Topsy-Turvy Land eBook

Samuel Marinus Zwemer
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 87 pages of information about Topsy-Turvy Land.
women grinding at the mill 82
bedouin women eating their breakfast 84
cargo boats, Bahrein 86
river boat Busrah 87
sawing A beam 89
an Arab carpenter’s tools 90
puzzle of the thirty men 96
branch of the incense tree 98
slave girl in Arabia 102
liberated slaves at Bahrein 104
mission house at Busrah 110
the sultan’s soldiers 114
Muscat harbour 122
an old friend in A new dress 124


Why is Arabia topsy-turvy land?

On this big round earth there are all sorts of countries and peoples.  Men walk on it on every side just like flies crawling over a watermelon and they do not fall off either.  On the next page you can see how they travel all around the world; some in steamships, some in carriages or on horses, some in jinrickshaws and some in the railway coaches.  In Topsy-turvy Land they have no railroads and not even waggon-roads or waggons.  A horse or a camel or a donkey is used for passengers and the camel caravan is a freight train.

Or if you wish, the camel is a topsy-turvy ship which sails in the sand instead of in the water.  It is called the ship of the desert.  The masts point down instead of up; there are four masts instead of three; and although there are ropes the desert-ship has no sails and no rudder—­unless the rudder be the tail.  When the ship lies at anchor to be loaded it feeds on grass and the four masts are all snugly tucked away under the hull.  In Arabia you generally see these ships of the desert in a long line like a naval procession, each battleship towing its mate by a piece of rope fastened from halter to tail!  But not only is the mode of travel strange in Topsy-turvy Land, even the time of the day is all upside down.  When the boys and girls of America are going to bed the boys and girls of Arabia are thinking of getting up.  As early as four o’clock by western time the muezzin calls out loud from the top of the minaret (for Moslem churches have no steeples and no bells) to come and pray.  Arabs count the hours from sunrise.  It is noon at six o’clock and they breakfast at one; at three o’clock in the evening all good boys and girls are asleep.

Project Gutenberg
Topsy-Turvy Land from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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