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The Caliph of Bagdad dresses down


Submitted:May 10, 2010    Reads: 53    Comments: 2    Likes: 0   


Raggedy Man
By Steven Hunley
Old is the tradition of Raggedy Man. It has been carried into the present day, but the earliest documented adherent to it was Haroon al Rashid, Caliph of Bagdad, who stated, "The secret to working wonders lies in anonymity." Although this saying is sometimes attributed to Rumi, the Sufi mystic, Rumi was a sayer of sayings. It was Haroon who was the doer of deeds.
He was Defender of the Faith, Caliph of Bagdad, supporter of the arts, and so much more and so many were his titles that it is no wonder he was tired. He was exhausted, exhausted of endless cow-towing, tired of palace life and intrigue. Most of all he was sick of yesmen, brown-nosers, and courtiers. Particularly he was sick of Ja'afar the Grand Wazir. Of men of his like he had more than his fill. So, he ordered all appointments cancelled, his calendar cleaned. He went to his rooms and to his closet. Passing his silk kaftan beaded with pearls from Samarkan, ignoring his emerald encrusted robes stitched with gold thread, he fixed his eyes (and his hands) upon his most favored garment, a suit of rags, matched by an equally threadbare pair of hempen shoes, as only the lowliest of beggars wear. He put them on. Regarding himself in the mirror, he noted, " This suits my needs and my mood."
He smudged some soot from a nearby lamp (some say it was Aladdin's) on his face for effect, and retreated from his chamber, the palace, and his life as caliph, and escaped through a series of secret doors known only to him. Finally he reached the outermost door, took a royal breath and pressed into the thriving streets of Bagdad.
"This is the true life," he said.
Haroon was Caliph of Bagdad, but he was nobody's fool. He spent all day inspecting different parts of the city, a taxing job which eventually built up in him quite an appetite. So it was fortunate that he found himself in the souk of sandwich makers. It was providence that had guided here the Defender of the Faith. The Defender was prepared to beg for some food. He noticed that one shop was doing an extraordinary amount of business. So naturally this is the one he picked. Mahmood the sandwich maker owned it.
" Food for the hungry?" he chanted with his hand extended palm up. The shop keeper himself heard his cry. A customer had ordered a custom-made job, but had failed to pick it up. It was up for grabs.
"Here beggar," he said, "Allah blesses you with a meal to stave your hunger." He handed him a sandwich. He tasted it. It created in his mouth a flavor sensation, a savory delight of the highest order."What a sandwich is this!" the counterfeit beggar remarked as he tasted it. It was a combination of sweetmeats, vegetables and dressing that nothing he'd had at the palace could surpass.
He was delighted but confused. He noticed something odd. Business seemed to be good, and the product had no equal, so why was the sandwich-maker not prosperous? His clothing seemed threadbare.
"Business is good?' he questioned between bites.
"Yes, but,…"and his eyebrows knit, "corrupt police and officials are always putting the bite on me, even more than thee, Oh Hungry One."
"Why not appeal to the Caliph?"
"That would be useless, for no help will come."
"Why do you say that?" quoth the beggar.
" Know, o beggar, that there is no Caliph, that he is only a story, for the Caliph, if there is one, has never been seen by anyone in this part of Bagdad. He is as rare as sushi on a meatball sandwich. It is said the grand Wazir runs Bagdad in his stead, and the Caliph, Allah bless him if he exists, is behind the high palace walls, as cut off from reality as we on earth are removed from Paradise. He is no help to us here. The Evil grand Wazir Ja'afar keeps him isolated and in his cups, so he can get rich through corrupt police and administrators."
Then raising his hands he shouted, " Ho, Moslems one and all, deliver me from these vilest of oppressors," After he composed himself he turned to look at the beggar. He was gone.
The caliph returned to the palace, investigations were made. Ja'afar was arrested and imprisoned. He dispatched couriers and messengers of glad tidings to the souk to announce his arrival. He caused the city to be decorated in his honor. Then, it is related, came the day of the parade. Streets were cleared, especially the street of sandwich makers. Mahmood the maker extraordinaire looked forward to seeing the Caliph himself. It was on this occasion he remembered talking to the beggar.
"I wish he could be here today," he thought. He'd forgotten that Bagdad was a city of wonders where even the wishes of shopkeepers came true.
The parade started. It was led by palace guards riding coal-black chargers. Their scimitars were gleaming in the sunlight. Following this were maidens of exceeding beauty scattering rose petals of yellow and gold. Then he heard cheers. It was the Caliph himself. At first he could only see his clothes. His doublet was of green silk encrusted with emeralds. His turban was white silk and studded with black pearls sewn with gold thread. He strained to see his face. Finally it was turned towards him and made visible. And he saw...and it was the face...of the beggar! A cold wave of realization washed over him.
"I who denied his very existance! Telling the Ruler of both Time and Tides that he did not exist! Allah have mercy on me! For certainly it is written that my head shall roll for this!"
He fell to the ground and prostrated himself. The Caliph saw him. He dismounted, bowed deeply, and gently raised him. He spoke.
"Know now, Mahmood the sandwich maker, that there is indeed a Caliph, and that he gives you this."
With that he handed him a heavy sack. In it, many pieces of gold and a royal commision to make sandwiches for the palace. And it is written, Oh My Beloved , that both sandwich maker and Caliph lived happily ever after.

