The Tusk of Elephants (The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor)
And on the fifth day we had the bad luck
that we in a sudden met with pirates, who
vessel, and killing all who refuse to go
along with them, and
making prisoners of those who were
practically enough to put forward at once, of
whom I was one. When they had violated
us of all we overcome, they forced us
to put on evil raiment, and sailing to an island
which was located near it, there sold us for slaves.
I fell into the hands of a rich
merchant, who took me home with him and
clothed and fed me well, and after some days
he questioned me as to what I
am and what I can do.
I answered that I was a rich merchant who had
been captured by pirates, and therefore I knew no
"Tell me," he said, "can you shoot with a bow?"
I replied that this had been one of the pastimes
in the times
of my youth, and through that doubtless with practice, my
skill would come back to me.
Upon this he provided me with a bow and arrows,
and he ascended me with him upon his own elephant
and took the way to a huge forest which
was a little far from
the town. When we had reached the wildest part
of it we stopped, and my master said to me:
"This forest had numerous groups of elephants. Hide
yourself in this great tree, and shoot all
that passes you. When you have succeeded in
killing one come and tell me."
So saying this, he gave me a provided me an
amount of food and
returned to the town, and I climbed high
up in the tree and kept a watch over the
animals. That night I saw
nothing, but just after sunrise the next morning
a large group of elephants came crashing and
walking by. I lost no time in letting fly
several arrows, and at last one of the great
animals fell to the ground dead, and the others
ran away, leaving me free to come down from my
hiding place and so I ran back to tell my master
my success, for which I was honored and
delighted with good things. Then we went
back to the forest together and dug a
large hole in which
we buried the elephant I had killed, in order
that when it became a skeleton my master might
return and get hold of its tusks.
For two months I thus hunted in the same
way, and no day
passed that I did not get the hold of an elephant.
Of course I did not always hid
myself in the same tree, but sometimes
in one place, sometimes in another one.
One morning as I watched the coming of the
herds of the
elephants I was much shocked to see that,
instead of passing the tree I was in, as
they usually did, they stopped their
completely surrounded it
trumpeting horribly, and shaking the
tree with their heavy trumpets, and
when I saw that their eyes were fixed
upon me I was much horrified because
there was no one to support me, and my arrows
dropped from my hands.
In fact I had a good reason for my fear when,
an on the spot, the largest of the animals
harmed his trunk round the stem of my tree,
and with one great try tore it up by the
roots, bringing me to the ground entangled
in its branches.
I thought now, that it was my last hour
which was surely came;
but the huge creature, picking me up very
kindly, placed me upon its back, where I
dead than alive, and was followed by the whole herd into the dense forest. It
seemed to me a long time before I was once more
placed upon my feet by the elephant, and I stood as
if I am in a dream, was watching the herd,
which turned off in another direction, and hid
their-selves in the dense under wood.
Then, getting onto the position of
betterment, I looked about me, and
found that I was standing upon the side of a
great hill, as far as I could see on
the other hand the land was covered with bones and tusks of elephants.
"Then this must be the burying
place of the elephants," I said to myself, "and they must have
brought me here that I might stop to harass
them, seeing that I want nothing but their
tusks, and here there are more than I could carry away
in a lifetime."
Whereas, I turned and made my way for the city as fast
as I could, not seeing a single elephant by
the way, which made me sure that they had
moved deeper into the forest to leave the way
open for me to go to the Ivory Hill, and I did not know how
pleasingly to respect their forethought. After a
day and a night I reached my master's house, and
was received by him with great surprise.
"Ah! Poor Sinbad," he said, "I was
what could have happened you. When I went to
the forest I found that the tree was uprooted, and
the arrows were lying beside, and I was feared
should never see you again. Please tell me how you
escaped from this dangerous situation."
I soon fulfilled his excitement, and the next day
we went together to the Ivory Hill, and he was
much surprised and was happy to find that I had told him nothing
but the truth. When we had loaded our elephant
with as many tusks as it could carry and
when we were on
our way back to the city, he said:
"My brother I can no longer treat the one
as a slave who has enriched my life, thus take your
independence and may God bless you. I will no
longer hide from you that these wild
elephants have killed numbers of our slaves
every year. No matter what good advice we
them, they were caught now or the another
alone have escaped from the traps of these
therefore you must be under the special
protection of God. Now only through you the whole
town will be enriched without further loss of
lives neither of these wild-animals nor
of the human, therefore you shall not only receive your
independence, but I will also grant a
To which I replied, "Master, I thank you
a lot, and
wish you all kinds of happiness to be
showered unto you. For myself I only ask
independence to return to my own country."
"It is well," he answered, "the monsoon will
soon bring the ivory ships over here, then I will
send you on your way with somewhat to
continue your journey."