The Golden Mountain
Then she gave him a touchstone and a flint.
"Take it," she said; "when thou art in need, it will be useful."
The next day the very rich merchant with his hired workman went to the high golden mountain. The young fellow saw at once that there was no use trying to climb or even to crawl up.
"Well," said the merchant, "let us have a drink for courage."
And he gave the fellow some drowsy drink. The fellow drank and fell asleep.
The rich merchant took out a sharp knife, killed a wretched horse, cut it open, put the fellow inside, pushed in the shovel, and sewed the horse's skin together, and himself sat down in the bushes.
All at once crows came flying, black crows with iron beaks. They took hold of the carcass, lifted it up to the top of the high mountain, and began to pick at it.
The crows soon ate up the horse and were about to begin on the merchant's son, when he awoke, pushed away the crows, looked around and asked out loud:
"Where am I?"
The rich merchant below answered:
"On a golden mountain; take the shovel and dig for gold."
And the young man dug and dug, and all the gold he dug he threw down, and the rich merchant loaded it upon the carts.
"Enough!" finally shouted the master. "Thanks for thy help. Farewell!"
"And I—how shall I get down?"
"As thou pleasest; there have already perished nine and ninety of such fellows as thou. With thee the count will be rounded and thou wilt be the hundredth."
The proud, rich merchant was off.
"What shall I do?" thought the poor merchant's son. "Impossible to go down! But to stay here means death, a cruel death from hunger."
And our fellow stood upon the mountain, while above the black crows were circling, the black crows with iron beaks, as if feeling already the prey.
The fellow tried to think how it all happened, and he remembered the lovely girl and what she said to him in giving him the touchstone and the flint. He remembered how she said:
"Take it. When thou art in need it will prove useful."
"I fancy she had something in mind; let us try.
The Story of Two Sisters Who Were Jealous of Their Younger Sister
Category: Arabic folktales
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