COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in July 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Prayer Rug and the Dishonest Steward, The

A POOR Hamal (porter) brought to the Pasha of Stamboul his savings, consisting of a small canvas bag of medjidies (Turkish silver dollars), to be kept for him, while he was absent on a visit to his home. The Pasha, being a kind-hearted man, consented, and after sealing the bag, called his steward, instructing him to keep it till the owner called for it. The steward gave the man a receipt, to the effect that he had received a sealed bag containing money.

               When the poor man returned, he went to the Pasha and received his bag of money. On reaching his room he opened the bag, and to his horror found that it contained, instead of the medjidies he had put in it, copper piasters, which are about the same size as medjidies. The poor Hamal was miserable, his hard-earned savings gone.

               He at last gathered courage to go and put his case before the Pasha. He took the bag of piasters, and with trembling voice and faltering heart he assured the Pasha that though he had received his bag apparently intact, on opening it he found that it contained copper piasters and not the medjidies he had put in it. The Pasha took the bag, examined it closely, and after some time noticed a part that had apparently been darned by a master-hand. The Pasha told the Hamal to go away and come back in a week; in the meantime he would see what he could do for him. The grateful man departed, uttering prayers for the life and prosperity of his Excellency.

               The next morning after the Pasha had said his prayers kneeling on a most magnificent and expensive rug, he took a knife and cut a long rent in it. He then left his Konak without saying a word to any one. In the evening when he returned he found that the rent had been so well repaired that it was with difficulty that he discovered where it had been. Calling his steward, he demanded who had repaired his prayer rug. The steward told the Pasha that he thought the rug had been cut by accident by some of the servants, so he had sent to the Bazaar for the darner, Mustapha, and had it mended, the steward, by way of apology, adding that it was very well done.

               "Send for Mustapha immediately," said the Pasha, "and when he comes bring him to my room."

               When Mustapha arrived, the Pasha asked him if he had repaired the rug. Mustapha at once replied that he had mended it that very morning.

               "It is indeed well done," said the Pasha; "much better than the darn you made in that canvas bag."

               Mustapha agreed, saying that it was very difficult to mend the bag as it was full of copper piasters. On hearing this, the Pasha gave him a backsheesh (present) and told him to retire. The Pasha then called his steward, and not only compelled him to pay the Hamal his money, but discharged him from his service, in which he had been engaged for many years.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Prayer Rug and the Dishonest Steward, The
Tale Author/Editor: Adler, Cyrus & Ramsay, Allan
Book Title: Told in the Coffee House: Turkish Tales
Book Author/Editor: Adler, Cyrus & Ramsay, Allan
Publisher: Macmillan & Co.
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1898
Country of Origin: Turkey
Classification: unclassified

Back to Top