, O Sultan and head of the Jann, that this mule was my wife. Now
it so happened that I went forth and was absent one whole year; and when I returned from my journey I came to her by night, and saw a black slave lying with her on the carpet bed and they were talking, and dallying, and laughing, and kissing and playing the close buttock game. When she saw me, she rose and came hurriedly at me with a gugglet1
of water; and, muttering spells over it, she besprinkled me and said, “Come forth from this thy shape into the shape of a dog;” and I became on the instant a dog. She drove me out of the house, and I ran through the doorway nor ceased running until I came to a butcher’s stall, where I stopped and began to eat what bones were there. When the stall owner saw me, he took me and led me into his house, but as soon as his daughter had sight of me she veiled her face from me, crying out, “Doss thou bring men to me and dost thou come in with them to me?” Her father asked, “Where is the man?”; and she answered, “This dog is a man whom his wife hath ensorcelled and I am able to release him.” When her father heard her words, he said, “Allah upon thee, O my daughter, release him.” So she took a gugglet of water and, after uttering words over it, sprinkled upon me a few drops, saying, “Come forth from that form into thy former form.” And I returned to my natural shape. Then I kissed her hand and said, “I wish thou wouldest transform my wife even as she transformed me.” Thereupon she gave me some water, saying, “As soon as thou see her asleep, sprinkle this liquid upon her and speak what words thou heardest me utter, so shall she become whatsoever thou desirest.” I went to my wife and found her fast asleep; and, while sprinkling the water upon her, I said, “Come forth from that form into the form of a mare mule.” So she became on the instant a she mule, and she it is whom thou seest with thine eyes, O Sultan and head of the Kings of the Jann! Then the Jinni turned towards her and said, “Is this sooth?” And she nodded her head and replied by signs, “Indeed, ’tis the truth: for such is my tale and this is what hath be fallen me.” Now when the old man had ceased speaking the Jinni shook with pleasure and gave him the third of the merchant’s blood. And Shahrázád perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth Dunyázád, “O. my sister, how pleasant is thy tale, and how tasteful; how sweet and how grateful!” She
replied, “And what is this compared with that I could tell thee, the night to come, if I live and the King spare me?”2
Then thought the King, “By Allah, I will not slay her until I hear the rest of her tale, for truly it is wondrous.” So they rested that night in mutual embrace until the dawn. After this the King went forth to his Hall of Estate, and the Wazir and the troops came in and the court was crowded, and the King gave orders and judged and appointed and deposed, bidding and forbidding during the rest of the day. Then the Divan broke up, and King Shahryar entered his palace.
When it was the Third Night,
And the King had had his will of the Wazir’s daughter, Dunyázád, her sister, said to her, “Finish for us that tale of thine;” and she replied, “With joy and goodly gree! It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the third old man told a tale to the Jinni more wondrous than the two preceding, the Jinni marvelled with exceeding marvel, and, shaking with delight, cried, Lo! I have given thee the remainder of the merchant’s punishment and for thy sake have I released him.” Thereupon the merchant embraced the old men and thanked them, and these Shaykhs wished him joy on being saved and fared forth each one for his own city. Yet this tale is not more wondrous than the fisherman’s story.” Asked the King, “What is the fisherman’s story?” And she answered by relating the tale of