Another Tack: The context of Mustafa’s misadventures

An Arab fable (as distinct from a potentially biased Western narrative) focuses on Effendi Mustafa’s relaxing afternoon in his idyllic orchard. Suddenly Mustafa’s pastoral peace is disrupted by a bunch of mischievous boys exuberantly chasing each other among his trees. Mustafa’s yells and threats go unheeded. He realizes he must conjure up a clever ruse to get rid of the noisy intruders.

He cloyingly summons them and whispers that apples of solid gold hang heavy off the boughs in their neighbor Ahmed’s garden. If the youngsters rush over quickly enough, Mustafa counseled, they may avail themselves of the alluring bounty. No sooner had he finished spinning his tale, than the kids disappeared in search of fabulous riches.

How sweet the lie! Continue reading