الْعُلْبَةُ الْمَسْحُوْرَةُ

الْعُلْبَةُ الْمَسْحُوْرَةُ

The Enchanted Case

The following Arabic short story is an abridged one. It is from a series of long stories which Kamil Kilani wrote. The original text is in a more advanced Arabic. This version is a simplified one.

الْعُلْبَةُ الْمَسْحُوْرَةُ

كَانَ صَادِقٌ وَلَدًا قَلِيلَ الْكَلامِ. كَانَ يَخَافُ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ، وَكَانَ يَتَوَقَّعُ الْشَّرَّ دَائِمًا؛ فَصَارَ الْنَاسُ يُسَمُّونَهُ “الجَبَان”.

Sadiq was a reserved boy. He was fearing everything. He was always expecting evil; therefore, people started calling him “the coward.”

بَعْدَ أَنْ كَبُرَ صَادِقٌ، أصْبَحَ مُوَظَّفًا فِي مَصْرِفٍ. عَرَفَ زُمَلاءُ صادِقٍ فِي الْمَصْرِفِ أنَّهُ جَبَانٌ، فَصَارُوا يُسَمُّونَهُ “الْفَتَى الْجَبَانُ”، كَمَا كَانُوا يَسْخَرُونَ مِنْهُ. كَانَ صَادِقٌ يَحْزَنُ مِنْ سُخْرِيَّةِ زُمَلَائِهِ لَكِنَّهُ لَمْ يَتَكَّلمْ.

After Sadiq grew up, he became an employee in a bank. His colleagues in the bank knew that he was coward. So, they started calling him “the coward young man”. Also, they were making fun of him. Sadiq used to become sad because of his colleagues’ mockery, but he did not speak.

فِي أَحَدِ الْأَيَّامِ، عِنْدَمَا خَرَجَ صَادِقٌ مِنَ الْمَصْرِفِ، كَانَ حَزِينًا. ذَهَبَ صَادِقٌ لِيَجْلِسَ قَرِيْبًا مِنَ الْنَّهْرِ وَبَعيْدًا عَنِ النَّاسِ. فَكَّرَ صَادِقٌ فِي خَوْفِهِ، وَفِي سُخْرِيَّةِ زُمَلَائِهِ. فِي تِلْكَ اللَّحْظَة، سَمِعَ صادِقٌ صَوْتَ شَيْخٍ يُنَادِيهِ، فَالْتَفَتَ إِليْهِ. قَالَ الشَّيْخُ: لِمَاذَا أَرَاكَ حَزِينَاً يا بُنَيّ؟

One day, when Sadiq left the bank, he was sad. He went to sit near the river and away from people. Sadiq thought of his fear and his colleagues’ mockery. At that moment, Sadiq heard a voice of an old man calling out to him, so he turned to him. The old man said: “why do I see you sad, son?”

أَحَسَّ صَادِقٌ بِطُمَأْنِينَةٍ فَأَخْبَرَ الْشَّيْخَ بِقِصَّتِهِ. اِبْتَسَمَ الْشَّيْخُ وَقَالَ: لا تَحْزَنْ يا بُنَيّ!

Sadiq felt at ease, so he told the old man his story. The old man smiled and said: “don’t be sad, son!”

أَعْطَى الْشَّيْخُ صَادِقًا عُلْبَةً مُغْلَقَةً. أَخْبَرَ الشَّيْخُ صَادِقًا أَنَّ العُلْبَةَ مَسْحُوْرَةٌ. العُلْبَةُ تَجْعَلُ الْجَبَانَ شُجَاعًا، لَكِنْ يَجِبُ أَنْ تَبْقَى العُلْبَةُ مُغْلَقَةً لِكَي يَسْتَمِرَّ سِحْرُهَا.

The old man gave Sadiq a closed case. The old man told Sadiq that the case is enchanted. The case makes the coward courageous, but it must remain closed in order for its magic to continue.

