The Judge and the Green-Grocer's Daughter

Once there was a green-grocer who became the enemy of a judge. They were deadly enemies. The green-grocer said, I want to playa horrible trick on the judge, horrible enough to pay him back for all the damage he has done me.

He went to a woman who was very beautiful and said to her, Go to the judge and talk to him a little and tell him you are the daughter of such and such a green-grocer and your father doesn"t want to give you in marriage and that you have come to him without your father"s knowledge and that you want to find a way around your father.

The woman did as she was told and she went to the judge and said, My father is such and such a green-grocer, and whoever comes to ask my hand is refused by my father. He tells them that his daughter is bald, black, thin, tall, one-eyed, deaf, dumb, and lame, so the suitors go away and don"t want to marry me.

Very strange, said the judge. Who is your father?

The woman answered, My father is such and such a green-grocer. The judge himself desired to marry the woman because he saw that she was young and beautiful. He decided to marry her regardless of the consequences, so he said, If I come and ask your hand would you wish to marry me? I"d be very happy, she answered. I"d kiss your feet. Then she went away.

The judge sent matchmakers to ask the hand of the green-gro¬cer"s daughter. He said, I am a grocer and a poor man. What am I and what is the judge in comparison? Would it be a suitable match?

Of course. You should be happy.

Of course I am happy, and I shall be very proud of the connection. I regard the judge very highly but my daughter is not suitable for him.

Why isn"t she suitable?

He said, She is lame, black, tall, with hair as black as tar, bald in spots, one-eyed, deaf and dumb. Is such a girl suitable as a bride for the judge?

He wants her no matter what. Why do you turn us down?

Just because she isn"t suitable for the judge.

That story convinces no one but you. The matchmakers returned to the judge and said, The green-grocer says his daughter isn"t a suit¬ able bride for you. He says that she is lame, tall, black, dried up, with black hair, one-eyed, deaf and dumb.

I can put up with whatever defects she has. I agree to take her no matter what he says.

The matchmakers went to the green-grocer and said, O Father, we went to the judge and told him and he said that he agreed to take your daughter with all her defects if only her father agrees.

By Allah, I am reluctant to give him such a bride. Afterwards I shall be terribly embarrassed. I shall be giving him a purge if I so much as let him look at her. The very sight of her makes a person sick. However, if he wants her, let him have her. Let him come and take her, but let him not come to me later and complain. I shall write out a list of all her defects and submit it to him. Don"t let him say later that I fooled him. One-eyed, lame, tall, black, dried up, black-haired, bald in spots, deaf and dumb, and ugly. He wrote this list of defects on a paper. The matchmakers took it to the judge who wrote on the paper that he wanted the girl as his wife in spite of all her defects and he signed his name.

When he received the paper the green-grocer said, So be it, in the name of Allah.

How much do you want for her dowry?

Two hundred dinars in advance and three hundred later. Let the judge come and we shall be honored.

The matchmakers went and spread the news. They took the judge to the green-grocer"s the next day and completed the marriage contract between the judge and the green-grocer"s daughter. The bride"s trous¬seau and furniture were prepared and everything taken to the judge"s house and arranged in the bridal bedroom. The wedding night came and they made a procession to escort the bride to the house of the bridegroom.

The judge was happy because he expected that other girl, the one who had come to him at his office and who had told him that her father, the green-grocer, would not agree to give her in marriage. Then the judge went in to his bride and found her one-eyed, lame, black, dried up, tall, black-haired, bald in spots, deaf and dumb, and ugly. He was terribly disappointed. He gave her a push and went and slept on a couch.

In the morning he went to the matchmakers and told them, The girl is exactly as the green-grocer said she was.

Oh honourable Judge, why did you almost kill yourself to get her?
Why were you so eager to have her as your wife?

He tricked me. It was all a trick. The one I saw, who said she was his daughter, was a different girl.

He sent for the green-grocer who said. Huh? Is the daughter of the green-grocer beautiful?

I know that this is a trick you have played on me to get revenge.

Hah! At one time you knew how to crush my rights. You made right wrong and wrong right. As you hurt me, I hurt you. What a big scandal, - you married the ugly daughter of a green-grocer as well as giving a big dowry.

Pretty smart, pretty smart, said the judge. But she won"t remain my wife. Here is three hundred dinars which is the rest of the dowry, and I herewith divorce your daughter.

Do better in the future. O Judge. A person in your position can"t afford to be crooked and make right wrong and wrong right. If you don"t change your ways someone greater than I will come with a still better trick to teach you a lesson.