian Peninsula-al-Juhayman III 22 "Little Baldhead and His Father's Wife." Tunisia-Stumme I "Mhammad Belhajjala."
Type 314: Palestine-Campbell (1954): 125-134 "Story of the Horse and Son of King"; Littmann 10 "Tree with Three Branches"; Schmidt and Kahle I 53 "Kahlköpfchen und das Wunderpferd." Iraq-Stevens 12 "Blind Sultan." Egypt-Artin Pacha 7 "Le cheval Enchanté"; el-Shamy 4 "The Magic Filly." Algeria-Galley: 70-105 "Haroun er-Rachid"; Mouliéras I: 16-25 "Fils du sultan et chien des chrétiens," II:391-410 "Haroun er-Rachid devient marchand du beignets." Morocco-Scelles-Millie (1970) 6 "Histoire d'Abderrahman." General Arabic-Katibah (1929): 28-129 "Clever Hasan and Talking Horse." Cf. Kunos: 74-83 "Horse-Devil and Witch"; Dawkins 39 "Prince in Disguise"; Calvino 110 "Mangy One."
Type 590: palestine-Schmidt and Kahle I 42 "Abenteuer des verbannten Köningsohnes." Lebanon-al-Bustani: 219-226 "The Lemon Tree Has Revived." Iraq-Qasir (1976) 17 "Janjal, Jnejil, and Zen Bin Rababa." Egypt-Dulac 3 (no title); Spitta-Bey (1883) 8 "Histoire du prince et de son cheval."
Salient motifs: d253 Transformation: man to needle; D1831 Magic strength resides in hair; E80 Water of life. Resuscitation by water; F571.2 Sending to the older; G123 Giant ogress with breasts thrown over her shoulders; G530.3 Help from ogre's mother; H311 Inspection test for suitors; H970 Help in performing tasks; H1212 Quest assigned because of feigned illness; H1321.1 Quest for water of life; K1818.2 A scald-head disguise; N810.2 Helper's beard and eyebrows cut. Only after hero has performed this service is help forthcoming; N812 Giant or ogre as helper; P313 Milk brotherhood. Friends bound in brotherhood through partaking of milk from the same woman; Q41 Politeness rewarded; Q41.2 Reward for cleansing loathsome person [ghoul]; S12 Cruel mother; S12.1 Treacherous mother marries ogre and plots against son; S162 Mutilation: cutting off legs (feet); T131.0.1 Princess has unrestricted choice of husband.
This complex tale is a combination of two separate types. The first, Type 314, we encounter at the story's end, where the hero, as a disguised outcast riding horses of different colors on three successive occasions, wins the princess's hand and saves her father's kingdom or cures his illness. The hero's true identity is somehow revealed, and he is reconciled with his father-in-law and admitted to his favor, usually inheriting the kingdom upon his death. With slight variation this outline is accurate for all Type 314 tales listed above. In Schmidt and Kahle 53, the hero covers his head with a she-goat's stomach, and people call him Qre'un ("Little Baldy"); and in the Moroccan version he is known as Le Teigneux (Scald-Head-cf. The Italian title, "Mangy One"). According to the type, the hero's hair serves an important function in the story: supposedly golden, it symbolizes his uniqueness and his worth, and it is in order to hide it that he pretends to be a scald-head. In our version the hero's hair is the source of his strength (Motif D1831, Magic strength resides in hair-reminiscent of Samson and Delilah), although it is not specifically stated to be golden. The Turkish version is the only one among all those cited in which the youth is transformed into a horse. (See Folktale : 59-60 for a summary of this type and a discussion of its distribution.)
Type 590, as is evident from the parallels cited, is also popular in the Arabic tradition. This type usually opens with the hero becom-
ing an outcast, or an exile, from his own society. In the Iraqi version, the young hero's exile is brought about by the father, who is terrified of his son's strength (Motif F610, remarkably strong man). In the Egyptian version, the boy, clever Mhammad, is so strong that after his father's death he kills everyone in town, except his mother and a slave who eventually becomes the treacherous mother's lover. In Schmidt and Kahle 42, the potential conflict between father and son is made even more explicit: the father is told in a dream that when his wife reaches the age of seventy she will bear a son who will turn against him; when the wife does give birth, the father sends mother and son on their way. In our version, the teller glosses over the theme of exile at the beginning, but she does confirm it indirectly in the middle of the tale, when clever Hasan is adopted into the family of the ghouleh, who is kinder to him than is his own mother. The motif of remarkable strength is also demonstrated without explicit reference. (See Folktale: 113-114 for a plot summary of this type and a discussion of its distribution.)
23. THE CRICKET (Il-xunufse). Fatme (see Tale 1).
Type 2023 -Little Ant Finds a Penny, Buys New Clothes with It, and Sits in Her Doorway (Motif Z32.3).
Parallels : Palestine-Crowfoot PEQ LXXXIII: 165-157 "Little Beetle"; Stephan (two versions) JPOS III 4:181-184 "Little Scarabee and Her Suitors"; al-Khalili (1979) 4 "The Cricket and Her Mother." Syria-Ramadan: 191-193 "The Cricket." Iraq-Mccarthy and Raffouli II 1 "Black Beetle"; Stevens 10 "The Blackbeetle Who Wished to Get Married." Cf. Lorimer 45 "The Sad Story of the Beetle, The Mouse and the Ant."
Salient Motifs: B211.1.5 Speaking cow [bull]; B211.1.6 Speaking camel; B21l.2.8 Speaking mouse; B211.4 Speaking insects; B281.2.2 Wedding of mouse and cockroach [cricket]; B620 Animal suitor; J1920 Absurd searches for the lost; L1122.2 Very small hero; R141 Rescue from well; R151 Husband rescues wife; T200 Married life; X142 The humor of small stature; Z32.3 (see above, under Type).
This humorous tale is very popular in Palestine, as seen in the number of parallels cited. We collected several versions of it as well, including one from Im Nabil (to be discussed below). All the Palestinian versions are closely parallel, utilizing even the same expressions in the cricket's refrain. The Iraqi versions do not end happily: the mouse (rat) falls into a jar of honey and drowns.
This tale uses animals to represent a human situation allegorically, with metaphor and symbol expressing socially sensitive themes. In-
deed, in these tales, although most bodily functions are referred to quite frankly, sexual themes are usually displaced through symbol. (Cf. Tale 21, where a thom wounds the girl's foot, drawing blood.) The dominant metaphor in the tale deals with size, referring to both social status and sexual compatibility, and the dominant symbol is the tail, which the mouse dangles in the water to bring his wife out. In our version the teller prepares the audience for this unusual event by asking first, "What was he to do?" Of course, the concern here could be merely with politeness, as it is impolite in Arab society to turn one's back on someone else. Yet the implications of the tail dangling in the water are better understood with reference to Im Nabil's version. When she came to this part of the tale, Im Nabil laughed out loud; her son, who was present during the taping session, interrupted her by saying, "What my mother really means is that the mouse puts his member in the water." Seen this way, the whole episode of falling in the water could be interpreted as an oblique reference to the couple's first sexual experience, especially since it is followed by a meal and a ritual cleansing.
24. THE SEVEN LEAVENINGS (Imm is-sabi` xamayir). Fatme (see Tale 1).
Type —MotifN825.3 : Old woman as helper.
Parallels : None located.
Salient Motifs : D2072.0.3 Ship held by magic; F591 Person who never laughs; K1847.1.1 Deceptive report of birth of heir; K1923.3 Barren woman pretends to bear child. Substitutes another woman's child; K2112 Woman slandered as adulteress; M411.5 Old woman's curse (satire); N825.3 Old woman as helper; Q458.1 Daily beatings as punishment; W181 Jealousy; Z142 Symbolic color: white; Z143 Symbolic color: black.
The two parts that form this tale are in reality two different tales brought together around the personality of the old woman and the single theme of wife beating. But the similarity stops there. In the first tale the husband does not undergo a process of self-discovery and remains oblivious to the deception practiced on him. In the second part, however, the husband is made aware by the old woman that his beating of his wife is based on a wrong assumption. The tale's narrative situation takes advantage of a common process in the Palestinian tradition and elsewhere, namely, the literalization of the metaphor of black on white—or, viewed the other way around, the unfolding of the tale's narrative structure can be seen as a metaphorizing of the literal statement about the black grapes on the white platter. In either case, there is something about this process which
seems not only congenial to the folktale spirit but also fundamental to folktale art, which thrives on these and other linguistic "sleights of hand."