سَأَلَ صَادِقٌ الْشَّيْخَ عَمَّا فِي العُلْبَة. قَالَ الْشَّيْخُ: تَعَالَ بَعْدَ عامٍ مِنَ الْيَوْمِ وافْتَحَهَا لِتَعْرِف، لَكِنْ يَجِبُ أَنْ لَا يَعْرِفَ بِها أَحَدٌ.

Sadiq asked the old man about what is in the case. The old man said: “come after one year as from today and open it to know. But no one must know about it.

خَبَّأَ صَادِقٌ الْعُلْبَةَ فِي جَيْبِهِ، وَشَكَرَ الْشَّيْخَ، وَعَادَ إِلى مَنْزِلِهِ.

Sadiq hid the case in his pocket, thanked the old man, and returned to his home.

شَعَرَ صادِقٌ بِالْقُوَّةِ وَالْشَّجَاعَةِ فِي جَسَدِهِ. أَصْبَحَ وَاثِقًا بِنَفْسِهِ وَبِقُوَّتَهِ وَشَجَاعَتِهِ. دُهِشَ زُمَلاؤهُ مِنْ تَغَيُّرِ حَالِهِ وَنَسُوا صادقًا الْقَدِيْم. صَارَ الزُمَلاءُ يَحْتَرِمُونَهُ وَيُعَامِلُونَهُ جَيِّدًا.

Sadiq felt strength and courage in his body. He became confident of himself and of his strength and courage. His colleagues became astonished at the change of his situation and forgot the old Sadiq. The Colleagues started to respect him and treat him well.

ذَاتَ لَيْلَة، نَسِيَّ صَادِقٌ سَاعَتَهُ الْثَمِينَةَ فِي مَكْتَبِهِ فَقَرَّرَ أَن يَذْهَبَ إِلَى الْمصْرِفِ لِيَأخُذَهَا.

One night, Sadiq forgot his expensive watch in his office, so he decided to go the bank to collect it.

عِنْدَمَا وَصَلَ صَادِق إِلَى الْمَصْرِفِ، أَخْبَرَ الْبَوَّابَ أَنَّهُ يُرِيْدُ شَيئًا مِنْ مَكْتَبِه فَفَتَحَ لَهُ البَابَ. وَجَدَ صَادِقٌ سَاعَتهُ، وقَبْلَ أّنْ يَخْرُجَ مِنَ المَصْرِف، سَمِعَ صَوْتًا. عَرَفَ صَادِق أّنَّ فِي الْمَصْرِفِ لُصُوصًا، فَأّسْرَعَ وَأَخْبَرَ الْبَوَّابَ. اِتَّصَلَ البَوَّاب بِالشُّرْطَة فَقَبَضُوا عَلَى اللُّصُوصِ.

When Sadiq arrived in the bank, he told the doorman that he wanted something from his office, so he opened it for him. Sadiq found his watch. And before he left the bank, he heard a sound. Sadiq knew that thieves were inside the bank, so he ran and told the doorman. The doorman called the police, and they arrested the thieves.

كَانَ صَادقٌ مُرْتَاحًا عِنْدَمَا عَادَ إِلَى مَنْزِلِهِ. نَظَرَ إِلَى الْعُلْبَةَ الْمَسْحُوْرَةَ ثُمَّ قَالَ: بِفَضْلِكِ أَصْبَحتُ شُجَاعًا!

Sadiq was pleased when he returned to his home. He looked at the enchanted case and said: “thanks to you, I became courageous.”

عَرَفَ زُمَلاءُ صَادِق فَدُهِشُوا مِنْ شَجَاعَتِه وَمَدَحُوه. كَافَأَ مُدِيرُ الْمَصْرِفِ صَادِقًا لِشَجَاعَتِهِ.

Sadiq’s colleagues knew, so they were astonished by his courage, and they praised him. The bank manager rewarded Sadiq for his courage.

كَانَ صَادِق يُفَكِّر فِي سِرِّ الْعُلْبَةِ الْمَسْحوْرَةِ وَأَرَادَ أَنْ يَفْتَحَهَا لَكِنَّهُ تَذَكَّرَ الْوَعْد فَانْتَظَرَ حَتَّى يَمُرَّ عَامٌ كَامِل.

