The Thousand and One Nights is a story about a king named Shahrayar who finds out his wife has been cheating on him. Because of his hurt from his wife’s acts, he chooses to never love a woman again. He retaliates by getting a bride nightly, and killing her the very next morning. Shahrayar senselessly kills a myriad of women, leaving the kingdom in anguish. Shahrazad, the daughter of the King’s vizier is brave enough to marry the king, which turns out to be a brilliant idea. Shahrazad distracts the king from killing her by telling him countless stories throughout the night. Her strategy is to tell the story without finishing it until daybreak. Doing this saves her from being killed because Shahrayar is eager for Shahrazad to finish the story the next night. The king is blind to her strategical pattern of sidetracking his serial killings and is eager to hear each story she tells.
Out of the many stories Shahrazad tells the king, the one that I personally like the most is The Story of the Merchant and the Demon. The merchant unknowingly killed the demon’s son. The demon in return wants to kill the merchant. As the merchant cries out for mercy, he recites:
“Life has two days: one peace, one wariness,
And has two sides: worry and happiness.
Ask him who taunts us with adversity,
“Does fate, save those worthy of note, oppress?
Don’t you see that the blowing, raging storms
Only the tallest of the trees beset,
And of earth’s many green and barren lots,
Only the ones with fruits with…