25.THE GOLDEN ROD IN THE VALLEY OF VERMILION (Qazib id-Dahab fi Wadi l-`Aqiq). Šafi` (see Tale 5).
Types 1359; 1511 (Part I )—The Husband Outwits Adulteress and Paramour; The Faithless Queen.
Parallels : Syria—Ramadan: 84-88 "Lady Rose and King Pine."
Salient Motifs : B25 Man [woman]-dog; B80.2 Monster half-man [-woman], half-fish; D1163 Magic mirror; K1550.1 Husband discovers wife's adultery; K2112 Woman slandered as adulteress; Q451.4 Tongue cut off as punishment; Q451.5.1 Nose cut off as punishment for adultery; Q458.1 Daily beatings as punishment; S182 Girl fastened by hair to rafter; T230 Faithlessness in marriage; T351 Sword of chastity; T481 Adultery; W181 Jealousy.
Of all the tales in this collection, this one and "Soqak Boqak!" (Tale 21) are concerned most directly with sexuality. In Tale 21 the groom's sexual initiation was at issue, and here (as in Tale 24) the subject is irrational sexual jealousy. Both tales deal with the question of the man's sexual fears, and both are replete with sexual imagery and symbolism, either from the plant world (Tale 21) or using body parts with obvious phallic implications (hair, nose, tongue). The title itself is a direct statement of the theme of sexuality.
This tale demonstrates the narrative mastery of Šafi`, who carefully creates and maintains suspense through the tale-within-a-tale, reflecting the influence of the Thousand and One Nights with its wealth of such elaborate narrative devices. The purpose of weaving one narrative within another, of course, is to lend a measure of realism to the merchant's tale, since part of his story concerns the tale of the Golden Rod. The two tales are organically related, crossing narrative paths when the Golden Rod steals the merchant's wife at the end. The image of the mirror is central not only to the plot but to the narrative art itself, the tale-within-a-tale being itself a mirror image of the main tale. Thus at the end the two tales are connected when the heroine disappears into the mirror and out of the first tale into the second—that is, as if out of a real-life situation into a fiction.
26. MINJAL. Fatme (see Tale 1).
Types 1384 ; 1540—The Husband Hunts Three as Stupid as His Wife; The Student from Paradise.
Parallels : Palestine—`Abd al-Hadi "O Ramadan, Take Your Provi-
sions"; al-Sarisi 1985): 300 "Dirdabbe"; Schmidt and Kahle 1187 "Allerlei Leichtgläubige." Syria—Abu-Shanab: 103-106 "The Seller of Names." General Arabic—Katibah: 42-53 "The Wife Who Bought Herself a New Name"; Nowak, Type 421.
Salient Motifs : H1312.1 Quest for three persons as stupid as his wife; J2093 Valuables given away or sold for a trifle; J2326 The student from Paradise; J2326.1 Foolish woman gives swindler money for her parents in heaven; J2382 How did the cow get on the pole? (A fool hides his purse on a pole on a cliff. Rascal substitutes cow dung for money. Fool interested only in how the cow could have reached the purse); K343.1 Owner sent on errand and goods stolen; K346.1 Thief guards his pursuer's horse while the latter follows a false trail. Steals the horse; M205 Breaking of bargains or promises; T298 Reconciliation of separated couple.
In The Types (p. 412) Aarne and Thompson observe that Type 1384 "combines with many other types"—including Type 1540. Except for Nowak, all the Arabic versions cited are closely parallel, combining only these two types and none of the others mentioned by Aarne and Thompson. Moreover, all these versions start out with the episode of selling a name, which is apparently unique to the Arabic tradition. Because the two parts of this tale are so well integrated and always occur together in this tradition, it seems redundant (and somewhat confusing) to assign it two separate type numbers. Furthermore, given that the wife in the end gets her husband to address her by her new name, and in view of the importance in the Palestinian tradition of respecting the wife's wish to be addressed in whatever manner she chooses (cf. final episode of Tale 20), it would appear that the wife in Type 1384 may not be "stupid" after all. See Folktale : 168- 169 (where further references are cited) for a discussion of Type 1540, and p. 210 for Type 1384.
27. IM `EŠE. See Tale 4.
Type 1681 B-Fool as Custodian of Home and Animals, incorporating episodes belonging to various types, such as Motifs J1835 (Type 1211) The Peasant Woman (Man) Thinks the Cow Chewing Her Cud is Mimicking Her (Him). Kills the Cow; and J1871 (Type 1291b) Filling the Cracks with Butter.
Parallels: Palestine-al-Sarisi (1980) 11, (1985): 297-298 "`Eše and Im `Eše." Arabian Peninsula-al-Juhayman IV 8 "`Eše, Im `Eše, and Abu `Eše."
Salient motifs: J1873 Animals or objects kept warm; J1919.5 Geni-
tals cut off through ignorance; J2465.4 washing the child. Fool uses boiling water and kills it.
Im `Eše and Abu `Eše represent folk types that are usually referred to as "Fools and Numskulls" (Folktale: 190) -and so they are presented in both parallels. The tale from the Arabian Peninsula shares most of its details with ours, except for the ending, where the fools drown themselves in a well, into which they jump to satisfy their thirst without knowing how to swim. Although the other Palestinian example shares the major motif around which our tale revolves (J2465, Washing the child), it uses different details to demonstrate the foolishness of the characters (e.g., carrying the oven door, taking unbaked dough for a gift, and killing all 'Eše's pigeons by bathing them in boiling water).
The fool, says Thompson, "lives in a mental world of his own, and he may endow objects or animals with any qualities that suit his passing fancy" (Folktale: 190 ). While this observation does hold true for our characters, the overall effect of the tale is not necessarily comic. The tragicomic ending unifies the tale's seemingly random events, helping to weave them into a meaningful whole centering on the question of fertility.
28. CHICK EGGS (Bez faqaqis). Im Nabil (see Tale 17).
Type 480 —The Spinning-Women by the Spring. The Kind and the Unkind Girls.
Parallels : Palestine—`Abd al-Hadi 45 "Ya bir, ya banabir!"; al-Sarisi (1985): 163-164 "Orphan Girl and Prophet's Cow," 187-188 "Two Sisters"; Schmidt and Kahle 145 "Goldmarie und Pechmarie." Syria—Ramadan: 116-118 "Summer and Winter." Arabian Peninsula—al-Juhayman I 16 "Qat Qat." Algeria—Desparmet II: 265-278 "Le jardin de la bonne ghoule." North Africa—Scelles-Millie (1970) 13 "Les deux jeunes servants." Cf. Lorimer 13 "Little Fatima"; Dawkins 76 "The Two Women and the Twelve Months"; Megas 39 "The Twelve Months."
Salient Motifs : D454.2 Transformation: bread to another object; D457.13 Transformation: animal dung to another object; D472.1 Transformation: food to muck; K2222 Treacherous co-wife; L55 Stepdaughter heroine; L55.1 Abused stepdaughter; N825.2 Old man helper; Q41 Politeness rewarded; Q111 Riches as reward; Q415 Punishment: being eaten by demon; S322 Children abandoned (driven forth, exposed) by hostile relative; T511.7.2 Pregnancy from eating an egg; T579.8 Signs of pregnancy; W195 Envy.
The version from Schmidt and Kahle is a close parallel, duplicat-
ing our tale almost detail for detail. In the Arabian Peninsula version, Qat Qat is a desert monster who rewards a poor girl lost in the desert after she shows kindness to him by answering his questions nicely (e.g., "Who am I?" "You are the king of beasts and lord of the desert, and the source of blessing as well as destruction"). A neighbor girl is curious about this wealth and, after much insistence, learns how it was obtained, except that the first girl instructs her to give negative answers to the monster's questions (e.g., "Who am I?" "You are the destructive beast and the deceitful enemy"); thus the second girl meets her doom as a result of her jealousy and curiosity. In the tale set down by Scelles-Millie, a family of ghouls living near an oasis is so large that they need human servants to carry out their daily chores. The first servant they hire is idle and curious; she does not carry out her tasks correctly and is sent home. The second servant observes all the taboos and does her job well. When the two servants are married, the first is punished and the second is rewarded.
