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We Know Not What the Dawn May Bring Forth

IN THE age of the Janissaries the Minister of War, in all haste, called the chief farrier of the Army and ordered him to have made immediately two hundred thousand horseshoes. The farrier was aghast, and explained that to make such a quantity of horseshoes, both time and smiths would be required. The Minister replied:

               "It is the order of his Majesty that these two hundred thousand horseshoes be ready by to-morrow; if not, your head will pay the penalty."

               The poor farrier replied, that knowing now that he was doomed he would be unable, through nervousness, to make even a fifth of the number. The Minister would not listen to reason, and left in anger, reiterating the order of his Majesty.

               The farrier retired to his rooms deeply dejected. His wife, woman-like, endeavored to encourage and comfort him, saying:

               "Cheer up, husband, drink your raki, eat your mézé, and be cheerful, for we know not what the dawn may bring forth."

               "Ah!" said the farrier, "the dawn will not bring forth two hundred thousand horseshoes, and my head will pay the penalty."

               Late that night there was a tremendous knocking at his door. The poor farrier thought that it was an inquiry as to how many horseshoes were already made, and trembling with fear went and opened the door. What was his surprise, when on opening the door and inquiring the object of the visit, to be greeted with:

               "Haste, farrier, let us have sixteen nails, for the Minister of War has been suddenly removed to Paradise by the hand of Allah."

               The farrier gathered, not sixteen but forty nails of the best he had, and, handing them to the messenger, said:

               "Nail him down well, friend, so that he will not get up again, for had not this happened, the nails would have been required to keep me in my coffin."

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: We Know Not What the Dawn May Bring Forth
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

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