The First Voyage
My father passed away when I was still a young boy. He left behind considerable wealth. Like all young boys, I was thrilled to get so much wealth. I enjoyed myself with my friends. I drank good wines, visited the best places for food and spent my money buying fine silk garments and luxury items. I enjoyed all this for nearly a year but then I got into a routine. I dislike the same old friends, the same parties all over every day. I wanted a change in life.
One day, I took some money and bought some goods which I decided to trade. For this, I made contacts with a group of merchants who travelled from port to port in their merchant ship. One fine day, I set sail in a merchant ship carrying my goods to Indian Ocean.
As we sailed on, we did not see land anywhere for days. One morning we discovered an island. It was a deserted island. No vegetation grew there and we found no signs of humans or animals whatsoever. We explored it and were returning to our ship when there was a loud rumble and the earth shook. It was an earthquake. The merchants on the ship sent some boats to us who were exploring the island. All of us scrambled to the boats. But Alas! Just as I was about to get into a boat, there was a huge sea wave, the earth shook once more and the island sank into the sea. All of my friends were safe on the boats and had reached the ship while I was left in the rough sea waters. When I looked around, I realized that we had mistaken the back of a giant whale to be an island. When it went into water, we had thought there was an earthquake.
I tried to swim to save myself. The merchants in the ship took me to be dead and soon the ship set sail and went away. I saw a log floating by and clung to it till I reached a tiny island. I lay on the beach of the island for a while. Then I got up to explore the island. I found some wild fruit trees. I took some fruits to feed myself and walked on. I came to an opening where I saw a large green meadow. A horse was grazing there. As I approached the horse, a came to me and asked, “Who are you, my friend?
I replied, “I am Sindbad, the sailor.” Then I told him my tale.
The man introduced himself, “King Mihrage is the owner of this and I work as a stable groom for him. Let’s go to meet him.”
I went with the stable groom to King Mihrage’s palace. There he, too, heard my tale and said, “You are our guest, Sindbad. Stay here for as long as you want to.”
I stayed in the palace and had a luxurious life. I went around exploring the other nearby islands. On one island, a ghost resided. All night long I could hear him beating drums. Then one day as I was sitting on the beach I saw fish in the sea waters. They were no ordinary fish. Each one was nearly a hundred and twenty feet in length.
On King Mihrage’s island, I befriended many merchants. Once when I was on the islands port, I watched the merchant ships anchored there. I happened to see packages of goods that were addressed in my name. I realised they were the goods I had carried in the ship that had left without me. I looked around carefully and to my joyful surprise, I saw the merchant ship. I went onto the ship and surely there were my merchant friends. They welcomed me with open arms. They were happy to learn that I was alive. Then the Captain gave me tea and refreshments. He invited me to join him and the merchants again. He told me that the ship would set sail that evening.
I left the ship and rushed to the palace. There I informed King Mihrage of my good luck at finding the merchant ship. I took his leave. He was sad to let me go but I made him happy when I gave him gifts. The gifts were my goods that I had found in the ship and at the port. I then bought some goods from the islanders and loaded with the ship that took me back to Baghdad.
In Baghdad, I sold the exclusive goods from the islands at a great price. I made a lot of money. Then I bought a large mansion with luxurious interiors. I saved some wealth for the future and enjoyed myself for a few years.”
Then Sindbad turned to his guests and said, “So, my friends, that was the tale of my first voyage. All of you and my dear friend, Hindbad, too, must come for a feast tomorrow evening. Then I’ll tell you about my second voyage.”
As the guests left, Sindbad called Hindbad and gave him a hundred gold coins as a goodwill gift. Hindbad was joyous to receive so much money. He thanked Sindbad for his generosity and promised to come the next evening.