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Sindbad The Sailor The Fifth Voyage

from Favorite Fairy Tales.





Having forgotten my former perils, I built a ship at my own expense,
loaded it with a rich cargo, and, taking with me other merchants, once
more set sail. We were much driven about by a storm, and at length
landed upon a desert island to search for fresh water. There we found a
roc's egg, equal in size to the one I had seen before. The merchants and
sailors gathered round it, and though I advised them not to meddle with
it, they nevertheless made a hole in it with their hatchets, and picked
out the young roc, piece after piece, and roasted it. They had scarcely
finished when two of the old birds appeared in the air. We hurried on
board ship and set sail, but had not gone far before we saw the immense
birds approaching us, and soon after they hovered over the ship. One of
them let fall an enormous fragment of stone, which fell into the sea
close beside the ship, but the other let fall a piece which split our
ship. I caught hold of a bit of the wreck, on which I was borne by the
wind and tide to an island, the shore of which was very steep. I reached
the dry land, and found the most delicious fruits and excellent water,
which refreshed me. Farther in the island I saw a feeble old man sitting
near a rivulet. When I enquired of him how he came there, he only
answered by signs for me to carry him over the rivulet, that he might
eat some fruit. I took him on my back, and crossed the brook, but
instead of getting down, he clasped his legs so firmly round my throat
that I thought he would strangle me. I soon fainted with pain and
fright. When I recovered, the old fellow was still sitting on my neck,
and he quickly made me rise up and walk under the trees, while he
gathered the fruit at his ease. This lasted a long time. One day, while
carrying him about, I picked up a large gourd called a calabash, and,
having cleared out the inside, I pressed into it the juice of grapes.
Having filled it, I left it for several days, and at length found that
it became excellent wine. I drank of this, and for a while forgot my
sorrows, so that I began to sing with cheerfulness. The old man made me
give him the calabash, and liking the flavor of the wine, he drank it
off, soon became intoxicated, fell from my shoulders, and, died in
convulsions. I hastened to the seaside, and presently found the crew of
a ship. They told me I had fallen into the hands of the Old Man of the
Sea, and was the first person that had ever escaped. I sailed with them,
and the captain, when we landed, took me to some persons whose
employment was to gather cocoanuts. We all took up stones and pelted the
monkeys that were at the very top of the cocoanut trees, and these
animals in return pelted us with cocoanuts. When we had obtained as
many as we could carry, we returned to the town. I soon obtained a
considerable sum by the cocoanuts I thus gathered, and at length sailed
for my native land.





Next: Sindbad The Sailor The Sixth Voyage

Previous: Sindbad The Sailor My Fourth Voyage



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