Forty-four Turkish Fairy Tales , at sacred-texts.com
This old Padishah had three sons and three daughters. One day he was taken ill, and in spite of all the hodjas and physicians that surrounded him his condition failed to improve. He sent for all his sons and spoke thus to them: "When I am dead that one of you shall be Padishah who keeps watch by my grave for three nights. As for my daughters, give them in marriage to the first who ask for them." He died and was buried with all the pomp and ceremony suitable to his high station.
In order that the kingdom might not remain long without a Padishah, the eldest son went to his father's grave, spread his carpet and prayed thereon till midnight, and then patiently waited for the dawn. But suddenly a fearful noise broke upon the darkness; the youth, appalled, took to his heels and ran home without stopping.
The next night the second son went to the tomb, and sat there till midnight; but as before a fearful noise arose, and he ran back home as fast as his legs could carry him.
"If thou art the right man stab me once more."
"Not I," answered the Prince. The dragon accordingly expired. The Prince wished to cut off his ears and his nose, but he could not see in the darkness, and as he was groping about he noticed a light in the distance. He walked in the direction of the light, and as he approached it he saw an old man in a corner. This man had two balls of twine in his hand, a black one and a white one. The black he was winding up, and the white he allowed to roll on the ground.
"What art thou doing, father?" asked the Prince. " It is my occupation, my son; I wind up the night and set the day rolling."
The Prince rejoined: "My occupation is more difficult than thine, father.'' Saying this he bound the old man so that he could no longer let loose the day, and went on to seek a light. Presently he arrived at a castle under whose walls he found forty men holding a council.
"What are you about?" asked the Prince. " We want to get into the castle to rob it," was the answer, "but we know not how to accomplish it."
He now closed this door
also, climbed the castle wall and descended the other side by means of the nails. Then he went straight to the old greybeard whom he had bound. "My son," cried the elderly man before the youth came up to him, "why have you been so long away? My ribs are aching from my long bondage." The youth set him free and the old man now let the white ball roll farther. The youth returned to the dragon, cut off his ears and nose and put them in his pocket. He now returned home to the palace, where in the meantime his eldest brother had been made Padishah. Of his adventure he said nothing, but let things take their course. Some time afterwards a lion came to the palace and appeared before the Padishah, who asked him what he wanted. "To marry your eldest sister," answered the lion, "I cannot give her to a beast," said the Padishah, and the lion would have been sent away if the youngest Prince had not observed:
"Our father laid it upon us that she was to be given to him who should first ask for her."
On this he took
the maiden by the hand and delivered her to the lion, who went away with her.
On the third day a bird flew into the palace and requested the youngest Princess. The Padishah and his brother again would not consent, but the youngest insisted, and in the end the bird flew off with the maiden. The bird was the Padishah of the Peris, the emerald anka.
We will now return to the castle.
Here also dwelt a Padishah who had three daughters. Going out early in the morning he perceived that some one had been in the palace. He passed into the courtyard, and near the staircase espied the huge snake, cut in two by the sword. Proceeding farther he saw the forty corpses. "No enemy can have done this, but a friend," he mused; "he has delivered us from the robbers and the snake. This sword belongs to our good friend, but where is he?" He took counsel on the matter with his lala.
"We can only find out," said the Vezir, "if we prepare a great feast and invite everybody to partake of it. We must watch all our guests very closely, and whoever carries the sheath belonging to the sword is our friend.'' So the Padishah gave orders for the feast to be prepared and everybody invited thereto.
The feasting lasted forty days and forty nights, and one day the lala said: "Everybody has come to the feast except the three Princes." Accordingly they were sent for, and when they came it was noticed that the youngest had the sheath belonging to the sword. Immediately the Padishah sent for him, and said:
"You have rendered me a valuable service; what may I give you in recompense?"
"Nothing less," answered the Prince, "than your youngest daughter."
"Woe is me! my son, would you had not asked for her!" sighed the Padishah; "my crown, my kingdom are yours, but ask not for this maiden!"
"If you will give me the maiden I will accept her," answered the Prince "otherwise I want nothing."
