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Short Stories

      The Rocís Egg   (The Second Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor)

Getting down from the tree I quickly collected what had remained off for my requirements and leave as fast as I could and went towards it. As I came near it, it appeared to me to be a white ball of giant size and height, and when I touched it, I found that it was too smooth and soft. As it was impossible to climb it, because it existed no foot-hold, so that I could walk unto it. I walked round about it to find some opening, but there was none to be seen.

I however counted, that it was at least fifty steps round. By this time the sun was about to set, but quite rapidly it fell dark. There I saw something like a huge black cloud came over me, and I saw with wonder that it was a bird of extraordinary size which was hovering near. Then I remembered that often the sailors speak of a wonderful bird called a roc, and it occurred to me that the white object which had so puzzled me must be its egg.

Sure enough the bird settled upon it, covering it with its wings to keep it warm and would hatch it, and I was sitting close beside the egg in such a position that one of the bird's feet, which was as large as the trunk of a tree, was just in front of me. Adjusting myself I settled securely in it in the hope that the roc, when it might take the flight next morning, would carry me away with it from the deserted island. And this was exactly what did happen. As soon as the sun rose in the morning  the bird woke from his nest into the air carrying me up and up till I could no longer see the earth, and then suddenly it descended so swiftly that I almost lost awareness.

When I became aware that the roc had settled and I was once again upon the solid ground, I quickly released myself from its foot, and not a moment too soon; for the bird, pounced upon a huge snake, and killed it with a few blows from its powerful beak, and holding it up rose up into the air once more and soon disappeared from my sight. When I had looked about me I began to doubt if I had gained anything by quitting the deserted island.