Authors note: Before I'd adopted a style of my own I would rip off anybody, but not just anybody, only the best. Thank you Sir Richard Burton

Raggedy Man
By Steven Hunley
Old is the tradition of Raggedy Man. It has been carried into the present day, but the earliest documented adherent to it was Haroon al Rashid, Caliph of Bagdad, who stated, "The secret to working wonders lies in anonymity." Although this saying is sometimes attributed to Rumi, the Sufi mystic, Rumi was a sayer of sayings. It was Haroon who was the doer of deeds.
He was Defender of the Faith, Caliph of Bagdad, supporter of the arts, and so much more and so many were his titles that it is no wonder he was tired. He was exhausted, exhausted of endless cow-towing, tired of palace life and intrigue. Most of all he was sick of yesmen, brown-nosers, and courtiers. Particularly he was sick of Ja'afar the Grand Wazir. Of men of his like he had more than his fill. So, he ordered all appointments cancelled, his calendar cleaned. He went to his rooms and to his closet. Passing his silk kaftan beaded with pearls from Samarkan, ignoring his emerald encrusted robes stitched with gold thread, he fixed his eyes (and his hands) upon his most favored garment, a suit of rags, matched by an equally threadbare pair of hempen shoes, as only the lowliest of beggars wear. He put them on. Regarding himself in the mirror, he noted, " This suits my needs and my mood."
He smudged some soot from a nearby lamp (some say it was Aladdin's) on his face for effect, and retreated from his chamber, the palace, and his life as caliph, and escaped through a series of secret doors known only to him. Finally he reached the outermost door, took a royal breath and pressed into the thriving streets of Bagdad.
"This is the true life," he said.
Haroon was Caliph of Bagdad, but he was nobody's fool. He spent all day inspecting different parts of the city, a taxing job which eventually built up in him quite an appetite. So it was fortunate that he found himself in the souk of sandwich makers. It was providence that had guided here the Defender of the Faith. The Defender was prepared to beg for some food. He noticed that one shop was doing an extraordinary amount of business. So naturally this is the one he picked. Mahmood the sandwich maker owned it.
" Food for the hungry?" he chanted with his hand extended palm up. The shop keeper himself heard his cry. A customer had ordered a custom-made job, but had failed to pick it up. It was up for grabs.
"Here beggar," he said, "Allah blesses you with a meal to stave your hunger." He handed him a sandwich. He tasted it. It created in his mouth a flavor sensation, a savory delight of the highest order."What a sandwich is this!" the counterfeit beggar remarked as he tasted it. It was a combination of sweetmeats, vegetables and dressing that nothing he'd had at the palace could surpass.
He was delighted but confused. He noticed something odd. Business seemed to be good, and the product had no equal, so why was the sandwich-maker not prosperous? His clothing seemed threadbare.
"Business is good?' he questioned between bites.
"Yes, but,…"and his eyebrows knit, "corrupt police and officials are always putting the bite on me, even more than thee, Oh Hungry One."
"Why not appeal to the Caliph?"
"That would be useless, for no help will come."
"Why do you say that?" quoth the beggar.
" Know, o beggar, that there is no Caliph, that he is only a story, for the Caliph, if there is one, has never been seen by anyone in this part of Bagdad. He is as rare as sushi on a meatball sandwich. It is said the grand Wazir runs Bagdad in his stead, and the Caliph, Allah bless him if he exists, is behind the high palace walls, as cut off from reality as we on earth are removed from Paradise. He is no help to us here. The Evil grand Wazir Ja'afar keeps him isolated and in his cups, so he can get rich through corrupt police and administrators."
Then raising his hands he shouted, " Ho, Moslems one and all, deliver me from these vilest of oppressors," After he composed himself he turned to look at the beggar. He was gone.
The caliph returned to the palace, investigations were made. Ja'afar was arrested and imprisoned. He dispatched couriers and messengers of glad tidings to the souk to announce his arrival. He caused the city to be decorated in his honor. Then, it is related, came the day of the parade. Streets were cleared, especially the street of sandwich makers. Mahmood the maker extraordinaire looked forward to seeing the Caliph himself. It was on this occasion he remembered talking to the beggar.
"I wish he could be here today," he thought. He'd forgotten that Bagdad was a city of wonders where even the wishes of shopkeepers came true.
The parade started. It was led by palace guards riding coal-black chargers. Their scimitars were gleaming in the sunlight. Following this were maidens of exceeding beauty scattering rose petals of yellow and gold. Then he heard cheers. It was the Caliph himself. At first he could only see his clothes. His doublet was of green silk encrusted with emeralds. His turban was white silk and studded with black pearls sewn with gold thread. He strained to see his face. Finally it was turned towards him and made visible. And he saw...and it was the face...of the beggar! A cold wave of realization washed over him.
"I who denied his very existance! Telling the Ruler of both Time and Tides that he did not exist! Allah have mercy on me! For certainly it is written that my head shall roll for this!"
He fell to the ground and prostrated himself. The Caliph saw him. He dismounted, bowed deeply, and gently raised him. He spoke.
"Know now, Mahmood the sandwich maker, that there is indeed a Caliph, and that he gives you this."
With that he handed him a heavy sack. In it, many pieces of gold and a royal commision to make sandwiches for the palace. And it is written, Oh My Beloved , that both sandwich maker and Caliph lived happily ever after.

