Once upon a time there was a lion who lived on the island called Manda,
which is opposite Shela town, and the people of Shela heard it roaring
nightly. In Shela was a rich merchant, and one day he gave out in the
bazaar: "I will pay one hundred dollars to whosoever will go and sleep
alone one night on the opposite shore, in Manda island." But for fear of
the lion no man would do this.
Now in that same town was a youth and his wife who were very poor, for
they had nothing. When this youth heard the talk of the town, he came to
his wife and said, "There is a man who will give a hundred dollars to
any one who will sleep on the opposite side one night. I will go and
His wife said to him, "Do not go, my husband, the lion will eat you."
He said, "Let me go, for if Allah loves me I will not die, and by this
means we will get the wherewithal to buy some food."
Then she said to him, "Go. May Allah preserve you."
So that youth, when evening fell, took a canoe and paddled over to
Manda, and there lay down on the shore.
Now, when the youth had gone, his wife there behind him was sad because
she had let him go, and her heart was very heavy with fear for her
husband. So she took some embers and some sticks of wood and went down
on to Shela beach, and there she kindled a little fire and tended it all
night, so that her young man on the opposite side might see it and not