With reference to Roberts's major study of this tale (1958), our version, as well as the others discussed, belongs to the first of two major subtypes, "Encounters en Route" (Part II of the analysis, itself based on Roberts, of the AT Type 480). The Algerian version, in contrast, combines both subtypes, "Encounters en Route" and "Following the River." According to Roberts's analysis, this combination is an anomaly, because the second subtype does not normally incorporate encounters. Cf. the analysis of Tale 43, below.
29. THE GHOULEH OF TRANS-JORDAN (Gulit šarq il-Urdun). Narrated by a man in his nineties from the village of `En Yabrud, district of Ramallah.
Types 334; 956D —Household of the Witch; How the Girl Saves Herself When She Discovers a Robber Under Her Bed.
Parallels : Palestine—`Abd al-Hadi 13 "The Woodcutter and the Ghouleh"; Littmann 30 "The Tale of `Ali the Woodcutter"; Sirloin (1974): 191-196 "Pomegranate Seeds"; TM II 6:122-127 "Ilmaftuliyye"; TM IV 16:45-46 "I`reje." Iraq—Stevens 7 "Old Couple and Their Goat." Algeria—Desparmet II: 123-145 "Le Mqidech l'ouïe-fine et son frère l'embrumé."
Salient Motifs : G11.15 Cannibal demon; G247 Witch[es] dance[s]; G512 Ogre killed; J652 Inattention to warnings.
Despite minor variation (e.g., in Sirloin the ghouleh is the man's sister, and in Desparmet she is his maternal aunt), the essential features of this tale are fairly constant across all the parallels. The poor breadwinner in the family (peasant, woodcutter) is offered an easy
living by an older woman who pretends to be his aunt, and he prefers the comfort of having his food ready-to-hand rather than having to earn it. In some versions the wife is suspicious from the very start, but the husband refuses to believe that his benefactress is a ghouleh. In all the variants cited the wife escapes unharmed, and the husband is devoured, regretting his inattention to his wife's warnings.
The Algerian version forms the introductory part of a much longer tale, belonging to an altogether different tale type having to do with the adventures of two brothers. In that version the wife and her son are rescued from the ghouleh by a jinni, who marries the wife. She bears him a son, and the rest of the tale revolves around the friendship and love of the two half-brothers for each other.
30. BEAR-CUB OF THE KITCHEN (Dibbit il-mitbax). Im Nabil (see Tale 17).
Type 462—The Outcast Queens and the Ogress Queen.
Parallels : Palestine—`Abd al-Hadi 15 "Lady Mosquito"; al-Sarisi (1985): 240-241 "Son of Seven Mothers"; Schmidt and Kahle I 44 "Der Sohn der Blinden und die Galle des blauen Kamels im tiefen Meer." Egypt—Spitta-Bey 2 "Histoire d'ours de cuisine"; Nowak, Type 177 "Aus-der-Küche-holen." Cf. Jacobs (1969) 16 "Son of Seven Queens"; Calvino 113 "Son of Seven Queens."
Salient Motifs : D2136.2 Castle magically transported; E712.7 Soul hidden in [water] bottle; F234.2.5 Fairy in the form of a beautiful young woman; G72.2 Starving woman abandoned in cave eats newborn child; G211.5 Witch in form of an insect; H931 Tasks assigned in order to get rid of hero; H1212 Quest assigned because of reigned illness; K956 Murder by destroying external soul; K975.2 Secret of external soul learned by deception; L71 Only youngest of a group of imprisoned women refuses to eat her newborn child; S165 Mutilation: putting out eyes; S435 Cast-off wife abandoned in pit; S438 Abandoned queen blinded; S451 Outcast wife at last united with husband and children; T581.2 Child of woman abandoned in pit; T615 Supernatural growth; Z215 Hero "son of seven mothers."
Although both Schmidt and Kahle and Spitta-Bey are listed in the bibliography that opens The Types of the Folktale , no Arabic references are cited in the geographic distribution following the analysis for this type, where mention is made only of twenty-four Indian versions. It is also regrettable that Schmidt and Kahle, careful as they were with the colloquial text of the tales, did not obtain from their raconteurs the Arabic names of the tales they recorded. As we have already seen from previous tales (and from Spitta-Bey above), these names often co-occur. Indeed, one of the most intriguing aspects of
this particular tale is its name. Bears have been extinct in Palestine for many hundreds of years, although there were still some in the forests of northern Syria until recently. It is not dear why the child's nimbleness and stealth should be compared to a bear's, particularly since in popular speech the term bear connotes a clumsy person.
See the notes provided by Jacobs (p. 248), where other parallels are cited, the most important being those from Lorraine (Cosquin) and Sicily (Gonzenbach). Following Cosquin, Jacobs categorically asserts that this tale is of Indian origin.
Nowak summarizes the version found in Schmidt and Kahle under her type number 189 but does not provide the AT equivalent (Type 462).
31. THE WOMAN WHOSE HANDS WERE CUT OFF (Li-mqatta`at id-dayyat). Narrated by a twenty-two-year-old woman from the village of Rammun, district of Ramallah.
Type 706 —(Parts I, II, IV ) The Maiden without Hands.
Parallels : Lebanon—al-Bustani: 13-40 "Lamis, Princess of Beirut." Syria—Ramadan: 152-154 "Woman with Cut-Off Hands." Arabian Peninsula—al-Juhaynan I 19 "Salim, His Wife, and His Sister."
Salient Motifs : B491. x Helpful serpent; B511.1.2 Snake heals mutilated maiden [with magic herbs]; D958 Magic thorn; D1513 Charm removes thorn; E782.1 Hands restored; H11.1 Recognition by telling life history; K2110 Slanders; K2126.96.36.199 Innocent woman accused of eating [her] newborn children; K2155.1 Blood smeared on innocent person brings accusation of murder; K2212.2 Treacherous sister-in-law; L111.4.2 Orphan heroine; Q451.1 Hands cut off as punishment; W181 Jealousy.
The version from the Arabian Peninsula pits the sister against the wife, who is having an affair in her husband's absence. The sister discovers the affair, and to protect herself the wife feeds the sister the eggs of the hummar , a desert bird. (Compare the manner in which pregnancy takes place in Tale 28.) The sister's belly swells, and the brother abandons her in the desert. She gives birth to a little hummar bird, which feeds her and takes care of all her needs, eventually revealing the situation to her brother by alighting on his house wall and singing a little ditty. The brother follows the bird to the sister's cave in the desert, where they have a touching reunion.
In the Lebanese version, in contrast, the conflict is not between wife and sister but rather between wife and daughter. A king marries
a woman who merely pretends friendship for her husband's beloved daughter. But when the wife proves unable to bear children, the king's affections shift back to the daughter and the wife becomes jealous. She then weaves a web of intrigue that leads to the cutting off of the daughter's hands and her banishment. This elaborate version in-eludes several adventures under Part III ("The Calumniated Wife") that are missing from ours.
Nowak summarizes this Lebanese version under her Type 199, but incorrectly provides Type 707 (rather than 706) as the AT equivalent. Thompson discusses this type (Folktale : 120) in connection with other tales of slandered wives; see the discussion following Tale 2 above.
One element common to both this tale and another tale in this collection involving brothers and sisters (Tale 42) involves the revelation of the sister's situation through the telling of a story (Motif H11.1).
32. N'AYYIS (Little Sleepy One). See Tale 22.
Type 425B —The Disenchanted Husband: The Witch's Tasks.
Parallels : Syria—Ramadan: 63-67 "The King's Son and the Jinn Woman," 144-147 "Leave Her Alone, Sandman."
Salient Motifs : D2176.3 Evil spirit exorcised; F165.6.1 Other world (fairyland) as place of sorrowful captivity; F302.3.1.3 Man is carried to fairyland by fairy and marries her; F324.3 Youth abducted by fairy; F375 Mortals as captives in fairyland; F382 Exorcising fairies; G273.1 Witch powerless when one makes the sign of the cross; H923.1 Task assigned before wife may rescue husband from supernatural power; H970 Help in performing tasks; K1847 Deception by substitution of children; L162 Lowly heroine marries prince; R47 Captivity in lower world; R152 Wife rescues husband; R152.3 Father rescues children; T670 Adoption of children.
