Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Jean Cocteau - 1923

Translated into English
  by Robert McConeghy - 2016

Translated from (French):
Le Jardinier et le Mort

Country of origin: France

Based on When Death Came to Baghdad (Fudail Ibn Ayad)


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The gardiner and Death

Jean Cocteau / Robert McConeghy

The Gardiner and Death

A young Persian gardiner says to his prince :

"I met Death this morning.
He made me a threatening gesture.
Save me ! I would like to miraculously be
in Ispahan this evening."

The good prince lends his horses.
In the afternoon, the prince meets Death.
"Why, he asks him, did you, this morning
make a threatening gesture to my gardiner?"

"I did not make a threatening gesture", he replies,
"but a gesture of surprise.
Because I saw him far from Ispahan this morning
and I must take him in Ispahan this evening."