Sunday, 26 April 2015

Bedour and Masrour or bravery is more important than blood.

It is said that a man had a beautiful daughter named Bedour, and his brother had a son who wanted to marry her, but her father refused and married her to a young man named Masrour from a far country because he was famous for bravery.

After some time had passed Bedour longed to visit her family, so she asked her husband to accompany her along the journey, and he agreed immediately to begin their journey as soon as he had arranged for his work during their absence and he prepared some presents from his goats for his in-laws, just as he prepared one of his purebred horses for the trip.

While they were on the road, night descended upon them, and they decided to stay next to a tree along one of its flanks, where they set up their tent and its mattresses and they wanted to kindle a fire so that Bedour could cook their dinner on it.  And they knew that there were people staying the night alongside them, so Masrour asked Bedour to go to them to bring a flaming torch while he would slaughter the ewe and prepare her for roasting.

So the wife went until she reached them and discovered that they were nothing but bandits, and she noticed their joy because they thought that they had obtained a woman who had come to them on her own two feet.  But the oldest of them warned them: Don’t let this woman decoy you, and don’t think that she’s an easy catch.  No doubt behind her there are people who sent her so they could harass us and she could be the cause of our extermination.

And they were afraid and they gave her a burning brand and left her to walk away.  When she reached her husband she prepared the food and then they slept.

In the morning the bandits had noticed that they were only a husband and his wife and they longed to commit highway robbery against them, and they got closer to them intending to attack them. 

 Masrour and Bedour were folding their tent and gathering their animals and preparing to carry on travelling, except that Masrour, when he realised the intentions of those evil ones, got down from his horse and asked Bedour to grab on to the bridle and unsheathed his sword and shouted at the bandits: Everyone who desires to take the horse and the woman come forward.

He was on foot and they were on horseback, and every time one of them came forward Masrour killed him with his sword until no one remained except the oldest of them, and Bedour said to Masrour: Leave this man because he said something good before.

Masrour cleared a space for the bandit to pass, and the bandit spurred his horse to return at the greatest speed and all the while he didn’t believe his survival.  As for Masrour, he gather the weapons that had killed the bandits and took them with him to carry on with his journey with his wife.
In the morning Masrour went with his wife to his in-laws’ house, and he did not tell them what had happened on the road, and neither did Bedour.  

When Bedour’s uncle saw that she had arrived with her husband Masrour the envy and anger stirred in his heart another time.  His brother was Bedour’s father who owned a large garden and in the middle of it was a beautiful castle but no one could reach it because a shaytan (a devil) lived in the garden. So he (Bedour’s uncle) indicated to his brother that he should convince his son-in-law to bring a fruit from the garden of the castle where the shaytan lived.

When Bedour’s father asked Masrour to bring a date from the garden, he (Masrour) didn’t hesitate a single moment despite what he knew of the garden being abandoned and a shaytan living in it.  Because of this, how quickly he took with him his donkey to load upon it the dates, and stopped at his in-laws’ farm where he took one of the swords that was buried there.  

When he arrived at the garden and picked the dates he placed them on the donkey and left it to return by itself.  As for him, he climbed the castle, and in it he met slave girls the shaytan had kidnapped and brought there, and they told him their stories and from them he learned that the uncle of Bedour was the one who had incited his brother the father of his (Mansour’s) wife to send him (Mansour) here so that the shaytan would kill him and clear the field for his (the uncle’s) son to marry Bedour. 
So he started to inquire of them about the habits of the shaytan and its behaviour, and they said to him: its habit is to enter the garden from the back when it returns at the end of the day from its daily journey, and before he arrives we present him a storm of hot winds that widen for him his procession.
Masrour continued watching the return of the shaytan until he felt the blowing of the hot air, and he knew that this was the precursor to his (the shaytan’s) arrival, and he unsheathed his sword and prepared for the crucial moment.  And when the shaytan entered he (Masrour) glimpsed his ugly back portion without the shaytan seeing him, and he (Masrour) attacked and killed him (the shaytan).  In this way he occupied his place in the castle and the garden became his garden, and everyone remained afraid to approach it.

The length of his stay in the garden increased until his wife despaired of his return and supposed that maybe he had died, and that was during the time when her uncle insisted on her marriage to the son of her uncle, until finally she accepted.  On the night of the wedding her groom saw a rat and unsheathed his sword and cut it in two, and he asked Bedour to carry the cut-up rat to her father to show him the bravery of her groom, but she didn’t go to her father’s house, instead she went to the garden where Masrour was, saying: I prefer to die where my husband died, for this one killed a rat and called it bravery and was careful to announce it to my father, and my husband killed a group of knights and buried their weapons in my father’s farm so that no one would know.  

 When she got close to the garden the door opened for her and her husband received her with the warmest of welcomes, and as he embraced her she nearly flew from happiness.  While everyone believed that she had disappeared as her husband disappeared, Masrour and Bedour were living in the castle and the garden in bliss and growth, served by the slave girls, and leaving behind them young boys and girls.


  1. Hmmm, I don't know ... the husband who can't be bothered to tell his wife that he is alive because he is tending a garden;) ... but I can so envision the rat-killing brave dude lol.

  2. I know right, I feel like he cared more about his bravery than his relationship with his wife. And I feel like we've met the rat-killing cousin somewhere. This wasn't one of the greatest folktales but I liked the bit about the shaytan in the garden. I feel like this is one of the stories that is drawn from life. I can't believe the last time I published a folktale was in July!