Forty-four Turkish Fairy Tales , at sacred-texts.com
They accordingly set out, and after many days came to a spring in the midst of a great plain. " Let us sit here and rest a little," suggested the Padishah. So they sat down under a tree, and while they were resting a dervish suddenly appeared and greeted them. "Essalaam alejkum, Padishah!" "Ve alejkum salaam, father," they answered, and bade him sit down beside them. Then said the Padishah to the dervish, "If you know that I am the Padishah, you know also my sorrow." The dervish answered: "Because you have no children you take this pilgrimage." Speaking thus, he took two apples from his breast, gave one to the Padishah and the other to the lala, saying: "Take these apples, and when you are both at home in your palaces eat one half yourselves and give the other half to your wives. Allah will then bless you with children." A moment later he was gone.
Now the Padishah and his lala returned home. They ate each half an apple, giving
the corresponding halves to their wives; and soon afterwards each had a son. The double event was celebrated with great rejoicing and public festivity. The boys thrived, and up to their thirteenth year they were never separated day or night.
"Let me dissuade you, my Prince. Much unhappiness might result to you from such a quest." But the Prince refused to listen, and began preparations for the journey. Then said his companion: "If you are indeed resolved to go I cannot remain behind alone; we will go together." So they both saddled their horses, and without telling anyone of their intention, set out.
They travelled for weeks and months until they reached a city, where they met with an old woman, of whom they demanded lodging for the night. "My children," said the woman, "I have but a kuliba, in which I myself can hardly stir. How then can I accommodate you?" When, however, the youths gave her a handful of gold, she said: "Well, enter, my sons." And she led the way into the house.
The Prince was sighing continually after his loved one. The woman, perceiving his sadness, inquired the cause; whereupon the Prince showed her the portrait. "Look, mother, I am in love with this maiden," he
said. "On her account I am here in this strange land, and if I cannot win the object of my love I cannot live." "My son," returned the woman, "this is the daughter of our Padishah. This week her betrothal takes place. I go in and out of the King's palace constantly. Calm yourself; tomorrow morning I will endeavour to point out to you the Sultan's daughter." The youth was most grateful for the old woman's kindly interest; he kissed her hand, and begged her to arrange a meeting with the Princess for him.
Next morning the woman went early to the palace. The Princess's ladies-in-waiting received her kindly, inquired after her health, and conversed on various topics. At length by chance she found herself alone with the Sultan's daughter, and she seized the opportunity to tell the Princess of the Prince's love for her. "But, dear mother," returned the Princess, "know you not that my betrothal takes place this week?" The old woman, however, was not content. She pleaded and persuaded, describing how bitterly the Prince wept, and that he desired to see her but once. At last the maiden's sympathy was touched, and she said: "Tomorrow I go with the wedding party to my bridegroom's capital. On the way is a black türbe. The youth may await me there and I will meet him." The old woman now went home and related to the Prince all that the Sultan's daughter had said. He was very happy, and, taking his lala, they set out toward midnight for the appointed spot.
The Princess rose betimes, dressed, and took her seat in the carriage, and the procession started. When they reached the tomb she ordered her carriage to stop, saying: "I wish to visit this tomb for a short time; wait until my return." As soon as the two young people met they fell in love with one another, and they found so much to say that time passed more rapidly than either of them suspected.
Meanwhile the lala kept guard over them, and when he thought the wedding party were becoming impatient he took clothes belonging to the Princess and dressed himself therein and went to the carriage. Thinking
he was the Sultan's daughter the guests reproached him for keeping them waiting so long, saw him safely into the carriage, and proceeded on their journey. Presently the youth and the maiden in the türbe began to realise how late it was growing, and the latter, discovering the loss of her garments, was seized with despair. The Prince endeavoured to soothe her. "Fear not, my Sultana," said he, "my lala has taken thy place at the wedding. Let us go hence; the lala will find us later," So they made up their minds to go to the dwelling of the old woman.
During this time the lala was travelling in the wedding procession to the palace of the Padishah to whom the Princess was to be given in marriage. As the "bride", the lala was taken to the bridal chamber, where he said: "I am fatigued with the journey; let the wedding be postponed for forty days that I may recover from my indisposition." This was agreed to, and the Padishah's sister undertook to be the "bride's" constant companion.
