The Sheik's White Donkey 中英对照

原文: The Sheik's White Donkey

I was traveling across the desert with sheik Mahmoud Ibn Moosa and his caravan of 90 camels and 19 men. The sheik was a dignified old man with fierce dark eyes and a white beard. His commands were the only laws that the men of the caravan knew.

The bearded sheik rode a large white donkey, and his donkey was dignified, too. The sheik treated him as a friend and an equal. The were almost always together all day, and they slept in the same tent every night.

The Bag of Gold

I was carrying with me about 80 pieces of gold, which I kept in a leather bag. I kept the bag in my tent at night, and I put my hand into the bag each morning to be sure that the pieces of gold were safe. On the ninth morning, the bag was not there!

I went at once to find Ibn Moosa. "Mahmoud Ibn Moosa," I began, “for eight days I have been your guest, and I am sincerely grateful for your hospitality."

Ibn Moosa put his hand on his heart and answered, "To give hospitality to a guest is always my greatest pleasure."

I continued, "I am very sorry to tell you that some trouble has come to me now. As a guest, I must tell this trouble to my host."

I told him about my bag with 80 pieces of gold. He asked me a few questions, and then sat in silence, stroking his beard. At last he said, "The caravan will not leave this camp today. Before evening comes, you will have your gold."

An hour later my host left the camp, alone. It was noon before he returned. Commanding his men not to disturb him for any reason, he disappeared into his tent and closed the flap of the tent behind him. I began to be worried about my money. There was only one man who could get it for me, and he was asleep in his tent!

But after dinner my host came slowly from his tent, dressed in his finest clothes. He went to the top of a pile of bags in the center of the camp, and he told me to sit up there beside him. Then, in his dignified voice, he said, "Bring me the men." The men left the camels and stood in a row in front of him.

When all the men were there, the sheik sat in silence, looking at them and stroking his beard. He did not hurry. He looked at each man a long time, and every man looked silently at him, too. At last he spoke,

"Today some trouble has come to my guest, this traveler. To steal is a crime, but when one steals from a guest, the crime is seven times worse. This traveler trusted himself to me. Someone has stolen from him in my home. As no one from outside has been near our camp, the man who stole from this traveler is before me now. He is standing before me while I speak, and he thinks he can hide his crime."

The old sheik's voice became loud and angry as he spoke of the crime. He said that God himself was commanding him to find the thief and to find the traveler's gold. Then his voice became quiet and dignified again. Stroking his beard, he continued.

The Wonderful Donkey

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