Explore: For another dream story, see The Hemp-Smoker's Dream . For another story about treasure-hunting, see The Baker and the Grateful Fish.
[Notes by LKG]
This story is part of the Persian Tales unit. Story source: Persian Tales, translated by D.L.R. Lorimer and E.O. Lorimer and illustrated by Hilda Roberts (1919).
The Shepherd Who Found a Treasure
Now he had milked some of the flock and obtained a bowl of milk into which he had put some rennet, and the milk had turned to cheese. He now laid a knife across the milk-bowl. The fly came and lighted on the knife and walked along from one end of it to the other. It went all over the knife, and the shepherd kept watching it all the time.
Then it flew off the knife and lighted on a stone. There were three stones in a row, and it chose the middle one and sat there a long time.
Suddenly the shepherd cried out to his sleeping companion: "Get up, my lad, the flock has gone off; a wild beast will fall on them and eat them up, and they are other people's property."
"May God give you good!" replied the other, "why wouldn't you let me finish my sleep?"
Now the first shepherd, who had seen it, knew that the green fly was the other shepherd's soul, which had quitted his body during his sleep, and he said: "Brother!"
"Let me buy your dream from you."
"Well, in exchange for your dream you may have all the wages I get for looking after this flock."
The sleeper agreed, and the other said: "Now tell me your dream."
"Brother," said the sleeper, "I saw in a dream 1 that I went over an iron bridge; beneath my feet was a great abyss, and the water below was white. As I have just said, there was an iron bridge stretched over it, and I crossed it to the other side, and went and sat down in a place where it was all rocks and broken stones under my feet. Now there was a treasure hidden there, but you didn't leave me in peace to see whether I should get possession of it or not."
"Well, I'm off on the tracks of your dream," said the other, "and you are entitled to my wages." He got up and drove off his flock and went to the camp. There he drew his wages, and returned and gave them to the shepherd who had had the dream, and bade him good-bye, and went off to the place where he had slept.
There he pulled up the middle stone and found four jars full of jewels stowed away beneath it. He took them away with him and went to his house and hid them, and after that he worked no more as a shepherd.