The Simpleton Husband  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Simpleton Husband is a story from the One Thousand and One Nights, which follows the type AT 1423. It can be found at the Supplemental Nights to the Book of the Thousand and One Nights, translated by Richard F. Burton.

Full text modernized version by D. L. Ashliman

There was once in olden time a foolish and ignorant man who had abounding wealth, and his wife was a beautiful woman who loved a handsome youth. The gallant used to watch for the husband's absence and come to her, and this went on for a long while.

One day, when the woman was in seclusion with her lover, he said to her, "Oh my lady and my beloved, if you desire me and love me, give me possession of yourself and satisfy my need in the presence of your husband, otherwise I will never again come to you nor draw near you as long as I live."

Now she loved him with exceeding love and could not suffer his separation an hour, nor could she endure to anger him, so when she heard his words, she said to him, "Bismillah, so be it, in Allah's name, oh my darling, and the coolness of my eyes. May he not live who would vex you!"

Said he, "Today?"

And she said, "Yes, by your life," and made an appointment with him for this.

When her husband came home, she said to him, "I want to go on an outing."

And he said, "With all my heart." So he went until he came to a goodly place, abounding in vines and water. Then he took her there and pitched a tent by the side of a tall tree. She went to a place alongside the tent and made there an underground vault, in which she hid her lover

The she said to her husband, "I want to climb this tree."

And he said, "Do so."

So she climbed it, and when she came to the treetop, she cried out and slapped her face, saying, "Oh, you lecher! If these are your dealings with me before my eyes, what do you do when you are absent from me?"

"Said he, "What is wrong with you?"

And she said, "I saw you futter the woman before my very eyes."

Cried he, "Not so, by Allah! But hold your peace until I go up and see."

So he climbed the tree, and no sooner did he begin to do so than out came the lover from his hiding place and taking the woman by the legs fell to shagging her.

When the husband came to the top of the tree, he looked and beheld a man futtering his wife, so he called out, "Oh whore, what doings are these?" and he made haste to come down from the tree to the ground.

But meanwhile the lover had returned to his hiding place, and the wife asked her husband, "What did you see?"

He answered, "I saw a man shag you."

But she said, "You lie. You saw nothing. It was only your fantasy."

They did the same thing three or four times, and every time he climbed the tree the lover came up out of the underground place and mounted her, while her husband looked on, and she still said, "Do you see anything, you liar?"

"Yes," he would answer, and come down in haste, but saw no one, and she said to him, "By my life, look and speak nothing but the truth!"

Then he cried to her, "Arise, let us depart this place, for it is full of jinn and marids."

Accordingly, they returned to their house and spent the night there, and the man arose in the morning, assured that this was all but fantasy and fascination.

And so the lover won his wicked will.

See also

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