Although the motif of fairies taking human lovers or husbands who are later disenchanted (F324.3) is common both in Palestinian and Arabic folklore and in Western folklore (see Folktale : 97-102, 246-253), and even though the salient motifs in this version exist in other traditions as well (as evidenced by the assignment of numbers to them), we have been unable to locate a parallel for our tale. No single available version combines the motifs listed as "N`ayyis" does, although, taken together, the two Syrian versions form a close parallel. Indeed, the type number suggested for this tale is an approximation at best.
What is intriguing about this tale is the manner in which the disen-
chantment is effected. Disenchantment by means of the sign of the cross or by pronouncing an appropriate religious formula (e.g., "In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful!") is common in both Eastern and Western folklore, but the notion of involving a surrogate bride to act out, or mimic, in the human world events supposedly taking place in fairyland as a means of disenchantment appears to be unique to this tale.
33. IM'AWWAD AND THE GHOULEH (Im `Awwad w-il-gule). Narrated by a woman in
her seventies from Rammun, district of Ramallah.
Type —Motif G302.3.3 : Demon in form of old woman.
Parallels : None located.
Salient Motifs : C742 Tabu: striking monster twice; G250 Recognition of witches; G302.3.3 Demon in form of old woman; G312 Cannibal ogre; G512.3 Ogre burned to death.
This tale belongs to a class of tales in which there is an encounter between a woman and a ghouleh. Two other such tales are included in this collection, Tales 19 and 29. Another tale belonging to this group but that we did not include incorporates Motifs G211.1.3 (Witch in form of cow) and B214.3 (Laughing cow). In this tale a poor woodcutter finds a cow in the wild and keeps her. One day, while the wife is milking her, the cow laughs. The wife tells her husband that she suspects the cow to be a ghouleh, but he refuses to believe her (Motif J652, Inattention to warnings). One night the wife escapes with the children, leaving the husband to be devoured by the ghouleh. In the tale of the laughing cow, "Im `Awwad," and Tale 29, the woman always escapes, leaving either her husband or her son to be devoured by the ghouleh. These tales all teach the importance of respecting the wife's opinion. In Tale 19, in contrast, a newlywed bride is encouraged to share her secrets with her husband from the very beginning of the marriage relationship.
34. THE MERCHANT'S DAUGHTER (Bint it-tajir). Narrated by a woman in her eighties from Gaza.
Types 327C; 328; 1122 —The Devil (Witch) Carries the Hero Home in a Sack; The Boy Steals the Giant's Treasure; Ogre's Wife Killed Through Other Tricks.
Parallels : Palestine—al-Sarisi (1985): 181-182 "Woodling." General Arabic.
Salient Motif : F821.1.4 Wooden coat; G61 Relative's flesh eaten unwittingly; G61.2 Mother recognizes child's flesh when it is served to be eaten; G81 Unwitting marriage to cannibal; G500 Ogre de-
feated; G530.2 Help from ogre's daughter (or son); G550 Rescue from ogre; G610 Theft from ogre; H94 Identification by ring; K521 Escape by disguise; K527 Escape by substituting another person in place of the intended victim; K620 Escape by deceiving the guard; K1821.9 Escape by wooden covering; R11.1 Princess (maiden) abducted by monster; R111.1 Princess (maiden) rescued from captor; R169.5 Hero rescued by friend [neighbor].
As we said in our discussion of Tale 32, the motifs that constitute this tale are common in Arabic folklore, but their arrangement into the narrative pattern found here is apparently unique to the Palestinian tradition since the version recorded by al-Sarisi is a very close parallel. The type numbers adduced are approximations at best.
In the Palestinian tale "The Shepherd's Cave" (Bauer: 212-214), a similar
strategy to that here is used to summon help. A shepherd is attacked by bandits,
who tie him up and slaughter some of his animals to feed themselves. He begs to
be released so that he may perform for them on his musical instrument. They
untie him, and he improvises a song that summons help from his sister. The motif
of wearing a wooden dress for disguise (F821.1.4) appears to be fairly common in
folktales. It occurs, among other places, in the Iraqi tale "Dungara Khshebyan"
(Stevens 5) and the Chilean tale the "Little Stick Figure" (Pino-Saavedra 20),
where the heroine puts on a wooden dress to escape from a lecherous father. In
her comment on the Iraqi tale, Stevens notes that the wooden dress "seems to
indicate some Dryad legend" (p. 293).
Thompson discusses this tale (Folktale : 37) in connection with a basic type (AT 327) that involves a whole constellation of events centering on children and an ogre (AT 327A-G). Tale 6 in this collection also belongs in this group (AT 327B) and, as we said, is one of the most popular in the country. An important feature of "The Merchant's Daughter," however, is that it bridges the gender gap: it is an adventure story belonging to a popular type, yet it involves a girl rather than a boy. There is no hint in either The Folktale or The Types that this group of tales could have heroines rather than heroes.
35. POMEGRANATE SEEDS (Hab Rumman). See Tale 22.
Type 894 (Parts I, III, IV )—The Ghoulish Schoolmaster and the Stone of Pity.
Parallels : Palestine—`Abd al-Hadi 25 "Sitt il-Yadab"; al-Sarisi (1980) 5, (1985): 127-132 "Pure Pomegranate and Gold"; Sirhan 3 "Sitt il-Yadab." Syria—Ramadan: 105-108 "Pure Pomegranate and
Gold"; Abu-Shanab: 117-123 "Pomegranate Seeds." Arabian Peninsula—al-Juhayman II 21 "Orphan Girl and Sorcerer Schoolmaster." South Arabia—Jahn II (quoted in Cosquin: 114). Egypt— Artin Pacha 4 "La princesse Tag-el-Agem"; Ibrahim: 68 "Kaskol dahab." Algeria—Desparmet I:343-354 "La femme qui se sauva de chez un ghoul." Cf. Noy 48 "Deceived Girl and Stone of Suffering"; Dawkins 33 "Ogre Schoolmaster"; Megas 29 "Sleeping Prince." See also Cosquin: 112-121 for a discussion and further references.
Salient Motifs : D953 Magic twig; D1174 Magic box; D1208 Magic whip; D2072.0.2 Animal rendered immovable; D2072.2 Magic paralysis by curse; D2176.3 Evil spirit exorcised; G11.9 Ogre schoolmaster. Girl sees schoolmaster eat human flesh. Refuses to tell him what she saw. He persecutes her. G442.1 Ogre abducts newborn, keeping it captive for seven years; K2155.1 Blood smeared on innocent person brings accusation of murder; K2188.8.131.52 Innocent woman accused of eating her newborn children; L221 Modest request: present from the journey; M205.2 Curse as punishment for broken promise; N711.1 Prince (king) finds maiden in woods (tree) and marries her; Q64 Patience rewarded; R111.2.5 Girl rescued from tree; S451 Outcast wife at last reunited with husband and children; T210.2 Faithful husband; T298 Reconciliation of separated couple.
In the European tradition, Type 894 usually occurs in combination with the episode of the Sleeping Prince (designated as Part II in the analysis of the type), and it is in relation to this episode that Dawkins discusses his version (p. 175). In the Arabic tradition, however, the two tales are always separate (e.g., they are Nos. 3 and 4 in Artin Pacha).
Except for the ending, our version shares all its narrative details with one or another of the Arabic tales. The lost slipper and the sheikh's rhyming question are also common to the Syrian, Egyptian, and Algerian variants. The Syrian tale found in Abu-Shanab shares almost word for word the sheikh's question, including the rhyming scheme. In all these variants the girl runs away from the sheikh in horror but keeps his secret regardless of his cruelty; she then marries a personage of high degree and eventually regains her children and her status. Motifs G11.9, G261, and K2116.1, among others, are common to all these versions. Lodging with the same type of shopkeepers (with similar disastrous results) and taking shelter in a tree (Motif N711.1) occur in the Algerian version. In most variants the king loves his wife (Motif 210.1) and does not want to see her punished, although the mode of punishment does vary in degree of
cruelty from one version to another (ours being the least cruel). The husband's journey (Motif L221), or something like it, is also a common theme.
