The old man was a junk collector.
It’s what he did when he retired.
Until he came across a specter
That gave you anything desired.
It rose from out an ancient vessel
And challenged him. If he’d arm wrestle,
And won two out of three, It would
Give unto him fulfilled manhood.
The old man though refused the bargain
But wrestled with It anyway
And won. “You’ll live another day,”
The demon said. “My name is Gargan.
Why won’t you have your wish fulfilled?”
The old man said, “Then I’d be killed.
“Unless, of course, you’re more specific
On what it means to be fulfilled.”
“You’ve got me. It would be horrific.
And certainly you'd have been killed.
Now since you saw through my deception,
I’m forced to honor your conception
Of anything you wish for now
And grant it as my sacred vow.”
The old man had an ugly daughter
Who lived with him. (His wife was dead.)
And so he took it in his head
To have her cured. And, having brought her,
He asked the jinn to make her fair
And live a life without a care.
The demon did as he requested
But not before It asked him if
He really wanted her divested
Of how she looked? “Why in a jiff,”
The old man said. “Then she can marry
And live a life that’s customary.”
The demon honored his request
And made a girl delight caressed.
But suddenly the old man’s feeling
Was disappearing with his breath
And he was certain of his death.
Disgusted at the dirty dealing,
He asked It, "Why?" "I made her fair
And took away her only care.”