The Dream - Soqotri folk tale from Hadibo


One night a young fellow slept and had a dream that he married a Sultan's daughter. In the morning he told his friends about the dream, they told their friends about the dream and finally the Sultan knew about the dream. The Sultan became very angry. "Take him to jail!" he ordered his servants and they carried out his order immediately.

The fellow's parents grieved, they didn't know what to do and how to help their son. "You must go to Ali the Clever One! He is the craftiest man and can make a deal with the Sultan." The father of the poor fellow went to Ali the Clever One and told him what had happened. "Well," Ali said. "If I had such dreams, they would put me in the jail too! But, all right! I'll help you. Give me only one silver coin..."

The fellow's father gave him a silver coin and went home. And Ali the Clever One put a big crowbar on his shoulder and went to the Sultan's Palace. He came to the wall of the Palace, took his big crow-bar with his two hands and began to dig. Once he beat the Palace wall, another time the earth under it. This made a very loud noise. When the Sultan heard this noise, he called up his servant and ordered him to go and see what was happening. The servant went out and saw Ali the Clever One digging under the Sultan's Palace and cried out: "Hey Ali! Are you crazy? Stop it now!"

But Ali the Clever One didn't even look at him. He didn't stop digging and continued in his noisy manner, one time beating the wall and another time the earth under it. Thus the Sultan had to go out. "Hey Ali!" he said. "Why do you dig under my Palace?" Ali the Clever One stopped digging, bowed to the Sultan and said "Yesterday night I had a dream that my father hid his money under your Palace."

"Your dream is a lie, don't you see?" the Sultan said. "That didn't happen." "Not at all?" Ali said. "My dream is the truth.You just jailed the fellow who, that very night, had a dream that he married your daughter. And you are right! But now you say my dream is a lie. Better say to your servants to help me to dig and to get out my money!" "Your dream is a lie!" the Sultan said. "No, it's the truth!" Ali said. "and your Justice knows this very well!" "Now I'll show him my Justice!" the Sultan thought. "Hey servants!" he cried out. "Get the fellow out of the jail and let him go home free!"

Ali the Clever One put his crow-bar on his shoulder and went home...

(с)  Literary retoled by Vladimir Agafonov.

My special thanks to John Farrar who has helped me with editing my English retelling of this unique Soqotri tale to be in  perfect English indeed.



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    Like in Yemen Socotran men wear skirts.