The differences, however, are significant, especially in the way the ogre-sheikh is presented. Our story has him as both man and ghoul, an ambiguous figure who tortures an innocent maiden but rewards her, albeit against his will. In the elaborate Algerian version, the ambiguity in the sheikh's character is resolved at the very beginning by making him a ghoul—that is, a monster. Furthermore, the girl does not see him devouring one of her classmates, as in all the other Arabic versions, but in the embarrassing position of sitting on a donkey's head while cooking the donkey in a huge caldron. Yet his punishment for her is no less cruel than in the other tales.
In his summary of the Greek tale, Dawkins refers to the schoolmaster as a "monstrous and demoniac creature"; in the Mehri (Jahn) version, too, he is presented as a monster who kills the queen's children in front of her the moment they are born. In the Egyptian version, the girl sees her teacher, not eating a fellow schoolmate or skinning him (as in the tale from the Arabian Peninsula), but beating another girl almost to the point of death. Yet, although just as vengeful as the others, at the end of the tale he is presented as a benign figure whose purpose, he declares, was to test her patience. This detail provides a good clue about the meaning of the maiden and the sheikh's encounter: one is reminded of the tale of Job, who, like Pomegranate Seeds, is tested by the Devil acting at the behest of Divine Providence. Like Pomegranate Seeds, Job is rewarded in the end for his patience. Other than asking his fearful question, the sheikh in our tale never addresses the gift directly or attempts, as he does in the Egyptian and some other versions, to explain his actions to her. He remains an enigmatic instrument of fate throughout.
All the Palestinian variants share the same ending, following the pattern for Type 894 with its final episode of "The Stone of Patience or Pity" (Part IV of the type analysis). In every other version the persecuted wife asks her husband to bring back from his journey two objects (usually a knife and a box), which she then uses to tell her woes to. The husband, meanwhile, curious to know what these strange objects are for, stations himself outside her door and overhears her story. Our tale, in contrast, ends on more of an exorcism than a mere recitation of woes. Pomegranate Seeds' whipping of the box of myrrh with the seven switches of pomegranate wood is a dramatic enactment of her (bitter) situation, involving a magic sympathy between her name and the type of wood she uses.
36. THE WOODCUTTER (Il-hattab). Fatme (see Tale 1).
Type 563—The Table, the Ass, and the Stick.
Parallels : Palestine—al-Sarisi (1985): 176-177 "The Club"; Sirhan 3 "The Wooden Bowl"; TM III 14:29-34 "Abu Salim, His Wife, and His Children." South Arabia (Hadramaut)—Hein and Müller 28 "Die drei Wunderdinge." Algeria (Berber)—Basset (1903) 11 "Les deux frères, la marmite et le bâton." Morocco—Alarcón y Santón 10 "Historia del Pescador." North Africa—Scelles-Millie (1972) 8 "La petite massue," 9 "Djin el-Behari." General Arabic—Nowak, Type 216 (but not 303, for which see discussion following Tale 43, below). Cf. Noy 21 "Coffee Mill, Tray, and Stick"; Kunos: 40-52 "Mad Mehmed" (last episode).
Salient Motifs : D861.2 Magic object stolen by neighbor; D881.2 Recovery of magic object by use of magic cudgel; D1030.1 Food supplied by magic; D1401.1 Magic club (stick) beats person; D1470.1 Magic wishing-object; D1472.1.20 Magic plate supplies food and drink; D1601.5 Automatic cudgel; F402.6.3 Demons live in well; J2355.1 Fool loses magic objects by talking about them; W195 Envy.
This tale resembles the type very closely, as evidenced by the fact that most of the motifs listed above may be found in the type analysis. The great popularity in the Arabic tradition of the punishment by a magic stick motif can be seen in the number of parallels adduced (with the Nowak reference adding a version from Tunisia). Even more Arabic and other parallels may be found in the informative footnotes following each of the Scelles-Millie tales.
The Moroccan version recorded by Alarcón y Santón has an interesting twist. In this tale the hero's neighbors betray his possession of a magic lamp to the cadi, who confiscates it for his own use only to be beaten by four slaves who emerge from it. The cadi in turn presents it to the sultan, who also is beaten by the four slaves and ends up repenting his greed. The details of the version supplied by Basset (reprinted from his earlier Nouveaux contes populaires berbères , Paris, 1897) may be surmised from the title; there it is the richer brother who deprives the poorer one of his magic pot.
All the Palestinian versions are close parallels, and the Hadrami version is close to all these as well. In that tale a poor man is given three gifts, although by a person who is not specifically stated to be of the jinn. The first gift is a magic she-goat that gives birth to a hundred gold pieces every day (perhaps a polite version of Motif B103.1.1, Gold-producing ass. Droppings of gold). The second gift is a wooden bowl that fills with food on command. The first is stolen by the sultan's son and the second by a carpenter, with substitute ob-
jects returned to the rightful owner (as in our version). The third gift is a magic stick that beats the covetous thieves until they return the original objects. This stick is used differently in this tale, however; each thief, on seeing the stick, is curious about it and starts to play with it, but it immediately beats him into unconsciousness.
Of the two parallels recorded by Scelles-Millie, No. 8 is quite dose to ours. An aging woodcutter, attempting to chop down a particular tree, disturbs its resident jinni, who sends him away with a magic semolina-grinding mill, bidding him to keep it a secret. His wife betrays their secret to the neighbors, who borrow the mill and keep it, bringing back an ordinary mill in its place. The woodcutter does not suspect the neighbors but assumes simply that the mill's effectiveness has run out. Eventually he becomes poor again and has to earn his living by chopping wood. The jinni gives him a stick, which, on being given the command "Petite massue, fais ton travail!" descends on the neighbors and beats them until they agree to return the magic mill.
Thompson notes that this tale appears in a collection of Chinese Buddhist legends as No. 468 in Edouard Chavanne's Cinq cent contes et apologues extraits du Tripitake chinois , vol. 3 (see Folktale : 72-75).
37. THE FISHERMAN (Is-sammak). Almaza (see Tale 14).
Types 465; 1930 —The Man Persecuted Because of His Beautiful Wife; Schlaraffenland.
Parallels : Types 465 and 1930: Palestine—`Abd al-Hadi 59 "The Turtle"; al-Sarisi (1985): 193-194 "Holding on to Good Fortune"; Sirloin I "A Tale Consisting of Lies from the Beginning to the End"; Spoer and Haddad: 167-173 "A Lie Through and Through." Egypt—Spitta-Bey (1883) 4 "Histoire du pecheur et de son ills"; el-Shamy 3 "The One Sesame Seed." Sudan—Mitchnik: 79-84 "The Fisherman and the Prince." Cf. A. Shah (1975): 62-68 "The Bead-Seller and the Jinn's Sister."
Type 465: Arabic parallels—none located (Nowak 177 and 227, as indicated in her index, p. 408, are only marginally related to this type number, if at all). Cf. Dawkins 18B "The Animal Wife"; Walker and Uysal: 55-63 "Son of the Fisherman." See Cosquin: 289-296 for a general discussion of this type, including reference (p. 293) to Armenian and other Turkish versions.
Type 1930: Palestine—al-Khalili 20 "A Tale of Lies from Beginning to End"; al-Sarisi (1985): 392-393 "A Tale of Lies from Beginning to End"; Schmidt and Kahle I 33 "Eine Geschichte, die von An-fang bis zu Ende eine Lüge ist." Syria—as part of Oestrup 6 "Les
trois princes et l'oiseau d'or." Iraq—Campbell (1954): 83-87 "Story of the Lie Which Could Not Be Believed." North Africa—Scelles-Millie (1972) 7 "Le mensonge le plus doux." General Arabic—Basset (1924) II 22 "Le plus menteur des trois"; Katibah (1928): 258-266 "Story That Is All Lies." See Chauvin VIII: 62-63, no. 27, for references regarding unusual infants, particularly the "infant who speaks before or just after his birth." Cf. Noy 44 "The Great Lie"; Lorimer 2 "City of Nothing in the World." See Webber for a discussion of the "all lies" story in a Tunisian context. See also Schwarzbaum: 197-202 for a general discussion and further references.
