The Perfumed Garden, by Richard Burton

Chapter x

Concerning the Organs of Generation of Animals

Know, O Vizir (God’s blessing be with you!), that the sexual organs of the various male animals are not analogous with the different natures of the virile members which I have mentioned.

The verges of animals are classed according to the species to which they belong, and these species are four which I have mentioned.

1. The verges of animals with hoofs as the horse, mule, ass, which verges are of large size155

El remoul, the colossus.
El kass,156 the serpent rolled up.
El fellag,157 the splitter.
El zellate, the club.
El heurmak, the indomitable.
El meunefoukh, the swollen.
Abou dommar, the one with a head.
Abou beurnita, the one with a hat.
El keurkite,158 the pointed staff.
El keuntra, the bridge.
El rezama, the mallet.
Abou sella, the fighter.159

2. The verges of animals which have the kind of feet called akhefaf,160 as, for instance, the camel.

El maloum, the well-known.
El tonil, the long one.
Ech cherita, the riband.161
El mostakinme, the firm one.
El heurkal, the swinging one.
El mokheubbi, the hidden one.
Ech chaaf, the tuft.162
Tsequil el if aha, the slow-coach.

3. The verges of animals with split horns, like the ox, the sheep, etc.

El aceub, the nerve.
El heurbadj, the rod.
El sonte, the whip.
Requig ed ras, the small head.
El tonil, the long one.

For the ram.

El aicoub, the nervous.

And lastly, the members of animals with claws, as the lion, fox, dog, and other animals of this species.

El kedib, the verge.
El kibouss, the great gland.
El metemerole, the one that will lengthen.

It is believed that of all the animals of God’s creation the lion is the most expert in respect to coition. If he meets the lioness he examines her before copulation. He will know if she has already been covered by a male. When she comes to him he smells her, and if she has allowed herself to be crossed by a boar he knows it immediately by the odour that animal has left upon her. He then smells her urine, and if the examination proves unfavourable, he gets into a rage, and begins to lash with his tail right and left. Woe to the animal that comes at that time near him; it is certain to be torn to pieces. He then returns to the lioness, who, seeing that he knows all, trembles with terror. He smells again at her, utters a roar which makes the mountains shake, and, falling upon her, lacerates her back with his claws. He even will go so far as to kill her, and then befoul her body with his urine.

It is said that the lion is the most jealous and most intelligent of all animals. It is also averred that he is generous, and spares him who gets round him by fair words.

A man who on meeting a lion uncovers his sexual parts causes him to take flight.

Whoever pronounces before a lion the name of Daniel (Hail be to him!)163 also sends him flying, because the prophet (Hail be to him!) has enjoined this upon the lion in respect to the invocation of his name. Therefore, when this name is pronounced, the lion departs without doing any harm. Several cases which proves this fact are cited.

155 Note in the autograph edition. — Literally, magnificent creation.

156 The word kass, from the root kass, means to pierce a female; in the coitus, enwrapping her like a serpent.

157 This name comes from the root felleg, to split, to divide.

158 Keurkite is the name of a staff with a long, pointed ferule, as carried by the Marabouts. In some texts this name is replaced by kneurite, the Arabian name for lobster, and also for a sort of cuttle fish abounding on the African coast.

159 See note 2 on page 129.

160 Note in the autograph edition. — Akhefaf has no equivalent in French. It is a foot showing rudimentary hoofs or toes united at the sole by a thick and callous epidermis, as seen in the camel.

161 Id. — Cherita means a plaited riband or flat cord.

162 Id. — The only sense which can be found in chaaf is that of tuft, frieze, hair in general.

163 It is probable that this belief originates with the sojourn of Daniel in the lions’ den.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52