Intilnire in Samarra (o veche poveste)
Zise Moartea: « Era odata un negustor in Bagdad care isi trimise servitorul la piata sa cumpere de-ale gurii. Nu trecu mult timp si servitorul se intoarse, alb la fata si tremurind, spunind stapinului :
« Stapine, mi s-a intimplat ceva inspaimintator. Cind eram in piata, o femeie din multime m-a inghiontit si cind m-am intors am vazut ca era Moartea. S-a uitat la mine si m-a amenintat ridicind miinile asupra-mi. Stapine, ajuta-ma, imprumuta-mi calul tau, sa plec cit mai departe de Bagdad,sa scap de soarta care ma asteapta. Ma voi duce in Samarra si acolo Moartea nu ma va gasi»
Stapinul, milos, ii da calul, servitorul il incaleca si, indemnind calul din pinteni, se indeparta cit putea de iute in galop. Mai apoi, stapinul se duse si el la piata si ma zari in multime. Atunci veni spre mine si ma intreba :
« De ce l-ai amenintat pe servitorul meu ridicind miinile asupra-i cind l-ai vazut azi-dimineata? »
« Nu l-am amenintat deloc, i-am raspuns, am facut doar un gest de grozava mirare, vazindu-l aici, in Bagdad, caci eu aveam intilnire cu el in seara asta, in Samarra. »
Traducere libera dupa:
“An appointment in Samarra”, an old story:
Death speaks: There is a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to buy provisions from the market and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the market-place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me.
She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city to avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.
The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the market-place and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?
That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.