Sindbad The Sailor The Second Voyage

: Favorite Fairy Tales.

Becoming weary of a quiet life in Balsora, and having bought trading

goods, I again went to sea with some merchants. After touching at

several places, we landed at an uninhabited island. We amused ourselves

in different ways, but I, having taken my wine and provisions, sat down

and fell asleep. When I awoke, I found that my companions were gone, and

that the ship had sailed. I climbed to the top of a very high tree, and

perceived at a distance an object that was very large and white. I

descended to the ground, and ran toward this strange-looking object.

When I approached it I found it was about fifty paces in circumference,

quite round, and as smooth as ivory, but had no sort of opening. It was

now almost sunset, and suddenly the sky became darkened. I looked up and

beheld a bird of enormous size, moving like a prodigious cloud toward

me. I recollected that I had heard of a bird called the roc, so large

that it could carry away young elephants, and I therefore conjectured

that the large object I had been looking at was the egg of this bird.

As the bird approached I crept close to the egg, so that I had one of

the legs of this winged animal before me when it alighted. This limb

being as large as the trunk of a tree, I tied myself firmly to it with

my turban.

The next morning the bird flew away, and carried me from this desert

island. I was borne so high that I could not see the earth, and then

carried downward so swiftly that I lost my senses. When I recovered, I

was on the ground. I quickly untied the cloth that bound me, and

scarcely was I free when the bird, having taken up a large serpent,

again flew away. I found myself in a deep valley, the sides of which

were too steep to be climbed. As I walked up and down in despair I

noticed that the valley was covered with diamonds of enormous size. But

I soon saw other objects of much less agreeable appearance. Immense

serpents were peeping out of holes on every side. When night came, I

took shelter in a cave, the entrance of which I guarded with the largest

stones I could find, but the hissing of the serpents entirely deprived

me of sleep. When day returned, the serpents retired to their holes; and

I came out of my cave, but with extreme fear. I walked heedless of the

serpents until I became weary, and then sat down and fell asleep. I was

awakened by something which fell near me. It was a large piece of fresh

meat, and presently I saw several other pieces.

I was now convinced that I must be in the famous valley of diamonds, and

that the pieces of meat were thrown in by merchants, who expected eagles

to pounce upon the flesh, to which diamonds were almost sure to

adhere. I hastened to pick up some of the largest diamonds I could find,

which I put into a little bag, and fastened it to my girdle. I then

selected the largest piece of flesh in the valley, which I tied to my

waist with the cloth of my turban, and then lay down upon my face to

wait for the eagles. Very soon one of the strongest pounced upon the

meat on my back, and flew with me to its nest on the top of the

mountain. The merchants began shouting to frighten the eagles, and when

they had forced the birds to quit their prey, one of them came to the

nest where I was. At first the man was frightened when he saw me there,

but after recovering himself, asked me how I got there. I told him and

the rest of the merchants my story. I then opened my bag, and they

declared that they had never seen diamonds of equal luster and size with

mine. The merchants having gathered their diamonds together, we left the

place the next morning, and crossed the mountains until we reached a

port. We there took ship and proceeded to the island of Roha. At that

place I exchanged some of my diamonds for other merchandise, and we went

on to Balsora. From Balsora I reached my native city, Bagdad, in which I

lived easily upon the vast riches I had won.