Salient Motifi : D1030.1 Food supplied by magic; D1652.1.1 Inexhaustible bread; F234.2.5 Fairy in the form of a beautiful young woman; F236.3 Fairies with belts and hats; F303 Wedding of mortal and fairy; F343.7 Fairy-wife furnishes provisions; F343.13 Fairy gives mortal a child; F346.0.1 Fairy serves mortal; F885 Extraordinary field; H509.5 Test: telling skillful lie; H931.1 Prince envious of hero's wife assigns hero tasks; H1233.2.1 Quest accomplished with help of wife; J1920 Absurd searches for the lost; N831.1.1 Mysterious housekeeper is fairy mistress; T585.2 Child speaks at birth; W181 Jealousy.
In the Introduction we explored the notion of lying as a generarive metaphor in the definition of the folktale form itself. The multifunctional Tale of Lies helps to establish this point more firmly. Not only is it part of a larger tale's contents, but it also, like the tale-within-a-tale in "The Golden Rod," serves as a counterpoint to the frame tale's believability. As unrealistic as the story of the fisherman may be, it seems fairly credible in comparison with the outrageous events in the Tale of Lies. This kind of imaginative depth and reflexive commentary is an important aspect of the folktale genre. This thought may be better appreciated in relation to the Tale of Lies found in Oestrup (which itself is part of a larger tale). There, two brothers on a search for the Golden Bird for their father each stand to win a magic garden if they can tell a tale that is all lies from beginning to end. "That's easy," says the eldest, and he commences: "Once there was a merchant ..."—whereupon the owner of the garden, an exacting critic, stops him on the pretext that because merchants exist his tale could not be considered all lies. The second brother falls into the same trap ("Once there was a woman and her husband"). Therefore, telling a tale consisting of nothing but lies is not as easy as it appears, for the esthetic foundation of fiction itself is thereby called into question. Only a genuine hero, the youngest son (who tells a tale substantially similar to ours), is capable of the feat. In a thoughtful commentary on
this tale, Scelles-Millie (p. 87) summarizes our point thus: "Nous avons traduit le mot 'kad'ab' litteralement par mensonge. En réalité, il s'agit plutôt d'une allégorie, d'une parabole, apparantée aux procédés littéraires des mystiques islamiques."
The Tale of the Fisherman (Type 465) does not seem to exist on its own in the Arabic tradition; it has been parasitized (so to speak) by the Tale of Lies. Told by itself, the Tale of Lies offers a good field for the inventive power of the folk imagination. Basset (1924, II:22) locates Type 1930 in a written version (Rawa'ih al-`awatir [Scents of perfume], Cairo, 1302H). In that version three men find a dinar and agree that it should go to the one who can tell the best lie; the first man then relates a tale that is similar to ours in some details (including the field on top of the tree, Motif F885, and the knife in the watermelon) but is not as extensive in its fictional scope. In the versions recorded by Schmidt and Kahle and by Scelles-Millie the Tale of Lies constitutes the bridewealth a prospective husband must bring to win the hand of the king's daughter.
As for Type 465, its opening episode exhibits considerable variety. In some versions the king simply sees a beautiful woman (the wife of a bead seller in the Afghani version and of a fisherman in most others) and wants her for himself. When informed that the woman is the wife of another man, the king (or prince) sets the husband impossible tasks, all of which he performs successfully with the help of his wife. The tasks assigned also vary. In the Greek tale, for example, the husband must "overlay the palace with gold outside and inside"; in the Afghani version he must provide the king with a curtain for the latticework behind the throne; and in the Egyptian version of el-Shamy he must come to the king's palace "riding-walking." In the Sudanese tale his first task is to appear before the prince both laughing and crying, and his second is to come both dressed and naked. Despite differences in detail, however, all versions coincide in essential features, especially in making the wife the savior of the husband, who, after each task assignment, invariably comes to her crying that he is about to lose his life. In each case the wife sends him to one of her relatives, either her mother or her sister, who is able to help the husband to fulfill his task and thus saves his life. For more discussion and references, see Folktale : 93.
38. THE LITTLE SHE-GOAT (Il-`anze l-i`neziyye). Fatme (see Tale 1). Types 123; 2032 —The Wolf and the Kids; The Cock's Whiskers.
Parallels : Palestine—al-Sarisi (1980) 18, (1985): 327 "Little She-Goat"; Sirhan 6 "Little She-Goat"; Stephan 1 "Courageous Goat,"
2, 3 "The Goat and the Ghoul." Iraq—Nowak, Type 22. Egypt— Nowak, Type 16. Tunisia—Contes de Tunisie : 117-118 "Hamkam et Zamzam"; Nowak, Type 16. Morocco—Nowak, Type 25.
Salient Motifi : F913 Victims rescued from swallower's belly; J144 Well-trained kid does not open door to wolf [hyena]; K971 Wolf comes in the absence of mother and eats up the kids (motif found under the type number but not in Thompson's Motif-Index ); K1839.1 Wolf puts flour on his paws to disguise himself [nonvocal deception: cutting off the tail].
This tale's popularity among the Palestinian people can be seen from its inclusion in nearly every available collection of Palestinian folktales. It is undoubtedly popular in other parts of the Mashreq as well, including the Arabian Peninsula, but for some reason collectors have ignored it. Of the Palestinian parallels, only Stephan 2 and 3 incorporate AT 2032, but all share the she-goat's rhyming challenge at the end. In some versions the animal that loses its young is not always a she-goat, and the aggressor is not necessarily a hyena, but the general outline of the tale remains constant. See Folktale : 39-40.
39. THE OLD WOMAN AND HER CAT (Il-`ajuz w-il-biss). Narrated by a woman in her late sixties from Bet Imrin, district of Nablus (also Tale 40).
Type 2034 —The Mouse [Cat] Regains Its Tail.
Parallels : Palestine—Schmidt and Kahle II 84 "Wie der Fuchs wieder zu seinem Schwanz kam." Iraq—Stevens z "Goat and Old Woman." Tunisia—Contes de Tunisie : 77—79 "Omi Sissi et son chat." Cf. Kunos: 97-101 "One Piece of Liver"; Lorimer 30 "Sad Tale of Mouse's Tail." See Schwarzbaum: 321 for extensive references in the Jewish and world traditions.
Salient Motifi : Z41.4 The mouse [cat] regains its tail.
Like the tale Of the little she-goat, this one depicts scenes from Palestinian village life, demonstrating the interdependence of various elements within the community. In the Schmidt and Kahle version, which is quite close to ours, the animal that loses its tail is a fox. In the Tunisian version an old woman buys some halvah for her daughter, the cat eats it, and she cuts off its tail; to regain it, the cat must go through a cycle similar in outline to the one here, but different in detail. Thompson notes the broad reach of this type in the popular tradition: "Not only is this [type] common all over Europe, but there are interesting analogues from all parts of Africa" (Folktale : 233). The Iraqi version, it must be noted, is not an exact parallel, as it belongs more accurately to Type 2030 (The Old Woman and Her
Pig), but it is close enough to exemplify the popularity of this general type of cumulative tale among the Arab peoples.
40 DUNGLET (B`erun). See Tale 39.
Type 2028 —The Troll (Wolf) Who Was Cut Open.
Parallels : Palestine—Hanauer: 145-146. Cf. Lorimer 8 "Nukhudu, or Master Pea"; Dorson (1958) 216 "I Eat a Barrel of Pickle."
Salient Motifs : C758.1 Monster born because of hasty wish of parents; D437.4 Transformation: excrements to person; D1002 Magic excrements; D1610.6.4 Speaking excrements; F913 Victims rescued from swallower's belly; G33 Child born as cannibal; G376 Ogre in shape of small boy; T548.1 Child born in answer to prayer; T550 Monstrous births; T556 Woman gives birth to a demon; Z33.4 The fat troll.
The fact that in this tale blind men finally kill the troll is certainly a significant contribution to the type, for it enlarges the meaning of the troll image to include the realm of illusion. The blind men are able to overcome the troll because they cannot see him, and therefore do not know the danger he represents (if indeed he even represents a danger at all). Also, because they are strangers to him, they do not share the bonds of mutual obligations that tie him to his extended family. Another feature that distinguishes both Palestinian versions from the basic type is their focus on the relationship between the child and the family. Indeed, the equation of children first with dung and then with trolls, which is not found in the type, is undoubtedly susceptible to interpretation on many levels at once. Generation itself, certainly a major theme in the culture (as discussed in the Introduction), is brought under a harsh light in this tale.