One day when they were in the garden, seated beside a pond, a bird which had been singing lustily on a tree flew away. The lala was observed to smile. "Why do you smile?" asked the maiden. "At nothing of importance," answered the lala. "Then tell me," persisted the maiden. "That bird said just now," replied the lala: "'If these two young people were to jump into the pond and bathe, one of them would be transformed into a man who would marry the other.'" "Is it possible?" exclaimed the maiden, and proposed that they should put the statement to the test forthwith. "It cannot be," answered the lala sadly, "for if I were a man you would not marry me." "Wallahi," returned the maiden, "indeed I would marry you," "But how if you should become the man, would you then marry me?" asked the lala. The maiden swore that nothing less was her inclination, and urged the matter so long that they jumped into the water. When they emerged the lala was in very deed a man! The maiden was delighted beyond description, and declared that Allah had changed him into a man that they might marry each other, If
it became known, however, their marriage would be forbidden; therefore they must flee for safety.
They took a horse and made their escape, arriving after many days at the old woman's, where they rejoiced to find the Prince and the young Sultana already before them. Next day, rewarding the old woman with another handful of gold, they mounted their horses and rode away.
While this was happening the Padishah was overwhelmed with surprise and grief at the mysterious disappearance of both his bride and sister. He went to his bride's father, and the two made search everywhere, without success. The only result of their efforts was the appearance of a witch, who said to the Princess's father: "I will find your daughter and bring her back to you, together with the three others who have fled with her." "Do so!" said the Padishah; "bring back the fugitives and I will reward you well."
After much wandering the fugitives reached a spring, where they sat down to rest in the shade of a tree. The lala kept watch while the others slept. Suddenly two doves flew on to the tree, the one laughing and the other weeping.
The weeping bird, addressing the other, said: "Why do you laugh? You should rather pity the poor sleepers." At this the laughing bird laughed all the more, and asked its companion why it wept. "Why should I not weep, indeed, when I see these sleepers? Do you not know that when they reach the other side of the hill a beautifully formed horse will appear to them out of the forest. They will try to catch it, and in doing so lies their destruction; for this horse is no other than a witch who is resolved to capture them and deliver them all over to the Padishah, who will put them to death. Wherefore I weep."
The other dove could not stop laughing, and said: "There is no need to weep; all they have to do is to kill the horse at a single blow." Still the bird would not stop weeping, but continued: "Even should they settle with the horse they have still to encounter a little dog on the opposite side of the farther hill; this also is a witch set to capture them and deliver them to the Padishah."
Still laughing, the other dove replied: "That is of no importance either if they kill the dog with a single blow they are freed from that danger also." Said the weeping dove: "When they have settled with the dog there is still another peril hovering over them. On their bridal night a monster will appear and drag them out of bed." "Then they must kill him also," returned the bird, still laughing, and adding: ''If anyone overhears our conversation and repeats it to another he shall be turned into stone." With this they flew away.
The lala, who had listened attentively to this dialogue, now woke up his companions; they mounted their horses and rode farther. After a long ride they reached the other side of the hill, where they saw a beautiful horse approaching them and whinnying. The Prince cried out in great glee: "Look at that lovely creature! Let us catch it." "Stop!" said the lala; "I will catch it," and as soon as he came up with it he drove his sword clean through it and it fell dead. Though considerably astonished
at the lala's strange action, his companions said nothing, but proceeded on their way.
Having crossed the second hill a little dog greeted them with loud barking and much wagging of its tail. The Padishah's son would have caught it, but he was prevented by the lala, who cut it in two by a blow of his sword. "Both were our enemies," he observed, and they continued their flight.
After overcoming many dangers and obstacles they arrived safely in the capital, their return being celebrated with brilliant festivities and great public rejoicings. The Padishah, overwhelmed with joy at the reunion with his son, betrothed the two youths to their respective lovers, and at the expiration of forty days they were married with much pomp and circumstance.
