The Hunchback’s Tale

This is one of the amazing tales from the Arabian nights. Once upon a time in Kashgar, lived a tailor and his wife. One day, when the tailor after a hard day’s work was about to close his shop, saw a hunchback. This hunchback was sitting outside the tailor’s shop.

Soon, the tailor saw how talented this hunchback was. He could play the tambourine and sing extremely well. “I’ll take him to my house. He may entertain my wife.” The hunchback quickly agreed when the tailor proposed the idea. As soon as they reached the tailor’s house, the wife asked them to eat dinner, that she had made. So the table was laid, and they began eating. The tailor’s wife had also served wish. You may also like to read, Tale Of The Vizier And The Sage Duban.

tales from the arabian nights

tales from the arabian nights

Image Source@, while they were eating the hunchback fell over. Upon checking the tailor and his wife came to know that the hunchback was dead. A small bone of the fish had gotten stuck and the hunchback choked and finally died. “Now what to do? We are going to be called murders!” The wife came up with a plan.

There was a doctor who lived nearby.They carried the hunchback there. They knocked on the doctor’s door and a young maid answered. They told the maid to fetch the doctor as they had brought a patient after handing a silver coin. The maid went to wake the doctor.

In the meantime, the couple dragged the Hunchback up the stairs and left him at the door. The couple ran away as quick as possible. Now, this doctor was young. He seldom had any patients. So he became excited and went right away. As the doctor descended the stairs in the dark, he felt something at his feet. “What is this?” he questioned. But before he could find the answer he gave a hard kick to it.

Later, it was found that the doctor had kicked the hunchback! Quickly he went to fetch his wife. He told her everything. “What should we do? I killed my patient.” Now the wife had more wits than the doctor, so she tied a cord around the hunchback and lowered it into their neighbor’s chimney. Now, the neighbor was a wealthy merchant and had good connections with the sultan. The doctor’s wife was certain, the merchant would figure something out. Also, read Sheherazade And Shahriar.

Now, the merchant was traveling back from a rich dinner at the sultan’s place.Tired as he was when he entered he saw a dark silhouette in his room. “Thief, you thief! You have been eating my food!” he cried and gave the silhouette a few whacks with his cane. When the silhouette doubled over, he increased his intensity. Then, the merchant realized that the thief wasn’t moving. “What are you doing? Get up!” he yelled, but the merchant saw no movement.

When he turned on the lights, he saw that the hunchback was dead! “Oh God! They’ll arrest me for killing this man. I have to get rid of the corpse.” Since it was still dark outside, he took the corpse and propped it against a high wall of an empty alley.  But the corpse could not stay like that, so it fell over.

This time an Englishman happened to be passing when the corpse fell on him. Mistaking it for a thief, the Englishman beat him. He did not stop. When he called the police, the police pointed out that the thief was dead! The Englishman was arrested for mistreatment of Muslims. The Englishman who too was a merchant accepted his fate and went with them. Soon, the date of the hearing arrived and the English merchant was taken to the court. The judge ruled against the Englishman, “There is no pardon for a Christian killing a Muslim!”. So he was sentenced to die. Also, read The Second Shaykh’s Story.

When he was taken to the gallows, the wealthy merchant was present there too. “Wait,” yelled the wealthy merchant. “I killed the man. The Englishman is innocent.” And so the wealthy merchant was sentenced to die. But before the wealthy merchant could be killed the doctor accepted his crime. Obviously, the doctor was sentenced to die. But then he was interrupted by the tailor. So the tailor had to die.

But before the tailor could die, a royal messenger interrupted them and took away the four of them as per the king’s orders. You see the hunchback belonged to the royal court, and he had managed to run away. Now, the king had finally tracked the hunchback, so he wanted to talk to all of those who had had contact with the hunchback.

The men truthfully told their stories to the Sultan of Kashgar, the king. The Sultan being greatly surprised at the circumstance, declared this case as “Rarest of Rare”. A private historian was ordered to write down these events in the words of gold so that these words were never forgotten. You may also like to read, The Greedy Merchant.