لَيْلَةُ الْمِهْرَجَانِ

لَيْلَةُ الْمِهْرَجَانِ

The Night of the Festival

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.

لَيْلَةُ الْمِهْرَجَانِ

فِي يَوْمٍ مِنَ الْأَيَّامِ ذَهَبَ جُحَا مَعَ جِيرَانه إِلَى مَهْرَجَانِ الْرَّبِيْعِ. كَانَ هُنَالِكَ الْكَثِيرُ مِنَ الْنَّاسِ. تَرَكَ الْنَّاسُ عَرَبَاتِهِم وَسِلَالَهم فِي نِهَايةِ الْسَّاحَةِ.

One day, Juha went with his neighbors to the spring festival. There were many people there. The people left their carriages and baskets at the end of square.

وَفِي الْمَسَاءِ تَعِبَ جُحَا. أَرَادَ جُحَا أَنْ يَنَامَ. تَرَكَ جُحَا جِيرَانَهُ وَذَهَبَ إِلَى نِهَايةِ الْسَّاحَة. بَحَثَ جُحَا عَنْ الْعَربَةِ الَّتِي جَاءَ فِيْهَا لَكِنَّهُ لَمْ يَعْثُرْ عَلَيْهَا. رَأى جُحَا سَلَّةً كَبِيرَةً وَفَارِغَةً. قَرَّرَ جُحَا أَنْ يَنَامَ فِي الْسَّلةِ. دَخَلَ جُحَا الْسَّلَّةَ وَتَغَطَّى بِلِحَافٍ.

And in the evening, Juha was exhausted. He wanted to sleep. He left his neighbors and went to the end of the square. He looked for the carriage on which he came, but his did not find it. Juha saw a large empty basket. He decided to sleep in it. He got into the basket and covered himself with a cover.

نَامَ جُحَا لَكِنَّهُ اِسْتَيقَظَ عَلَى صَوْتِ لِصَّيْنِ. أَرَادَ الْلِّصَّانِ أَنْ يَسْرِقَا الْسَّلَةَ الْكَبِيرَةَ. فَرِحَ جُحَا لِأَنَّ اللِّصَّيْنِ سَوْفَ يَحْمِلَانِهِ إِلَى الْمَدِينَةِ. كَانَتِ الْطَرِيقُ طَويلَةً، وَكَانَ الْظَلَامُ شَدِيْدًا. قَرَّرَ جُحَا أَنْ يُعَاقِبَ الْلِّصَّيْنِ. فَكَّرَ جُحَا فِي حِيْلَةٍ.

Juha slept but he woke up at the voice of two thieves. The thieves wanted to steal the large basket. Juha was happy because the thieves would carry him to the city. The road was long, and night was too dark. Juha decided to punish the thieves. He thought of a trick.

مَدَّ جُحَا يَدَهُ إِلَى رَأسِ أَحَدِ الْلِّصَّيْنِ وَشَدَّهُ بِقْوَةٍ. صَاحَ اللِّصُّ وقَالَ لِصَاحِبهِ: لِمَاذَا تَلْعَبُ الآنَ؟ لِمَاذَا تَشُدُّ شَعْرِي؟

 

Juha stretched his hand to one of the thieves’ head and pulled it strongly. The thief shouted and said to his mate: “why are you playing now? Why are you pulling my hair?”

قَالَ صَاحِبُهُ: أَنَا لَمْ أَفْعَلْ شَيئًا!

His mate said: I did not do a thing like that.”

تَصَايَحَ الْلِّصَّانِ قَلِيْلًا ثُمَّ صَمَتَا. تَابَعَ الْلِّصَّانِ الْسَّيْرَ. مَدَّ جُحَا يَدَهُ وَشَدَّ شَعْرَ الْلِّصِّ الْثَّانِي. صَاحَ الْلِّصُّ وَقَالَ: لِمَاذَا شَدَدْتَ شَعْرِي؟ أَنَا لَمْ أَشُدّ شَعْرَكَ أَبَدًا!

The two thieves shouted at one another for a bit. Then they kept quiet. They continued walking. Juha stretched his hand out and pulled the hair of the second thief. The thief screamed and said: “why did you pull my hair? I never pulled yours.”

قَالَ صَاحِبُهُ بِغَضَبٍ: أَنَا لَمْ أَشُدّ شَعْرَكَ! لِمَاذَا تَكْذِب؟

His mate angrily said: “I did not pull your hair! Why do you lie?”

