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The Fool and the Donkey

The Fool and the Donkey
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The Fool and the Donkey

An Iranian folk tale retold by David Heathfield


One morning, the fool woke up and he thought, ‘There is one thing I need, I need a donkey.’

So he left his home and walked until he came to the town. He came to the donkey stall. There were many donkeys. Some were big and some were small. Some had long ears and some very short. But among them there was one donkey that had long, floppy, silky ears.

‘This is the donkey for me.’

The fool paid the donkey stall holder and he led that donkey tied by a rope away from the stall and through the streets of the town, and there were two boys.

‘We can trick that donkey from that fool.’

One boy went up and he took the rope from around the donkey’s neck and he put it around his own neck and followed the fool, who didn’t even notice.

The other boy led the donkey back to the stall to sell it.

On through the streets and on away from the town to his home went the fool. And when he got to his home he turned and... uhhh: ‘When I bought you, you were a donkey. But now you’ve turned into a boy.’

‘It’s true, I was a donkey when you bought me, but, you see, before that I was a boy. I was rude to my mother, and my mother said, ‘If you are ever rude to me again may you be turned by the devil into a donkey.’ And so it was. But now that you have bought me, I am a boy once more and I belong to you.’

Don't be rude‘You belong to me?’ said the fool. ‘I cannot own a boy. Go, go, but promise me this: when you go to your mother, do not be rude to her again.’

The fool slept that night, and when he woke in the morning he realised there was something he still needed... He still needed a donkey. He went away from his home, taking his last few coins, and walked until he came to the town; through the streets he came until he came to the donkey stall. And there were all those donkeys large and small, some with larger ears than others. And among the donkeys he noticed there was one donkey with long, floppy, silky ears. He knew that donkey. He went over to it and he lifted its ear and said: ‘You foolish boy, I said never be rude to your mother again!’

The Fool and the Donkey
Find out more
about the contributors

The Fool and the Donkey

An Iranian folk tale retold by David Heathfield


یک روز صبح، احمق از خواب بلند شد و با خودش فکر کرد، "به چیزی احتیاج دارم، به یک خر نیاز دارم."

 

بنابراین خانه‌اش را ترک کرد و پیاده رفت تا به شهر رسید. وارد طویله‌ی خرها شد. خرهای زیادی بودند. بعضی‌ها بزرگ و بعضی‌ها کوچک بودند. بعضی‌ها گوش‌های دراز داشتند و بعضی‌ها کوتاه. اما در میان آن‌ها تنها یک خر بود که گوش‌های دراز، نرم و ابریشم‌مانندی داشت.

"این همان خری است که من می‌خواهم."

احمق به صاحب طویله، پول داد و آن خر را که با یک طناب بسته شده بود، از طویله و از وسط خیابان‌های شهر گذراند.

دو پسر آنجا بودند.

"می‌توانیم با حیله و نیرنگ، آن خر را از چنگ احمق دربیاریم"

یکی از پسرها رفت و طناب دور گردن خر را گرفت و آن را دور گردن خودش انداخت و آن احمق را که اصلاً متوجه نشده بود، دنبال کرد.

پسر دیگر، آن خر را به طویله برگرداند تا بفروشد.

احمق از وسط خیابان‌ها و از شهر به سمت خانه‌اش رفت.  وقتی به خانه‌اش رسید، برگشت و ... آه : "وقتی خریدمت، خر بودی. اما حالا به یک پسر تبدیل شدی."

"حقیقت دارد، وقتی من را خریدی، خر بودم، اما، می دانی، قبل از آن یک پسر بودم. رفتار گستاخانه‌ای با مادرم داشتم و مادرم گفت، "اگر دوباره پررو بازی در بیاوری، آرزو می‌کنم که شیطان تو را به یک خر تبدیل کند. و این‌طوری شد. اما حالا که تو من را خریدی، بار دیگر پسر هستم و به تو تعلق دارم."

احمق گفت: "به من تعلق داری؟ من نمی‌توانم مالک یک پسر باشم. برو، برو، اما این قول را به من بده: وقتی پیش مادرت رفتی، دوباره رفتار گستاخانه‌ای با او نداشته باش."

احمق، آن شب خوابید و وقتی صبح از خواب بیدار شد، متوجه شد که هنوز یک چیزی هست که او نیاز دارد...‌همچنان به یک خر نیاز داشت. از خانه‌اش دور شد، چند سکه‌ی باقی‌مانده‌اش را برداشت و راه رفت تا به شهر رسید؛ از خیابان‌ها گذشت تا به طویله‌ی خرها رسید. و همه‌ی آن خرهای بزرگ و کوچک که گوش بعضی ها از سایرین بزرگتر بود، آنجا بودند. و از میان آن‌ها، متوجه شد که یکی از خرها گوش‌های دراز، نرم و ابریشمی داشت.  آن خر را می‌شناخت. به سمت آن رفت و گوشش را بلند کرد و گفت: " پسر احمق، به تو گفتم که هرگز دوباره با گستاخی با مادرت رفتار نکن!"

 

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