Tales from the Arabic/A Merry Jest of a Thief

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A thief of the thieves of the Arabs went [one night] to a certain man’s house, to steal from a heap of wheat there, and the people of the house surprised him. Now on the heap was a great copper measure, and the thief buried himself in the corn and covered his head with the measure, so that the folk found him not and went away; but, as they were going, behold, there came a great crack of wind forth of the corn. So they went up to the measure and [raising it], discovered the thief and laid hands on him. Quoth he, “I have eased you of the trouble of seeking me: for I purposed, [in letting wind], to direct you to my [hiding-]place; wherefore do ye ease me and have compassion on me, so may God have compassion on you!” So they let him go and harmed him not.

Return to El Melik ez Zahir Rukneddin Bibers el Bunducdari and the Sixteen Officers of Police.