The Butterfly that Stamped
This is the story of The Butterfly that Stamped
and it happened Just So.
Long ago in the HIgh and Far Off times , when the world was nearly new.
There was a lovely garden, full of orange trees, and camphor trees and roses.
and in the middle of this lovely garden was a Great and Golden Palace
and in the middle of that Great and Golden Palace were 999 Queens.
and in the middle of the 999 Queens
Was the most wise and benevolent Sovereign King Suleiman-bin-Daoud.
Some of his wives were nice,
but some were simply horrid,
and the horrid ones quarrelled with the nice ones and made them horrid too.
And then they all quarrelled with Suleiman-bin-Daoud.
and that was horrid for him.
He was, of course, an extremely powerful king.
He only had to turn the ring on his finger to summon up four great gull-winged Djinns
Who could easily have magicked all those 999 quarrelsome wives into
White Mules of the Desert.
Or even pomegranate seeds.
But he didn't. He knew that that would be boasting and showing off.
So when the quarrelling became too great he would slip away to seek out his first and most loved wife
Balkis the Most Beautiful.
Oh my Lord and Light of my Eyes, said Balkis please turn the ring on your finger
to show those quarrelsome Queens how great and important you are.
Oh my Lady and Delight of My LIfe, said Suleiman-bin-Daoud. I cannot do as you ask.
For that would be mere boastful show perhaps if I sit alone beneath my favourite Camphor Tree
I might come upon the answer.
Balkis loved Suleiman-bin-Daoud very much so she hid where she could watch over him.
Suddenly the silence was broken by the sound of quarrelling Suleiman-bin-Daoud looked up
expecting to see some of his worrisome wives.
But no, it was two little butterflies.
Really wife, I don't know how you dare to keep insulting me so, said one little Butterfly.
Don't you know that I have only to stamp with my foot and all Suleiman-bin-Daoud's Great Golden Palace
and his lovely garden would immediately vanish in a clap of thunder.
Then for the first time in years Suleiman-bin-Daoud forgot about his quarrelsome wives and started to laugh at
the little butterflies' boast.
And said, little brother, please come here. The butterfly was dreadfully frightened but wishing impress his wife,
he tried to look brave and did as he was bid.
Little Brother whispered the King. Why did you tell that enormous fib to your wife?
Oh King, live forever, gasped the Butterfly. Please forgive me but she is always quarrelling with me.
and I just had to think of something to stop her you know what wives are like.
Yes , smiled Suleiman-bin-Daoud I know Little Brother.
See where you boasting has got you, the Great King heard you and it serves you right for telling lies.
Heard me, said the Butterfly, of course he heard me. I meant him to hear me I'm not frightened of anyone.
Indeed, said his wife, well what did he say?
Well,mmm, between you and me my dear, he asked me NOT to stamp.
After all his palace and garden must have cost a great deal.
So as a kindness to him I promised I wouldn't.
Gracious, said his wife, and sat quite still.
Suleiman-bin-Daoud just had to laugh at the impudence of the bad little Butterfly.
And Balkis smiled and she thought, through my Lord's selfless care for these two little creatures
I may find a way to save him from the incessant quarrelling of his Queens.
Little Sister, come here please.
Do you believe what you husband has just said?
Oh Queen, live forever, fluttered the Butterfly's Wife. I pretended to be impressed just to keep him happy.
You know what husband's are.
Yes, I know Little Sister, next time he threatens to stamp tell him to do so.
It will put a stop to his boasting once and for all.
Away flew the Butterfly's Wife to her husband.
and soon they were quarrelling worse than ever.
Remember, warned the Butterfly, remember what I can do if I stamp my foot.
I don't believe you, you couldn't bend a blade of grass.
Go ahead I dare you to do it, stamp, stamp.
She want's me to stamp, panted the Butterfly.
You know I can't do it , oh help me please. She will laugh at me till the end of my days.
No she won't little Brother, she will never laugh at you or quarrel needlessly with you again.
Oh Slaves, said Suleiman-bin-Daoud when this Gentleman stamps his foot you will make my
Palace and gardens disappear in a clap of thunder.
When he stamps again you will bring them back, carefully.
Oh there you are, cried the Butterfly's Wife, I thought you were going to stamp.
Go on then. Stamp, stamp.
And the Butterfly did.
Oh Gracious, gasped the Butterfly's Wife, I'll never doubt your word again.
Oh please put everything back to normal.
So the Butterfly, who was nearly as frightened as his Wife, stamped again.
Then all 999 Queens ran shrieking out of the Palace.
Oh Head Queen they gasped, one minute we were busy quarrelling in the Palace,
and the next we were in a great thundering darkness.
Then Balkis the Most Beautiful and Wise said, it is nothing.
A Butterfly complained to our King about his quarrelsome Wife, so it
pleased our Lord Suleiman-bin-Daoud to teach her a lesson.
Oh gasped the Queens if this great deed is done by our King on account of a little quarrelsome Butterfly.
How much greater will be his revenge on us who have vexed him for many years, with our incessant quarrelling.
And they tip-toed back to the Palace, mousey quiet!
Oh My Lady and Jewel of my Happiness said the King, when did this marvellous thing happen?
I have been so bust jesting with a Butterfly that I don't know how it came to pass.
And Balkis told him, and they lived happily and peacefully for ever and ever.
As sis the Butterfly's Wife and the boastful little Butterfly himself.
The first and last Butterfly ever in the world to stamp.