Before night came, however, the lala stole into the bridal chamber and hid himself. Later came his own bride and also the Prince with his bride, and all three lay down to rest. The lala kept his lonely vigil, and towards midnight the ceiling shook and opened with a loud crash, and a monstrous beast came through and crept to ward the bed. The horrid creature was so frightfully ugly that one could not look upon him without disgust.
When the monster
had reached the bed and was about to pick it up in his shaggy arms, the lala stole behind him and ran him through with his sword. This done, he got into bed, lay down, and went to sleep.
When the others awoke next morning and their eyes fell on the dead monster lying at the foot of the bed, they were seized with fear. They pulled the bed cover over their faces and re fused to stir. After a while there came a knocking at the door, and a voice informed them it was late. "We are afraid to get up," they answered, " for there is something in the room." Then the door was opened, and those who entered the room ran quickly out again at the sight of the awful creature lying on the floor.
The Padishah himself came and saw the body of the ifrid. "Who has brought this in here?" he demanded. Now one of the vezirs, who was envious of the preference
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He greeted him respectfully
shown to the lala, answered: "This is the lala's deed. Who but he could have done it?" The Vezir persuaded the monarch that the lala coveted the Sultan's daughter, and thus had sought to frighten the Prince, his son, to death. The Padishah commanded; the youth to be brought before him, and though the latter protested his innocence he was condemned to death.
She was being led to execution the Shahzada pleaded for his friend's life, saying: "O father, let not my lala die. He cannot be my enemy. I am indebted to him for many benefits." All these words were vain, however, for the Padishah refused to listen, Seeing that he must die, the lala resolved to reveal everything, for he would rather be petrified than die by the sword. He begged to be taken to the Padishah, having something of importance to tell him. His wish was granted, and he began a complete account from the hour when he and the Prince left the palace to the conversation of the laughing and weeping doves. Behold! half his body was already turned to stone. Seeing this, the Padishah exclaimed: "Say no more, my child, I believe thee!" But the lala continued: "As I am already half stone my further fate does not trouble me," and finished his narrative, when he was seen to be completely turned into stone.
Neither the Padishah's sorrow nor that of his son could avail anything now. The Shahzada lamented bitterly, and had a stately türbe erected for his friend in the garden, where he passed his days and nights, completely neglecting his wife.
Seven years had passed away since the events recorded, when one day, as the Padishah's son was standing at the entrance to the palace, the door opened, and a grey-bearded old pir appeared. When the Prince saw him he greeted him respectfully and kissed his hand. The pir then asked: "Why are you so sad?" The Prince opened his heart to the old man, and told him his grief. "My son," said the pir, "there is a way to rectify this matter." "How?" asked the Prince eagerly. "Take a seven-year-old child, lay it upon the petrified body of your friend, and
slaughter it there, letting its blood flow over the body. Then will the stone dissolve, for it is but a casing, and the human body within is not dead. Thus will your friend be restored to you."
"Where shall I find the seven-year-old child?" asked the Prince in great perturbation, for he himself was the father of a boy of that age. "Your own child will answer the purpose," replied the pir "I will do it," said the Prince with fierce resolution, and entering the palace, he called for his son. "The Prince seems in better spirits today," observed the courtiers, as they arrayed the child in fine raiment and led him to his father.
He took the child, and, laying him on the stone, did as the pir had instructed him. Lo! the stone was seen to melt gradually, and soon the lala rose up to life. "O my Shahzada, why did you kill your child? I was quite at my ease in my petrified state," he said. Then answered the Prince: "My faithful lala, if I had a hundred children I would have given them all to have restored you."
While the Prince was speaking the pir came up and said: "Come, my children, I will pray, and you shall say amin; who knows but Allah may raise up the infant again." The pir prayed, and passed his hands over the face of the dead boy, when behold! the child opened its eyes and smiled as though just awakened from sleep. They looked round, but the pir had vanished. The Prince now took his child in his arms, and together with the restored lala they returned to the palace. The old Padishah embraced and kissed them all three. The lala was reunited to his faithful wife, and the happy event was celebrated with feasting and rejoicing, lasting forty days and forty nights. Ever after they passed their time in perfect bliss.