"My son," implored the Padishah, in great sorrow, "I will give you my eldest daughter, I will give my second daughter, but I dare not part from my youngest daughter. The Storm Fiend demanded her in marriage, and as I would not give her to him I have been compelled to secure her in a metal chamber, so that this Dew cannot get near her. This Storm Fiend is so powerful that no cannon can injure him; no eye can perceive him; like the wind he appears, and like the wind he disappears."
In vain the Padishah urged the youth to dismiss the youngest Princess from his mind, and thereby keep himself out of danger; the Prince would not listen. Seeing that his reasoning was useless and at length growing weary of the matter, the Padishah withdrew his objections and the marriage took place. The two brothers married the two other maidens and went back to their own country, while the youngest remained, in order to protect his wife from the evil machinations of the Dew.
Thus the Prince lived happily with his beautiful wife for some time. One day he said to her, "My dear one, it is long since I went from your side; I would like to go hunting for one brief hour."
"Oh woe! my king," answered she, "I know only too well that if once you leave me you will never see me again."
But at length she yielded. He took his weapons and went into the forest. The Storm Fiend now had the opportunity he had long awaited. He was afraid of the brave Prince and dared not take the Princess from his side; but no sooner had the Prince left the palace than the Storm Fiend entered and carried off the girl.
Shortly afterwards the Prince returned home and missed his wife. He hastened to the Padishah, but the Dew had stolen his wife and she was nowhere to be found. He wept and lamented bitterly, casting himself to the earth. Then he arose, mounted his steed, and went forth resolved to rescue his wife or die in the attempt.
He wandered without resting for days and weeks, his sore affliction spurring him ever onwards. At length he descried a palace, but so faintly that he could scarcely be said to see it. This was the palace of his eldest sister. The Princess was looking out of the window and wondering at the sight of a human being in her locality, where no bird ever flew or caravan came. She recognised her brother, and when they met so great was their joy that they could not speak for kissing and embracing.
When the lion came home the Princess and he sat together and con. versed, and she asked the lion what he would do if one of her brothers should come there. "If the eldest came," answered her husband, "I would kill him at a blow; if the second came, him also would I kill; but if the youngest came, I would take him in my arms and lull him to sleep." "That one has arrived," answered his wife. "Then bring him here quickly, that I may see him," cried the lion; and when the Prince stood before them, the lion knew not what to do for very joy. He inquired whence he came and whither he went. The youth now related what had happened to him and said he was going to find the Storm Fiend.
"I know him only by name," said the lion, "but I counsel you to have nothing to do with him, for you can do no good." But the Prince was restless; he would remain only one night, and on the following morning he mounted his horse and set out. The lion accompanied him a short distance to put him on the right road, then they both went different ways.
"My tiger-husband will soon be here; I will hide you so that no harm befall you." So she hid her brother.
In the evening the tiger came home and his wife asked him what he would do if by chance one of her brothers should come to see them.
"The two eldest I would kill," said the tiger, "but if the youngest came I would rock him to sleep on my knees." So the Princess fetched the Prince her brother, and the tiger manifested great joy at seeing him.
The youth related the story of his bereavement and asked the tiger if he knew the Storm Fiend. "By name only," answered the tiger; and he also besought the youth to renounce so dangerous a quest. But at daybreak the Prince set forth again. The tiger put him on the right road, and they parted company.
Crossing a desert, he saw something looming dark in the distance. Wondering what it might be, he proceeded ahead and by and by perceived that it was a palace, the home of his youngest sister. The Princess glanced through the window, and uttered a joyful cry: "Oh, my brother!" His arrival gave great happiness; he rejoiced to have seen all three of his sisters, but he thought of his wife and his heart was heavy with grief.
Towards evening the Princess said to her brother: "My bird-husband will be here soon; I will hide you until I have ascertained how he is disposed to receive you." So she hid her brother.
"The two eldest," said the bird, " I should take in my beak, fly with them up to the sky and drop them to the earth; but the youngest I would take on my wings and let him go to sleep."