The swallowing aspect of this tale connects it with the story of Cronus, who, fearing a prophecy that his sons will destroy him, swallows them as soon as they are born. When Zeus, whom Rhea saves by presenting Cronus with a stone wrapped in a blanket in the baby's stead, later rises up and kills his father, all the swallowed children, including the stone wrapped in a blanket, emerge unharmed.
41. THE LOUSE (Il-qamle). See Tale 4.
Type 2021 * —The Louse Mourns her Spouse, the Flea.
Parallels : Palestine—al-Sarisi (1985): 330 "The Flea." Lebanon— Katibah (1928): 24-28 "All for the Death of a Flea." Syria—Ramadan: 79-82 "The Louse and the Flea." Arabian Peninsula—al-Juhayman I 4 "Mosquito and Louse." Cf. Lorimer 4 "Susku and Mushu" (second half), 45 "Sad Story of Beetle, Mouse and Ant" (second half).
This tale belongs in a group of chain tales involving death, with animal actors (Types 2021-2024). All are closely related in content, with the death of an apparently insignificant member of the chain having a catastrophic effect throughout the system. The Lebanese version (Katibah), in fact, states this theme explicitly at the end: "Come along with me, Abu Mahmoud," says the goat owner, "come to the goat-pen! There you shall have a handful of jumper princes [fleas] lest the whole world go to rack and ruin for the sake of a flea" (p. 28). The particular type number for this tale in The Types was assigned on the basis of a single Walloon example; the list of parallels given here provides several more from the Middle East. The example from the Arabian Peninsula, although it belongs to this group, does not fit any of these type numbers because it does not involve an actual death; death is its theme, though. See Schwarzbaum: 247 for a Type 2021 parallel in the Jewish tradition.
42. THE WOMAN WHO FELL INTO THE WELL (Illi wiq`it fi l-bir). See Tale 4.
Type 883C —The Boys with Extraordinary Names.
Parallels : General Arabic—Nowak, Type 338. Cf. Walker and Uysal: 215-218 "Immoral Khoja and Daughter of Aga."
Salient Motifs : H11.1 Recognition by telling life history; K2150 Innocent made to appear guilty; K2258 Treacherous peasant; R141 Rescue from well; R215 Escape from home; R215 Escape from execution; Z71.5.1 Seven brothers and one sister.
Judging from the plot summary provided by Nowak under her Type 338, the parallels she cites, except for the unusual names of the children, are apparently not exact. Similarly, the Turkish variant really belongs to AT 883A (The Innocent Slandered Maiden), but in their discussion of this tale (pp. 290-291n.11) Walker and Uysal summarize the plot of a version of AT 883C that seems to be very close to ours. The names of the children in that tale are "What Have We Become?" "What Shall We Become?" and "What Shall We Inherit?" The authors point out that both versions cited in The Types for AT 883C were collected in Anatolia. We have already on several occasions identified parallels between Turkish tales and ours (and in one instance—Tale 8—the Turkish version was as similar as the other Palestinian versions cited). The prevalence of close parallels between the two traditions should not be surprising, considering the prolonged cultural contact between the Turkish and Arab peoples and the Ottoman dominance over most parts of the Arab world for over four hundred years. Taking also into consideration the existence of several Arabic versions of AT 883A (cited in The Types ), it is impos-
sible to determine whether this general type is originally Arabic or Turkish. We may speculate, however, and with some certainty given the emphasis on fate in our tale, that it is Islamic in origin.
43. THE RICH MAN AND THE POOR MAN (Il-gani w-il-faqir). Fatme (see Tale 1).
Type 480—The Spinning-Women by the Spring. The Kind and the Unkind Girls.
Parallels : Palestine—`Abd al-Hadi 62 "Pour out the Molasses," 63 "The Woman Who Gathers Wood"; Littmann (1905) 14 "The Two Brothers"; Schmidt and Kahle II 87 "Vom Tischlein deck dich!"; TM I 1:153-160 "The Tale of `Abdalla." Egypt—Katibah (1929): 52-76 "After Distress—Relief." Sudan—al-Shahi and Moore 14 "The Two Sisters." Tunisia—al-`Irwi IV: 153-160 "Intelligence Enriches Him Who Has It"; Contes de Tunisie : 37-39 "La poule aux oeufs d'or." Cf. A. Shah (1969): 126-131 "The Rich' Merchant, the Poor Merchant, and the Jinn."
Salient Motifs : D1454.2 Treasure falls from mouth; F92.2 Person swallowed up by earth and taken to lower world; F101 Return from lower world; H1023.13 Catching a man's [woman's] broken wind; J2401 Fatal imitation; L200 Modesty brings reward; M431.2 Curse: toads [scorpions] from mouth; Q111 Riches as reward; W195 Envy.
We have already discussed a version of this type in our analysis of Tale 28. But although this tale also clearly belongs to AT 480, by its title it could belong to a group of tales about two brothers rather than two sisters. Yet the only type acknowledged by Aarne-Thompson where two brothers, one rich and greedy, the other poor but contented, undergo a similar set of changes as in our tale is AT 676 (Open Sesame)—and indeed, there are some affinities, such as the phrase in our tale "Earth, open up and swallow me!" With `Abd al-Hadi 63, too, which also dearly belongs to AT 480, a connection with AT 676 exists in the episode of the piece of gold sticking to the rich neighbor's scales (see The Types : 238). None of the parallels with male protagonists, however, properly belong to AT 676, even though they do have affinities with it; likewise with AT 480, since by its very structure that type is about women. The parallels, then, seem to form a composite of both tales, belonging properly to neither and having no type number that accurately fits them.
Now, in these parallels, when the protagonists are male, they are always brothers, yet when the protagonists are female they are not always sisters. Schmidt and Kahle, for example, equate their tale with Grimm 36, and Nowak follows them in classifying her Type
303 as AT 563. Although this typology is hot incorrect, their tale, like all the others with male protagonists, is as much about the brothers' relationship as it is about the acquisition, loss, and recovery of the magic food-providing objects. Further, some of the versions with sisters as protagonists (e.g., Egypt and Sudan) also focus more on the relationship between the sisters than on their changed fortunes (rich to poor and vice versa). Here, then, is another set of affinities that relates our tale with AT 676: the fact that by calling the tale "The Rich Man and the Poor Man ," and by making the protagonists not only sisters but also sisters who are wives of two brothers thereby doubling the bonds of relationship, the teller herself understood the tale to be about kindness and unkindness among siblings—a fact which does not figure prominently in the content of AT 480.
What emerges from these deliberations is the idea that, to some extent, the act of typing is a sort of culturally determined compromise. Meaning emerges not only from the tale's structure (its type number, so to speak), but also from its content. Thus, as far as the type index is concerned, the fact that the protagonists in our tale are sisters is incidental, whereas in Palestinian and Arab culture this fact assumes an overwhelming significance. This realization does not necessarily play havoc with the type index, but it does show that types must be determined with some caution.
44. MA'RUF THE SHOEMAKER (Ma`ruf is-skafi). Šafi` (see Tale 5).
Type 560 —The Magic Ring.
Parallels : Syria—Nowak, Type 148. Egypt—Artin Pacha 21 "El-Said Aly." General Arabic—Basset (1906): 273-291, "Le roi et la bague magique" (also cited in Nowak, Type 148); Thousand and One Nights , "Maarouf the Cobbler" (Nights 959-972 Mardrus-Powys IV:418-446; Nights 989-1000, Burton X:1-53); Chauvin VI:81, no. 250, "Ma'rouf."
Salient Motifi : D840 Magic object found; D861.4 Magic object stolen by rival for wife; D1421.1.6 Magic ring summons genie; D1470.1.15 Magic wishing-ring; D1662.1 Magic ring works by being stroked; D2121.5 Magic journey: man carried by spirit or devil; F721.4 Underground treasure chambers; K1817.4 Disguise as merchant; L161 Lowly hero marries princess; N534.1 Stumble reveals depository of treasure; N630 Accidental acquisition of treasure or money; P453 Shoemaker; Q42 Generosity rewarded; Q83.1 Reward for wife's fidelity; Q581.0.1 Loss of life as a result of one's own treachery; R161.0.1 Hero rescued by his lady; R164 Rescue by giant; R169.5 Hero rescued by friend; T210.1 Faithful wife; W195 Envy.