Sadiq was thinking of the secret of the enchanted case and wanted to open it, but he remembered his promise. So, he waited until an entire year has passed.

وَبَعْدَ أّيَّامٍ قَلَيلةٍ ذَهَبَ صَادِقٌ إِلَى الْنَّهْرِ. عِنْدَ النَّهْر، قَابَلَ صَادِقٌ الْشَّيْخَ. سَمَحَ الشَّيْخُ لِصَادِق أَنْ يَفْتَحَ الْعُلْبَةِ. عِنْدَمَا فَتَحَ صَادِقٌ الْعُلْبَةَ، وَجَدَ بِدَاخِلِها صُوْرَةً لِنَسرٍ. أَسْفَلَ الصَّوْرَة كُتِبَ:

(الْسِّحْرُ لَيّسَ فِي الْعُلْبَةِ. السِّحْرُ فِيْكَ أَنْتَ مَا دُمْتَ شُجَاعًا وَوَاثِقًا بِنَفْسِكَ!)

A few days later, Sadiq went to the river. At the river, Sadiq met the old man. The old man allowed Sadiq to open the case. When Sadiq opened the case, he found a picture of an eagle inside it. Below the picture, it was written: “Magic is not in the case. Magic is in you as long as you are courageous and self-confident!”

Notes:

  • The use of كَانَ:

(1) كَانَ صَادِقٌ وَلَدًا قَلِيلَ الْكَلامِ.

(2) كَانَ يَخَافُ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ.

(3) كَانَ يَتَوَقَّعُ الْشَّرَّ دَائِمًا.

(4) كَانُوا يَسْخَرُونَ مِنْهُ.

(5) كَانَ صَادِقٌ يَحْزَنُ مِنْ سُخْرِيَّةِ زُمَلَائِهِ.

(6) كَانَ حَزِينًا.

(7) كَانَ صَادقٌ مُرْتَاحًا.

(8) كَانَ صَادِق يُفَكِّر فِي سِرِّ الْعُلْبَةِ الْمَسْحوْرَةِ.

(1) In (1), (5), (6), (7), and (8), كَانَ precedes a nominal sentence جُمْلَة اِسْمِيَّة. The function of كَانَ in these sentences is to change the tense from present مُضَارِع to past مَاضِي.

(2) In (2), (3), and (4), كَانَ precedes a verbal sentence جُمْلَة فِعْلِيَّة. The function of كَانَ in these sentences is to change the tense from present (continuous) to past continuous. That is, كَانَ indicates that the action was continuous in the past.

(3) The nominal sentence الجُمْلَة الاِسْمِيَّة always expresses a present fact. To make it express a past fact, we simply add كَانَ to the beginning.

(4) When كَانَ is added to the beginning of the verb sentence, it becomes a nominal sentence because the subject of كَانَ becomes the subject مُبْتَدَأ and the verb becomes the predicate الخَبَر (i.e. a verbal predicate خَبَر جُمْلَة فِعْلِيَّة).

  • Using يَجِبُ أَنْ:

(1) يَجِبُ أَنْ تَبْقَى العُلْبَةُ مُغْلَقَةً.

(2) يَجِبُ أَنْ لَا يَعْرِفَ بِها أَحَدٌ.

(3) يَجِبُ أَنْ أَذْهَبَ إِلَى السُّوْق.

(4) يَجِبُ أَنْ نُسَافِرَ غَدًا.

(5) يَجِبُ أَنْ تُذَاكِرَ لِكَي تَنْجَحَ.

(1) يَجِبُ أَنْ means “must”. It must be followed by the present form of the verb.

(2) يَجِبُ أَنْ لا means “must not”. It also must be followed by the present form of the verb.

(3) يَجِبُ أَنْ remains the same with all nouns and pronouns. That is, its form does not change.

Kareema Hussain
I really enjoyed reading this story and it has helped me to understand the grammar rules in these sentences. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to benefit from these stories; May Allah reward you for your work!

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