At this the Princess called in her brother.
"My dear child," exclaimed the bird, " how come you here? Had you no fear on the road?"
The youth told his grief and requested the anka to take him to the Storm Fiend.
"That is not so easily done," answered the bird; " but if you should encounter him, you would gain so little thereby that it were better to remain with us and relinquish your purpose."
"No," said the resolute Prince, "either I deliver my wife or I perish in the attempt."
Seeing he could not be turned from his purpose, the anka described the way to the palace of the Storm Fiend, "Just now he sleeps and you can take away your wife," he said; "but if he awakes and sees you, all is over. You cannot see him, for no eye can behold him, no sword can harm him, so beware."
Next day the youth set out and soon came in sight of an immense palace which had neither doors nor chimneys. This was the home of the Storm Fiend. His wife was sitting by the window, and on seeing him she sprang down crying: "Woe, my Sultan!" The Prince embraced her, and of his joy and her tears there was no end until the Princess remembered the cruel Dew. "He fell asleep three days ago," said she. "Let us hasten away from here before his forty days' sleep is ended." She
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also mounted a horse and they sped quickly away. They had not travelled far, however, before the fortieth day expired and the Storm Fiend awoke. He went to the Princess's chamber and called to her to open the door, that he might see her face for an instant. Receiving no answer he suspected evil, and forcing open the door found the Princess was not there.
"So, Prince Mahomet, you have been here and carried off the Sultan's daughter! But wait a while, I'll soon catch you both!"
Saying these words he calmly sat down, drank coffee and smoked his pipe, then he got up and hurried after them.
Without stopping to rest the Prince and Princess galloped onward, but presently the latter felt the wind raised by the Dew and said: "Oh, my king, woe is me, the Storm Fiend is here!"
The invisible monster fell upon them, seized the youth, broke his arms and legs, and smashed his head and his bones, leaving not a single member whole.
"As you have killed him, allow me at least to collect his bones and put them in a sack," the Princess tearfully implored the fiend. " I may perhaps find some one to bury them." The Dew offering no objection, the Princess put the Prince's bones in a sack. Then she kissed his horse on the eyes, bound the sack on his back, and whispered in his ear: "My horse, take these bones to the right place."
The Dew carried the Princess back to his palace, but the power of her beauty was so great that the fiend was like a prisoner in her hands. She refused to allow the monster in her presence; he dared show himself only before the door of her chamber.
In the meantime the horse galloped away with the youth's bones, and stopped before the palace of the youngest sister, where he neighed so loudly that the Princess came o ut to see what was the matter. On seeing the sack and her brother's bones she began to weep bitterly and cast herself violently to the earth as though she would break her
own bones. She could hardly contain herself until the return of her husband the anka.
With loud flapping of wings the bird-Padishah, the emerald anka, came home, and when he saw the poor Prince's broken bones he called his subjects--all the birds of the world--together and asked: "Which of you was ever in the Garden of Eden?" "An old owl was there once," was the answer, "but now he is so aged and infirm that he can scarcely move."
The anka dispatched a bird with orders to bring the owl. So the bird flew away and presently returned with the old owl on his back.
"Eh, father, were you ever in the Garden of Eden?" inquired the Padishah.
"Yes, my son," hooted the ancient one, "but it was a long, long time ago, before I was twelve years old. I have never been there since."
"As you have been there once," said the anka, "go there a second time and bring me a small phial of water." The owl protested that he could not go, the way was so very long and he had hardly any strength left; but his excuses were in vain. The Padishah set him on the back of a bird, and so they flew to the Garden of Eden, procured the water and returned to the nest.
proper places, and sprinkled them with the water of Paradise. The youth began to yawn as though he were just awaking from sleep. He looked around and asked the anka where he was and where his wife was. "Did I not tell you," said the anka, "that the Storm Fiend would catch you? He broke your bones, which we found in a sack. Now let him alone, or next time he will not even leave your bones in a sack."
But the Prince was unwilling to abandon his purpose, and once more set out to find his wife.
