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Q: Classic Literature - Man Riding On Back ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Classic Literature - Man Riding On Back
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: q3augustus-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 31 Jul 2003 15:16 PDT
Expires: 30 Aug 2003 15:16 PDT
Question ID: 237535
I recalled a reference and for the life of me, can't remember where
it's from... it goes *something* like this:

An old man, whether from asking or pity, hitches a ride on a younger
man's back. The old man wraps himself around the young man, digs his
fingernails into him, etc so that the younger man cannot rid himself
of him. The old man ends up becoming like a parasite, and ends up
killing the other man (I think.)

This may or may not have been mentioned somewhere in John Sandford's
book "The Devil's Code."

Where is this from? Argh!
Subject: Re: Classic Literature - Man Riding On Back
Answered By: luciaphile-ga on 31 Jul 2003 16:20 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi q3augustus-ga,

Thanks for your question. This one brought back memories for me. When
I was a child, I had a much-beloved copy of “The Thousand and One
Nights” and this was one of the tales that I recall very well.

In “The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad the Sailor,” Sindbad comes across an
old and enfeebled man, who indicates that he’d like the sailor to
carry him on his back. Sindbad complies. When Sindbad asks the man to
climb down, the old man refuses and digs his heels (and in some
versions tightens his grip on Sindbad’s neck). This goes on for some
time until Sindbad decides to give the old man some wine. Eventually,
the old man becomes drunk and loosens his grip and Sindbad is able to
throw him off. In some versions, he then kills the old man. Sindbad
subsequently learns that his tormentor was Sheikh-al-Bahr or the
fabled “Old Man of the Sea.”

There are several versions of this tale. The following links have

Fifth Voyage

Fifth Voyage/Arabian Knights

The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman

One of the possible explanations/origin for the Old Man of the Sea is
that he was an ape or an orangutan.

Sindbad the Sailor, Voyages of

Google Search:
“old man of the sea” sindbad
“old man of the sea” “1001 Nights”

I hope this answers your question. If you need more information or if
the links do not work, please ask for clarification before rating my
answer and I’ll do my best to assist you.

q3augustus-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
This is exactly what I was looking for. I feel like a huge weight has
been lifted, thanks!

Subject: Re: Classic Literature - Man Riding On Back
From: luciaphile-ga on 02 Aug 2003 08:20 PDT
Thanks for the rating and the nice tip! I'm glad to hear you've lost a burden ;)


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