This tale is an oral version of the celebrated story of Maarouf the cobbler, the last tale in the Arabian Nights (at least in the Burton edition). The tale seems to have enjoyed wide popularity in Europe, where it was turned into an opera in five acts (Marour, le savetier du Caire ) by Henri Rabaud, with substantially the same plot as here and in the Nights . The opera premiered in Paris in 1915, and since then it has not been entirely neglected, being occasionally performed in Europe, the United States, and South America. It therefore seems strange that the tale of Ma`ruf is not cited at all in The Tipes , particularly considering it was available in an oral version in Artin Pacha, which Aarne and Thompson include in their bibliography, and because the plot summary provided for AT 560 accurately represents the tale. We have not seen the Littman version cited in Nowak, Type 148, but that found in Basset is more a variant than a parallel. Unlike most of the tales and legends Basset anthologized in the Revue des traditions populaires (Paris) over many years (of which this version is number 717, "DCCXVII"), this tale seems to have all the characteristics of an oral narrative: the hero, initially unmarried, weds the king's daughter, who turns into his worst enemy because he defeats her in battle in order to win her hand; she is made out to be a cruel and ruthless woman who will stop at nothing to destroy her husband once she acquires the ring from him. Indeed, the emphasis in this tale is so different from the story of Ma`ruf that, despite the similarity in basic plot, it is almost a different tale altogether.
Although the Egyptian version has the name of Ma`ruf's neighbor, `Ali, for its title, it is nevertheless substantially the story of Ma`ruf—a close parallel to our version and to that found in the Arabian Nights . Of course, we know that our raconteur, Šafi`, can read, even though his ability is not that of an educated person; and because his version is so close to the one found in the Nights (a copy of which he owns), we at first suspected that he had adapted the published story for oral narration. But when we discovered the versions in Artin Pacha and Basset, we realized that the tale is still alive in the Arabic tradition. We therefore concluded that he probably knew the oral version first and used the one in the Arabian Nights to polish it. As we have noted elsewhere, Šfi`'s narrative style is heavily influenced by the Arabian Nights in all his tales.
Even if Šafi` did take the tale directly from the Nights , it is still interesting to observe the differences between the written and the oral versions, particularly when a masterful raconteur performs the tale, as here. In Šafi` we note a very close identification with the hero:
he obviously admires Ma`ruf's generosity and goodness of heart. Šafi` also brings much humor to the narration, as in the episodes in which Ma`ruf stands before the cadi or is being chased by a crowd of street urchins who call him a crazy man. Also, as we observed in the footnotes following the tale, Šafi` localizes the action in the region of the Galilee to which he belongs: the shoemaker and the peasant he describes are real characters in his village. Finally, a major difference between the two versions is Šafi`'s treatment of Ma`ruf's first wife. In the Nights she is a nasty, insensitive creature who derives great pleasure from tormenting her husband. She shows up in Cairo at the end of the tale and, after being well received by her husband, attempts to steal the ring and destroy him. Šafi`, in contrast, is gentle in his treatment of this woman; he even brings a touch of humor to his portrait of her. Herein lies a major distinction between the two versions: the written one tends to freeze an antifeminist posture, perhaps received from tradition, whereas in the living oral tale the image of woman changes from teller to teller and from one occasion to another.
In closing, we must note that the plot outline for this tale as provided in The Types is more general, and hence more suitable to our purposes, than that based on Aarne's study of the tale, which Thompson summarizes in The Folktale (pp. 70-71). In that version animals play a major role in obtaining the ring in the. first place and later in recovering it. From Aarne's study, Thompson concludes that the tale "was made up in Asia, probably in India."
45. IM 'ALI AND ABU'ALI Im Darwis (see Tale 21).
Type 1641 —Dr. Know-All.
Parallels : Palestine—`Abd al-Hadi 23 "Tales and Complaints"; al-Khalili 17 "If Not for Locust, Swallow Would Not Have Been Trapped." Lebanon—al-Bustani: 206-213 "Lucky Numskull." Iraq—Stevens 13 "Jarada." Egypt—Dulac 3 "Asfour et Garada" (in Memoires de la mission archéologique en Egypte 1881-84 , cited in Oestrup: 16). Sudan—Mitchnik 1 "Destiny"; al-Shahi and Moore 57 "Jiraida" (Little Locust). General Arabic—Katibah (1928): 131-144 "Lucky Soothsayer"; Nowak, Type 467 (where, aside from al-Bustani and Stevens, three Moroccan and one additional version from Egypt and Lebanon, respectively, are cited). Cf. Lorimer 3 "Fortune Teller"; I. Shah: 192-198 "Cobbler Who Became Astrologer" (Persian version); Jacobs (1969) 11 "Harisarman"; and Schwarz-baum: 54 for Jewish references.
Salient Motifs : F941.1 Castle sinks into earth; H911 Tasks assigned
at suggestion of jealous rivals; K1944.3 Sham physician predicts the sex of unborn child; K1956.1.1 Sham wise man claims to find stolen goods by incantation [geomancy]; K1956.5 Sham wise man stays alone feigning study; K1961.1.5 Sham holy man; N611.1 Criminal accidentally detected: "that is the first"—sham wise man; N688 What is in the dish: "Poor Crab"; Q111 Riches as reward; Z71.12 Formulistic number: forty.
This version of Type 1641 is the most elaborate of those cited, constituting a sort of compendium of all the episodes found in the others as well as some that are unique to it (giving birth in the upstairs and downstairs quarters, and the incident of the sinking palace—Motif K941). In most of these versions the plot involves two or three basic incidents, such as finding a lost ring and discovering the thieves (usually forty in number) who robbed the king's treasury. The specific details are not always identical; the number of incidents and thieves in each tale, as well as the manner of discovery of the lost articles, may vary, but the "fake" astrologer always achieves fame and success at the end (except in Mitchnik, on which more below).
All the Arabic tales share two other basic features as well. The action is nearly always motivated by an ambitious wife, even though her characterization is not consistent throughout. In the Sudanese version of Mitchnik (and in the Persian one of I. Shah) she is presented as being considerably more shrewish than in our tale, where she comes across as a helpful, if somewhat insistent, mate. Hunger and anxiety about her children drive Im `Ali, not greed or envy as in some versions. The other shared feature lies in the importance of names. In every version except Mitchnik's, a major incident involves a pun on the hero's name—with "Swallow" and "Locust" forming the basis for the wordplay in most. The importance of the pun to the story explains why husband and wife in our tale have two names each. The raconteur is careful not to confuse their identity as individuals, whose names are Abu `Ali and Im `Ali, with the punning and somewhat humorous function their names serve in the tale. We note in passing that "Abu `Ali" and "Im `Ali" are the names of the characters in an Egyptian tale (Artin Pacha 18 "La bonne Oum-Aly") that resembles ours in intent if not in detail. There, in striving to alleviate her family's hunger, Im `Ali, trusting fate, moves into a mansion where she is rewarded with treasure, which, along with the mansion, becomes hers.
The title of the Sudanese version in Mitchnik, "Destiny," teaches us that more is involved in our tale than mere coincidence. In "Des-
tiny," AT 1641 is used as part of a larger frame involving the working of fate. Destiny appears to the hero (Sheikh Ramadan) as a shining woman and grants him the powers of a diviner, which bring him wealth and fame, but she does not grant him the power of knowing when she will desert him. He must accept what is written. The tale ends tragically, as the king plunges his dagger into the heart of Sheikh Ramadan at the moment that Destiny deserts him.
In summarizing the tale (Folktale : 144-145), Thompson ascribes to it an Oriental origin; and Jacobs, in his notes to the tale (p. 244), cites Somadeva's Katha sarit sagara I:272-274 in the Tawney translation (Calcutta, 1880) as the source for his version.
Excerpted from Speak, Bird, Speak Again: Palestinian Arab Folktales by Ibrahim Muhawi (Darwish) and Sharif Kanaana Copyright © 1989 by Ibrahim Muhawi (Darwish) and Sharif Kanaana. Excerpted by permission.
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