Authors note: Before I'd adopted a style of my own I would rip off anybody, but not just anybody, only the best. Thank you Sir Richard Burton

Raggedy Man
By Steven Hunley
Old is the tradition of Raggedy Man. It has been carried into the present day, but the earliest documented adherent to it was Haroon al Rashid, Caliph of Bagdad, who stated, "The secret to working wonders lies in anonymity." Although this saying is sometimes attributed to Rumi, the Sufi mystic, Rumi was a sayer of sayings. It was Haroon who was the doer of deeds.
He was Defender of the Faith, Caliph of Bagdad, supporter of the arts, and so much more and so many were his titles that it is no wonder he was tired. He was exhausted, exhausted of endless cow-towing, tired of palace life and intrigue. Most of all he was sick of yesmen, brown-nosers, and courtiers. Particularly he was sick of Ja'afar the Grand Wazir. Of men of his like he had more than his fill. So, he ordered all appointments cancelled, his calendar cleaned. He went to his rooms and to his closet. Passing his silk kaftan beaded with pearls from Samarkan, ignoring his emerald encrusted robes stitched with gold thread, he fixed his eyes (and his hands) upon his most favored garment, a suit of rags, matched by an equally threadbare pair of hempen shoes, as only the lowliest of beggars wear. He put them on. Regarding himself in the mirror, he noted, " This suits my needs and my mood."
He smudged some soot from a nearby lamp (some say it was Aladdin's) on his face for effect, and retreated from his chamber, the palace, and his life as caliph, and escaped through a series of secret doors known only to him. Finally he reached the outermost door, took a royal breath and pressed into the thriving streets of Bagdad.
"This is the true life," he said.
Haroon was Caliph of Bagdad, but he was nobody's fool. He spent all day inspecting different parts of the city, a taxing job which eventually built up in him quite an appetite. So it was fortunate that he found himself in the souk of sandwich makers. It was providence that had guided here the Defender of the Faith. The Defender was prepared to beg for some food. He noticed that one shop was doing an extraordinary amount of business. So naturally this is the one he picked. Mahmood the sandwich maker owned it.
" Food for the hungry?" he chanted with his hand extended palm up. The shop keeper himself heard his cry. A customer had ordered a custom-made job, but had failed to pick it up. It was up for grabs.
"Here beggar," he said, "Allah blesses you with a meal to stave your hunger." He handed him a sandwich. He tasted it. It created in his mouth a flavor sensation, a savory delight of the highest order."What a sandwich is this!" the counterfeit beggar remarked as he tasted it. It was a combination of sweetmeats, vegetables and dressing that nothing he'd had at the palace could surpass.
He was delighted but confused. He noticed something odd. Business seemed to be good, and the product had no equal, so why was the sandwich-maker not prosperous? His clothing seemed threadbare.
