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Haroun and a Fraud

It is said that a fraud presented himself to Haroun, pretending to be an African. Haroun asked him about those kingdoms' harvests, jewels, and works of art that he had visited. They began to talk about India's harvests, jewels, and inventions. The impostor described in detail such jewels, that, without even seeing them, the Khalifa fell in love with them.

Incidentally he said to the Khalifa, “In India they make such a drug that brings the strength of youth back into a being. Even if a sixty-year-old man eats the pill, he gets the manliness and strength of a twenty-year-old youth.”

The Khalifa became very curious about the drug and jewels that this Negro had described. He said, “How much money should I give you so that you can bring those jewels and that drug that you have just described in detail?”

That deceitful person asked for 50,000 dinars; and then he departed for his homeland.

The Khalifa waited a long, long time but there was no news about that fraud. He was very depressed and whenever he remembered the incident, he was full of regret. One day Jafar Barmaki and others present happened to mention him.

The Khalifa said, “If you ever get hold of that impostor, then I will take back many times more than the amount I gave him, besides that, I will give the order to cut off his head and hang it on the gate of Baghdad so that others may learn a lesson from this incident.”

Bahlool gave a loud laugh and said, “O Haroun! Yours and that fraud's story is exactly like the tale of the rooster, the old woman and the fox.”

“Tell me whatever the story of the rooster, the old woman, and the fox is.”

“It is said that a wild cat snatched an old woman's rooster. That old woman kept running behind the cat, screaming, 'Come and help me! The cat is taking my one ton- pound rooster!'

“The cat got worried and said, 'O woman! Why did you lie, this rooster isn't as heavy as you said.'

“Coincidentally, a fox appeared. It said to the cat, 'Why are you worried and distressed?'

“The cat narrated what had occurred.

“The fox said, 'Put the rooster on the ground so that I can tell you its weight.'

“As soon as the cat put the rooster on the ground, the fox picked it up, and, while running, said, 'Tell the old woman that my feet say this rooster weighs more than a ton.'“

Haroun Rashid laughed a lot at Bahlool's story and praised him.

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