This section is from the book "Stories From The Thousand And One Nights", by Edward William Lane and Stanley Lanepoole. Also available from Amazon: Stories From Thousand And One Nights: The Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
Know, O my brothers (and hear from me the story of the third voyage, for it is more wonderful than the preceding stories, hitherto related-and God is all-knowing with respect to the things which He hideth, and omniscient), that, in the times past, when I returned from the second voyage, and was in a state of the utmost joy and happiness, rejoicing in my safety, having gained great wealth, as I related to you yesterday, God having compensated me for all that I had lost, I resided in the city of Baghdad for a length of time in the most perfect prosperity and delight, and joy and happiness. Then my soul became desirous of travel and diversion, and I longed for commerce and gain and profits; the soul being prone to evil. So I meditated, and bought an abundance of goods suited for a seavoyage, and packed them up, and departed with them from the city of Baghdad to the city of El-Basrah. There, coming to the bank of the river, I beheld a great vessel, in which were many merchants and other passengers, people of worth, and comely and good persons, people of religion and kindness and probity. I therefore embarked with them in that vessel, and we departed in reliance on the blessing of God (whose name be exalted!), and his aid and favour, , rejoicing in expectation of good-fortune and safety. We ceased not to proceed from sea to sea, and from island to island, and from city to city; at every place by which we passed diverting ourselves, and selling and buying, in the utmost joy and happiness. Thus we did until we were, one day, pursuing our course in the midst of the roaring sea, agitated with waves, when, lo, the master standing at the side of the vessel, looked at the different quarters of the sea, and then slapped his face, furled the sails of the ship, cast its anchors, plucked his beard, rent his clothes, and uttered a great cry. So we said to him, O master, what is the news? And he answered, Know, O passengers, whom may God preserve! that the wind hath prevailed against us, and driven us out of our course in the midst of the sea, and destiny hath cast us, through our evil fortune, towards the Mountain of Apes. No one hath ever arrived at this place and escaped, and my heart is impressed with the conviction of the destruction of us all.-And the words of the master were not ended before the apes had come to us and sur- j rounded the vessel on every side, numerous as locusts, dispersed about the vessel and on the shore. We feared that, if we killed one of them, or struck him, or drove him away, they would kill us, on account of their excessive number; for numbers prevail against courage; and we feared them lest they should plunder our goods and our commodities. They are the most hideous of beasts, and covered with hair like black felt, their aspect striking terror. No one understandeth their language or their state, they shun the society of men, have yellow eyes, and black faces, and are of small size, the height of each one of them being four spans. They climbed up the cables, and severed them with their teeth, and they severed all the ropes of the vessel in every part: so the vessel inclined with the wind, and stopped at their mountain, and on their coast. Then, having seized all the merchants and the other passengers, and landed upon the island, they took the vessel with the whole of its contents, and went their way with it.
They left us upon the island, the vessel became concealed from us, and we knew not whither they went with it. And while we were upon that island, eating of its fruits and its herbs, and drinking of the rivers that were there, lo, there appeared to us an inhabited house in the midst of the island. We therefore went towards it, and walked to it; and, behold, it was a pavilion, with lofty angles, with high walls, having an entrance with folding doors, which were open; and the doors were of ebony. We entered this pavilion, and found in it a wide, open space, like a wide, large court, around which were many lofty doors, and at its upper end was a high and great mastabah. There were also in it utensils for cooking, hung over the fire-pots, and around them were many bones. But we saw not there any person; and we wondered at that extremely. We sat in the open space in that pavilion a little while, after which we slept; and we ceased not to sleep from near the mid-time between sunrise and moon until sunset. And, lo, the earth trembled beneath us, and we heard a confused noise from the upper air, and there descended upon us, from the summit of the pavilion, a person of enormous size, in human form, and he was of black complexion, of lofty stature, like a great palm-tree: he had two eyes like two blazes of fire, and tusks like the tusks of swine, and a mouth of prodigious size, like the mouth of a well, and lips like the lips of a camel, hanging down upon his bosom, and he had ears like two mortars, hanging down upon his shoulders, and the nails of his hands were like the claws of the lion. So when we beheld him thus, we became unconscious of our existence, our fear was vehement, and our terror was violent, and through the violence of our fear and dread and terror we became as dead men. And after he had descended upon the ground, he sat a little while upon the mastabah. Then he arose and came to us. and, seizing me by my hands from among my companions the merchants, lifted me up from the ground in his hand, and felt me and turned me over; and I Was in his hand like a little mouthful. He continued to feel me as the butcher feeleth the sheep that he is about to slaughter; but he found me infirm from excessive affliction, and lean from excessive fatigue and from the voyage; having no flesh. He therefore let me go from his hand, and took another, from among my companions; and he turned him over, as he had turned me over, and felt him as he had felt me, and let him go. He ceased not to feel us and turn us over, one after another, until he came to the master of our ship, who was a fat, stout, broad-shouldered man; a person of strength and vigour: so he pleased him, and he seized him as the butcher seizeth the animal that he is about to slaughter, and, having thrown him on the ground, put his foot upon his neck, which he thus broke. Then he brought a long spit, and thrust it into his throat, and spitted him; after which he lighted a fierce fire, and placed over it that spit upon which the master was spitted, and ceased not to turn him round over the burning coals until his flesh was thoroughly roasted; when he took him off from the fire, put him before him, and separated his joints as a man separates the joints of a chicken, and proceeded to tear in pieces his flesh with his nails, and to eat of it. Thus he continued to do until he had eaten his flesh, and gnawed his bones, and there remained of him nothing but some bones, which he threw by the side of the pavilion. He then sat a little, and threw himself down, and slept upon that mastabah, making a noise with his throat like that which is made by a lamb or other beast when slaughtered; and he slept uninterruptedly until the morning, when he went his way.