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On the second day of Sinbad's tale-telling - but the 549th night of Scheherazade's, for she has been breaking her tale each morning in order to tease the interest of the homicidal king - Sinbad the sailor tells how he grew restless of his life of leisure, and set to sea again, "possessed with the thought of travelling about the world of men and seeing their cities and islands." Accidentally abandoned by his shipmates, he finds himself stranded in an inaccessible valley of giant snakes and even more gigantic birds, the rocs, which prey upon them. The floor of the valley is carpeted with diamonds, and merchants harvest these by throwing huge chunks of meat into the valley which the birds then carry back to their nests, where the men drive them away and collect the diamonds stuck to the meat. The wily Sinbad straps one of the pieces of meat to his back and is carried back to the nest along with a large sack full of precious gems. Rescued from the nest by the merchants, he returns to Baghdad with a fortune in diamonds, seeing many marvels along the way.

Parent Tale: Edit

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