STORY OF THE KING WHO WOULD SEE
Once upon a time there was a king who, one day out hunting, came upon a fakeer in a lonely place in the mountains. The fakeer was seated on a little old bedstead reading the Koran, with his patched cloak thrown over his shoulders.
The king asked him what he was reading; and he said he was reading about Paradise, and praying that he might be worthy to enter there. Then they began to talk, and, by-and-bye, the king asked the fakeer if he could show him a glimpse of Paradise, for he found it very difficult to believe in what he could not see. The fakeer replied that he was asking a very difficult, and perhaps a very dangerous, thing; but that he would pray for him, and perhaps he might be able to do it; only he warned the king both against the dangers of his unbelief, and against the curiosity which prompted him to ask this thing. However, the king was not to be turned from his purpose, and he promised the fakeer always to provide him with food, if he, in return, would pray for him. To this the fakeer agreed, and so they parted.
Time went on, and the king always sent the old
fakeer his food according to his promise; but, whenever
he sent to ask him when he was going to show him
Paradise, the fakeer always replied: 'Not yet, not
After a year or two had passed by, the king heard