Part IV, Chapter XXI = XCVI. On the pecularities of animals and their curious effects.
f80b f347a 2009 In the introduction the author states that, since he has dealt fully with the nature and temperament of mankind throughout the collection, and in order to make this book more comprehensive and valuable, he thinks proper to devote a few chapters to the animal kingdom also.
      On the elephant: its domestic nature, its constitution, and longevity. A quotation from the book called Ṭabá’i‘-i-Ḥayawánát, about the inverted tip of the tongue of the animal; according to some Indian Philosophers, the animal could have spoken if only its tongue were located in the right direction (i.e. tip forwards like man). Further, they have found support for this conjecture in the keen sense and discipline in the nature of the animal. (Cf. D. H. H. II, p. 269; Q. A. M. p. 400.) Certain methods of hunting the elephant. (The anecdote concludes with a couplet of Táju’d-Dín Sarakhsí).
f81b f347b 2010 A Story of the spiteful nature of the animal: The elephant that killed the son of a certain Muḥammad Fílawí in Marw, in the reign of Maliksháh. (The Kitáb-i-Ṭabá’í‘-i-Ḥayawánát of Marwazí as the source, see above, p. 89).
2011 A story told by the Author on the authority of a friend (Shamsu’d-Dín Qayṣar (?), probably a physician in Nahrwála) about the elephant that took vengeance upon a tailor. Certain further peculiarities of the animal.
2012 How Sharafu’z-Zamán Ṭáhir Marwazí (the court-physician of Maliksháh, whose work is often cited in matters connected with medicine and natural history) treated the wound of a royal elephant in Marw in 478 A.H. = 1085—6 A. D. (See above, pp. 88—9).
f348a 2013 The camel: its peculiar constitution and various breeds.
f82a f348a 2014 The grudge of the camel, and the story of an Arab.
2015 Some medicinal properties of the parts of a camel.
2016 The buffalo: its habit of sinking in water and killing fleas. (Cf. Q. A. M. p. 383, D. H. H. p. 229).
2017 A person coaxes his sunken buffalos by music.
f82b 2018 The ox: various kinds, Byzantine cows with 4 horns; a peculiar method of breeding bees from the corpse of a calf, and some aspects of bee-hiving.
f348b 2019 Sheep: their usefulness, wool, difference in colour arising from the dif­ferent waters they drink, with illustrative examples, and their special breeds.
f83a 2020 The goat of a butcher fed on flesh and its delicious meat.
f349a 2021 The deer: its kinds, common and musk-deer; the theory of the congestion of blood in the gland of the animal, and how the Tibetans and other Central Asian tribes hunt after these musk-bladders. The association of a partridge with a deer.
f83b 2022 A fowler entices partridges by wearing the skin of a deer.
2023 The antelope: its horns, its fondness for music, the account by Dioscorides of the medicinal properties of its horn. (Probably taken from an Arabic version of his work on zoology mentioned by H. Kh. vol. III, p. 121, No. 4662; see above, p. 98, n. 3 and cf. Q. T. H. p. 183).
f84a f349b 2024 The horse: a noble-natured animal, illustrations from the Qur’án.
2025 Ptolemy’s account of the famous breed of war-horses, of which one was owned by Alexander the Great.
2026 The myth of the progenitor of the famous breed of horses in Arabia, which is supposed to be one of Solomon’s steeds.
f84b 2027 A horse found among the Kurds with small horns in the forehead, and [al-Bírúní’s] account of such an animal being presented to the Sámánids in Bukhárá in 339 A. H. (See above, p. 98).
f350a 2028 How Muḥammad b. Maslama defeated the Byzantines by threatening their horses with the stuffed skins of camels.
f85a 2029 The famous steed of Sa‘d b. Abí Waqqáṣ, called Balqá, and the exploit of Abú Miḥjan ath-Thaqafí the poet on the eve of the Battle of Qádisiyya, and his release and penitence, (The [Kitábu’l-]Maghází as the source.) (Cf. Ibn Qutayba’s Kitábu ’sh-Shu‘ará’, ed. De Goeje, pp. 251—2).
f350b 2030 The marvellous feat of Bukayr b. ‘Abdu’llah al-Laythí on his horse, by jumping it over a stream at Qádisiyya.
f85b 2031 The theory of the Greek philosophers about the influence of shape and colour at the time of conception, either on animals or men. Experiments tried at the time of the coupling of mares and also on human intercourse.
2032 The mule: the famous breeds of Armenia, Sharwán and Tiflís, and the special breed of the West in Andulus.
2033 Account given by Dioscorides, the Greek philosopher, of the medicinal properties of the various parts of an ass. (Cf. Q. A. M. pp. 376—7).
      The chapter contains no eulogy but ends with a reference to the coming chapter.