تَصَايَحَ الْلَّصِّانِ مَرَةً أُخْرَى، لَكِنَّهُمَا تَذَكَّرَا كَنْزَهُمَا فَصَمَتَا. تَابَعَ الْلِّصِّانِ الْسَّيْرَ وُهُمَا غَاضِبَانِ. رَأى جُحَا أَضْوَاءَ الْمَدِينَةِ. عَرَفَ جُحَا أَنَّهُم أَصْبَحُوا قَرِيْبَيْنِ مِنَ المَدِيْنَة. فَرِحَ جُحَا وَمَدَّ يَدَيْهِ إِلَى رَأسِ الْلِّصَّيْنِ. شَدَّ جُحَا شَعْرَ الْلِّصَّيْنِ بِقُوَةٍ كَبِيرَةٍ. صَاحَ الْلِّصِّانِ بِأَلَمٍ. تَرَكَ الْلِّصَّانِ الْسَّلةَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ. تشَاجَرَ الْلِّصِّانِ. سَقَطَ أَحَدُ الْلَّصَّيْنِ وَهَرَبَ الْآخَرُ. لَحِقَ الْلِّصُّ الَّذِي سَقَط بِصَاحِبِهِ وَهُوَ غَاضِبٌ. تَرَكَ الْلِّصَّانِ جُحَا وَحِيْدًا. ضَحِكَ جُحَا وعَادَ إِلَى بَيْتِهِ وَهُوَ مِسْرُوْرٌ.

The two thieves shouted at one another again; however, they remembered their treasure and kept quiet. They continued walking and were angry. Juha saw the lights of the city. He knew that they were close to the city. Juha was happy and stretched his hands to the thieves’ heads. He pulled their hair with great force. They both screamed in pain. They left the basket on the ground. They fought. One of them fell, and the other ran away. The thief who fell followed his mate and was angry. They both left Juha alone. Juha laughed and returned to his home and was delighted.

حَكَى جُحَا لِجِيْرَانِهِ الْقِصَّةَ. حَكَى جِيْرَانُ جُحَا الْقِصَّةَ لِلنَّاسِ، وَرُبَّمَا سَمَعَ أَحَدُ الْلِّصَّيْنِ الْقِصَّةَ.

Juha related the story to his neighbors. His neighbors, in turn, narrated the story to the people. And it is likely that one of the two thieves heard the story.

Notes: 

  • Simple relative clauses جُمْلَة المَوْصُول:

(1) بَحَثَ عَنِ العَرَبَة الَّتِي جَاءَ فِيْهَا.

(2) لَحِقَ اللِّصُّ الَّذِي سَقَطَ بِصَاحِبِهِ.

(3) وَجَدْتُ القَلَمَ الَّذِي كَتَبْتُ بِهِ.

(4) البِنْتُ الَّتِي فَازَتْ صَدِيْقَتِي.

(5) سَرَقَ اللِّصُّ العَرَبَةَ الَّتِي فِي الشَّارِع.

The relative clause جُمْلَة المَوصُول (in orange) starts with a relative pronoun اِسْمُ مَوْصُول. In these sentences, the relative pronouns are الَّذِي (masc. singular) and الَّتِي (fem. singular). Both mean “who”. They refer to the noun that comes before them. They are followed by verbs, hence function as subject مُبْتَدَأ. They can be followed by a prepositional phrase, as in (5).

  • The use of لَمْ to negate the present form of the verb:

(1) لَمْ يَعْتُرْ جُحَا عَلَى العَرَبَة.

(2) لَمْ أَفْعَلْ شَيْئًا.

(3) لَمْ أَشُدّ شَعْرَك.

(4) لَمْ تَذْهَبْ إِلَى المَهْرَجَان.

لَمْ is a negative particle used to negate the present form of the verb. لَمْ indicates that the verb following it has a past meaning. For example, in (4) لَمْ تَذْهَبْ means “she didn’t go.”

  • Plural and Singular:
الجَمْع pluralالمُفْرَد singular
أَيَّاميَوْم
جِيْرَانجَار
نَاسإِنْسَان
سِلَالسَلَّة
أَضْوَاءضَوْء
عَرَبَاتعَرَبَة
  • Genitive Construction الإِضَافَة:

(1) مَهْرَجَانُ الرَّبِيْع

(2) نَهَايَة السَّاحَة

(3) أَحَدِ اللِّصَّيْنِ

(4) رَأْسُ اللِّصَيْنِ

(5) أَضْوَاءَ المَدِيْنَة

(6) شَعْرِي

(7) شَعْرَكَ

(8) صَاحِبُهُ

(9) كَنْزَهُمَا

(10) بَيْتِهِ

The most common type of genitive construction الإِضَافَة is:

 

indefinite noun نَكِرَة + a definite noun مَعْرِفَة.

 

In sentences (1) to (5) the second noun is definite مَعْرِفَة by reason of the definite article ال. In sentences (6) to (10), the second noun is definite because it is an attached pronoun ضَمِيْر مُتَّصِل.

 

In sentences, genitive constructions function as nouns, that is subject فَاعِل or مُبْتَدَأ, object مَفْعُول or object of a preposition اِسْم مَجْرُور. Also, they may function as a predicate خَبَر.

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