The Fifth Voyage
“My fifth voyage was made on a trade ship that I owned. Some merchants made them ready to be my companions.
We soon set sail. After many days, we threw anchor at a deserted island. There I discovered a roc’s egg as I had seen on my second voyage. 1 showed it to my other companions. One of them noticed it was about to hatch. He took his axe and asked the others to break the roc’s egg. I advised them not to do so but all in vain. They broke the roc’s egg, took the hatchelling, roasted it and ate it up.
Just as they finished eating the roc’s egg, the parent birds flew in. We saw them from far and all of us rushed to the ship in panic. In minutes, our ship was sailing on the sea waters. But to our horror, we saw the rocs following our ship overhead. They held huge rocks in their claws which they dropped on our ship. As the rocks hit the ship, it broke into pieces and sank with all my companions on board. By sheer luck I survived when large waves swept me on to the shores of an island.
On the island I rested for a while and then ate some wild fruits that grew there. As I went around looking for some inhabitants on the island, I saw an old man sitting by a stream. His hairs were long and a long beard covered his cheeks. He had a blank look on his face. He looked weak and haggard. I approached him and asked him if I could help him. He signed to me and asked to be lifted on my back to help him cross the stream. I obliged but after a while he tightened his hold around my neck that I nearly choked and fainted. When I regained consciousness, the old man was still clinging to me. Then he signalled me to get up and walk to some fruit trees. I plucked the fruits for him. Thus he ordered me around all the time, even when I slept. I realized my life was in danger so I thought of finishing off the wicked old man.
I found some grapes when the old man was sleeping. I took their juice in a large seashell and left it hidden under a small bush. A few days later, I tasted the juice and it had turned into wine. I took the seashell full of wine before the old man. I sipped it and exclaimed, “Ah! It’s the sweetest wine I’ve ever tasted.”
The wicked man signalled me to give him the remaining wine. He drank all of the wine and was drunk senseless. Soon his hold on my back loosened and he set me free. I quickly picked up a heavy stone and struck the old man’s head and he fell down dead.
Thus, rid of an evil man, I rushed to the shore. I saw some sailors there. They had come ashore from their docked ship in search of some fruits. They saw me and asked who I was. I told them all that I had gone through. Then one of them said, “Oh! You are lucky to be alive. The man was called the old man of the sea who killed all people he met.”
The sailors took me to their captain who allowed me to sail with them. A few days later, we landed on an island where a lot of coconuts grew. I gathered many coconuts and asked the other sailors to do the same. I intended to trade them for goods on other seaports. But we could not climb the tall coconut trees though we tried many a time. A while later, I saw some monkeys on the coconut trees. I knew that monkeys always copied others’ actions. My companions and I collected some pebbles which we threw at the monkeys. In reply, the monkeys threw many coconuts at us. We gladly collected all the coconuts and took them to our ship. Once we reached the next port, I exchanged the coconuts for some rare spices and shiny pearls.
When the ship reached Balsora and I arrived in Baghdad I sold the rare spices and pearls at high prices and acquired a lot of money all over again. Then I settled for a restful life. “
Sindbad finished his tale and bid farewell to his guests. But he reminded them to come the next day to learn about his sixth voyage. Hindbad was very taken up by the wonderful experiences of Sindbad the Sailor. He received a hundred gold coins thankfully and left Sindbad’s house. He eagerly awaited the next evening’s feast.