P in the Motif Index stands for Society, and the people in it: Kings and Queens and where they come from; artisans, peasants, people of the church - as well as families ("P233.8. - Prodigal son returns"). It also includes law, military affairs, hospitality, things that go with dealing with other people ("P361. - Faithful servant"). The story I found the most entertaining was
P327. Barmecide feast
On the thirty-first of the Thousand and One Nights, a barber tells a tale about his past adventures (The barber's tale of himself).
The story begins in Baghdad, where ten highway robbers had been arrested, and they are being taken to the Caliph for judgment. They are being embarked on a boat just when the Barber walks up, and seeing the ten men getting the boat, he immediately jumps into the conclusion that they must be going to a wedding feast. Not wanting to miss out (FOMO), he gets in the boat with them.
The boat takes the prisoners to the opposite bank of the river, where they are chained - the Barber along with them. He is too polite to complain, and never says a word. The robbers are taken to the Caliph, who orders them to be beheaded. The executioner goes down the line with a sword, striking heads off... until only the Barber remains.
Here is where things get a little confusing. The Caliph demands to know why the executioner only killed nine of the prisoners. The executioner swears up and down that he cut ten heads off, but the Caliph points out that one man is still alive, therefore they must have miscounted. In the end, they count the heads again, and turns out that ten are dead, and the Barber makes eleven. At this point a very confused Caliph asks the Barber who he is, and just what on earth he is doing in the lineup. The Barber very politely explains what happened, how he misunderstood a situation, but he did not want to make a fuss about it.
The Caliph falls over laughing.
(Read the story here.)
Now, "Barmecide" according to the dictionary means "illusory or imaginary." The term comes from the Arabian Nights itself - and it is directly related to our Barber above. The Barber tells the Caliph stories about his brothers. The sixth brother, impoverished, seeks charity at the house of the Barmecides, a noble family famous for its generosity. The old Barmecide pretends to serve him food and drinks - but it is all just play. Still, the beggar goes through the motions, even pretending to get drunk from the invisible wine. The lord of the house is so pleased with his miming capabilities that he keeps him around as a guest for twenty years.
P11.0.1. Prophecy that brother who first kisses saint will be king
P14.6. King‘s (prince’s) sulking chamber. He sulks here until his wishes are carried out
P14.7. None permitted to enter hall of king unless he possesses an art
P15.4. King is cursed by disguised dwarf-smiths whose work he criticised
P19.3. King must procure whatever visiting poets ask, or suffer from their satire
P192.4. Fool can live under water
P214. Wife drinks blood of slain husband
P233.3. Berserks scold their father who apparently without reason called their adversary invincible
P341. Teacher dies of pride over success of pupil
P412.3. Hero as rabbit-herd
P422.214.171.124.1. Poets and fools closely allied.
P641. Injured husband will not kill a naked man.