"If you must have her at any cost," advised the anka, "go first and ask your wife to find out what is the Dew's talisman. If you can discover that, the power of the Storm Fiend can be destroyed."
So the Prince, mounting his steed once more, hastened to the palace of the fiend, and as he was asleep the Prince was able to speak to his wife. In great joy the Princess promised to discover the Dew's talisman, saying that she would even use flattery if no other means served. The Prince hid himself in a neighbouring mountain to await the result.
When the Storm Fiend awoke from sleep at the end of forty days, he went to the Princess's apartment, and knocked at the door. "Get out of my sight!" cried the maiden from within. "you sleep for forty days, while I am left alone and wearied of my life."
The Dew was happy that she had even deigned to speak to him, and asked her joyfully what he could give her to drive away her melancholy. "What can you give me?" retorted the Princess. "you are only wind yourself! Perhaps, however, you have a talisman with which I might amuse myself?"
"Oh, lady," answered the Dew, " my talisman is in a far-off country, and it is very difficult to reach. If only there were another such man as your Mahomet, he might possibly succeed."
The Princess was now curious about the talisman, and flattered the Dew so much that at length he divulged his secret. He begged her to sit
by his side a little. The maiden granted him this favour, and thereby got possession of the history of the Storm Fiend's talisman, "On the surface of the seventh sea," began the Dew, "there is a large island; on this island is an ox grazing; in the ox's stomach is a golden cage; in the cage is a white dove. That little white dove is my talisman." "But how can one get to this island?" asked the Sultan's daughter.
"In this way," said the Dew: "opposite the palace of the emerald anka is a high mountain; on the top of this mountain is a spring. From this spring forty sea-horses drink once a day. If anyone can be found clever enough to kick one of these horses while it is drinking, he can saddle and mount it, and it will take him wherever he wishes to go."
"Of what use is this talisman to me," asked the maiden, "if I cannot once get near it?" She drove the Dew out of her chamber and hastened to her husband with the news. The Prince quickly mounted his steed, went back to the palace of his youngest sister, and related the affair to the anka.
Early next day the anka called five birds. "Take the Prince to the spring on the mountain," he bade them, "and wait there till the magic sea-horses appear. While they are drinking catch one of them, strike it, saddle it, and put the Prince upon its back before it has time to take its head out of the water."
The anka's subjects picked up the Prince and carried him to the spring. As soon as the horses arrived the birds did exactly as the anka had ordered them. The Prince found himself on the back of the steed, whose first words were: "What is your command, my dear master?"
"On the surface of the seventh sea there is an island. I wish to go there," said Mahomet.
With "Shut your eyes!" the Prince flew through space; with "Open your eyes!" he found himself on the shore of the island.
Alighting from his horse and putting the bridle in his pocket, he went in search of the ox. Strolling about the island he met a Jew, who asked him how he had got there.
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The had just enough time to do it
"I have been shipwrecked," answered the Prince; "the ship went down, and it was only with great difficulty that I managed to swim here." "As for me," said the Jew, "I am in the service of the Storm Fiend, who has an ox here, which I guard day and night. Would you like to be my servant? All you have to do is to fill this trough with water every day."
They arrived at the anka's palace just as the Dew awoke from his sleep. Seeing that the Princess was gone, he hastened after them. The Sultan's daughter felt the wind of the Dew, and knew that he had nearly over taken them. At this crisis the magic horse cried out to them to cut off the head of the dove which was in the cage. They had just enough time to do it; a moment more and it would have been too late! The wind suddenly ceased, for the fiend was now destroyed.
Full of joy they entered the palace of the anka, released the magic horse and left it to rest. Next day they went to the second sister, and on the third day to the third sister. The Prince now made the pleasing discovery that his lion brother-in-law was king of the lions and his tiger brother-in-law king of the tigers.
Finally they came to the Princess's own home. Their wedding was celebrated afresh for forty days and forty nights, after which they went to the Prince's kingdom. There he showed the dragon's ears and nose, and as he had fulfilled his father's wish he was elected Padishah. Afterwards Mahomet and his wife lived and reigned together in happiness until the end of their days.