Arabic Folk Tales

One of my children's favourite ArabicFolkTales is this short story from Iraq. i Bahlul is one of the well known 'fools' of Arabic folklore, the prototype of the 'learned idiot'.

Bahlul and the Sweetmeats

Once Bahlul was included among the guests at a sumptuous banquet in the house of a wealthy merchant. Among the delicacies that were offered was a dish of Damascene nougat. What is this? asked a fellow diner. I don't know, said Bahlul, but I have heard people say that the most exquisite thing on earth is a bath. This, I think, must be a bath!

Arab Folk Tales, Translated and edited by Inea Bushnaq, 1986, ISBN 0-14-059510-4

-- MartinNoutch
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