Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Gazelle Who Begged for Her Life, by Francis Marion Soty

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2015; 4,981 words
Rating: 3, Good, ordinary, story

Sobering tale of Kafar Al-Din, who meets a Jinni in the woods outside Aleppo and tells the tale of how he comes to be leading a gazelle that seems to be begging for its life.

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: Both the framing story and the inner story come to resolutions. Justice, of a sort, is served. The scene where Kafar unknowingly has his concubine killed is very moving.

The framing story is from The Story of the Merchant and the Demon, which Shahrazad relates on the first night of the Arabian Nights. The main story (involving a different man) is taken from the First Old Man's Tale, told on the fourth and fifth nights. We never do find out what happens to the gazelle (actually a deer in the original story).

Con: This is a very simple tale, and everything in it was predictable. Beyond the concubine, none of the characters inspired any sympathy.

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