"Business is good?' he questioned between bites.
"Yes, but,…"and his eyebrows knit, "corrupt police and officials are always putting the bite on me, even more than thee, Oh Hungry One."
"Why not appeal to the Caliph?"
"That would be useless, for no help will come."
"Why do you say that?" quoth the beggar.
" Know, o beggar, that there is no Caliph, that he is only a story, for the Caliph, if there is one, has never been seen by anyone in this part of Bagdad. He is as rare as sushi on a meatball sandwich. It is said the grand Wazir runs Bagdad in his stead, and the Caliph, Allah bless him if he exists, is behind the high palace walls, as cut off from reality as we on earth are removed from Paradise. He is no help to us here. The Evil grand Wazir Ja'afar keeps him isolated and in his cups, so he can get rich through corrupt police and administrators."
Then raising his hands he shouted, " Ho, Moslems one and all, deliver me from these vilest of oppressors," After he composed himself he turned to look at the beggar. He was gone.
The caliph returned to the palace, investigations were made. Ja'afar was arrested and imprisoned. He dispatched couriers and messengers of glad tidings to the souk to announce his arrival. He caused the city to be decorated in his honor. Then, it is related, came the day of the parade. Streets were cleared, especially the street of sandwich makers. Mahmood the maker extraordinaire looked forward to seeing the Caliph himself. It was on this occasion he remembered talking to the beggar.
"I wish he could be here today," he thought. He'd forgotten that Bagdad was a city of wonders where even the wishes of shopkeepers came true.
The parade started. It was led by palace guards riding coal-black chargers. Their scimitars were gleaming in the sunlight. Following this were maidens of exceeding beauty scattering rose petals of yellow and gold. Then he heard cheers. It was the Caliph himself. At first he could only see his clothes. His doublet was of green silk encrusted with emeralds. His turban was white silk and studded with black pearls sewn with gold thread. He strained to see his face. Finally it was turned towards him and made visible. And he saw...and it was the face...of the beggar! A cold wave of realization washed over him.
"I who denied his very existance! Telling the Ruler of both Time and Tides that he did not exist! Allah have mercy on me! For certainly it is written that my head shall roll for this!"
He fell to the ground and prostrated himself. The Caliph saw him. He dismounted, bowed deeply, and gently raised him. He spoke.
"Know now, Mahmood the sandwich maker, that there is indeed a Caliph, and that he gives you this."
With that he handed him a heavy sack. In it, many pieces of gold and a royal commision to make sandwiches for the palace. And it is written, Oh My Beloved , that both sandwich maker and Caliph lived happily ever after.

Authors note: Before I'd adopted a style of my own I would rip off anybody, but not just anybody, only the best. Thank you Sir Richard Burton.





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