Forty-four Turkish Fairy Tales , at sacred-texts.com
Entering an inn for refreshment, they saw there a drunken fellow who was the very image of the Padishah. Accordingly they took the landlord aside and told him to let the man drink until he was quite dazed, and when night came to throw him out into the street. This was done, and at midnight the Padishah sent the Vezir to bring the man secretly in a basket to the palace. There the fellow was washed, clothed in royal vestments, and laid in the Padishah's own bed. Now everything was ready for the monarch and his Vezir to commence their journey.
When the drunken fellow awoke next morning he saw that he was in the King's palace. "What
has befallen me?" he asked himself. "Perhaps I am dreaming, or perhaps I am dead and in heaven." After these reflections he clapped his hands, and immediately slaves brought him a washbasin and a can of water. Having washed, he drank coffee, and lighted his chibouque. "I must have become Padishah," he mused. As it was Friday the servants begged him to be pleased to say where the selamlik should be held. In the quarter where he used to live was a djami, so he decided that the selamlik should be held there, and all hurried away to make the necessary preparations.
A fortnight had elapsed since the drunkard had left his own home, and when his wife heard that the Padishah was coming to the local djami she prepared a petition, which she handed to him as he was leaving the mosque after the selamlik. The Padishah took the petition and read as follows: "Oh Padishah! I have a husband who does nothing but drink night and day. He has not been home now for fifteen days, nor sent me any money for provisions, so that we are dying of hunger." The Padishah immediately gave orders that the woman's dwelling should be pulled down and rebuilt on a better plan, and also that a monthly pension of five hundred piastres should be paid to her. This was done.
The new Padishah had three enemies: the innkeeper who threw him out into the street when he was drunk, the butcher who had beaten him because he could not pay for the meat he had bought on credit, and a restaurant-keeper who would give him no food. He gave orders that these should be beheaded, and this was done.
In the meantime the real Padishah and his Vezir had already travelled a considerable distance. One day they came to a valley, where they decided to stop and rest awhile. In the stream that flowed through the valley they found an apple, which they ate. Now the Padishah recollected that when setting out he had taken an oath to do nothing that was forbidden while on his journey. This gave him uneasiness,
since he had no means of knowing whether it was permitted to eat the apple or not. " There is nothing for it," said the Padishah, " but to go to the owner and obtain permission now."
When she heard this the old woman said: "Then I must tell you that my daughter's legs and arms are crooked, she is bald-headed, and altogether so ugly that no man can bear the sight of her." "Never mind," replied the Padishah, "I will fulfil my promise." He instructed his Vezir to arrange for the wedding that very day, as next morning they must be off again. They now went to a neighbouring hân to prepare for the marriage.
As soon as the maiden was presented to him, the Padishah was wonderstruck. " My Sultana," exclaimed he, "your mother said you were ugly; while, behold, you are the loveliest creature in the world!" The maiden said that her mother was accustomed always to speak of her in that fashion.
The wedding took place, and next day the Vezir reminded the Padishah that they must proceed. The monarch, however, replied that he had made up his mind to remain at the hân four or five days longer. As a matter of fact, he remained forty days, and on the forty-first he said
to his wife: "My Sultana, I cannot remain here longer; I must go. If you should have a son, when he is grown up bind this amulet to his arm, send him into such and such a country, and tell him to inquire for Ogursuz and Hajyrsyz." These were the names the Padishah and his Vezir had decided to use upon their travels.
They mounted their horses and rode away. Soon they met the farmer, of whom they took leave, stopping not again until they reached home. Having arrived at the palace, the first thing to do was to get rid of the false Padishah. Accordingly at midnight, whilst he slept, they put him into a basket and set him down by the inn from which he had been fetched some months before. When the man awoke he found him self lying in the street, "I must be dreaming," he said, and closed his eyes again. Presently he clapped his hands, whereupon the-new innkeeper appeared, asking: "Who is there?" The drunkard commanded him to cease jesting or he would be hanged immediately.
"Open the door; I am the Padishah," he called loudly. The landlord opened the door, and seeing the drunkard kicked him unceremoniously away. The latter in a towering rage exclaimed:
"You rascal; I am the Padishah, and I will certainly hang you for this." For answer the innkeeper took a stick and belaboured the self styled Padishah until he was insensible, after which he was taken to the madhouse.
Meanwhile the Padishah observed to his Vezir:
"Oh, lala, we brought the man to the palace, and after he had served our purpose we cast him away. Go now and see what has become of him." The Vezir went accordingly to the innkeeper and learned that the drunken fellow had gone mad and been taken to the lunatic asylum. Going next to the lunatic asylum the Vezir heard the man shouting continually that he was the Padishah, and had been nearly beaten to death. The Vezir told him he must not say he was the Padishah, or it would be the worse for him. Seeing the force of this, the man went to the overseer of the establishment and said: "Sir, I am a drunkard and not the Padishah." After this confession he was regarded as no longer insane, and accordingly set at liberty.
His first thought was to go home, but hardly had his wife set eyes on him than she cried:
"Get out of my sight, you graceless fellow. Where have you been all this time? You have heard no doubt that the Padishah has built me a new house and granted me a pension, and so now you come to share it!" The woman would not have let him in, but the Vezir happened to be passing and heard the angry altercation. Going up to her he said: "Let thy husband in, or all shall be taken from thee again." Recognising the Vezir, the woman's courage failed her and she let her husband into the house.
Leaving this worthy couple in peace, we will now return to the proprietress of the orchard. In due time a son was born to her. When he grew up his mother, remembering the Padishah's instructions, called her son to her. "Your father," she said, "left you this amulet, saying that when grown up you were to go to his country and inquire for
[paragraph continues] Ogursuz and Hajyrsyz." Hearing this the youth took the amulet and prepared for the journey.
On the way he met the farmer, with whom he rested a little. During their conversation the farmer told the youth that Ogursuz was his friend, and he counselled him not to go alone. The boy consented to take the farmer's son with him, and the two set out again. By and by they came to a well, and being overcome with thirst the farmer's son said to the youth: "I will first let you down the well that you may drink; afterwards you shall let me down." The Shahzada accordingly was lowered into the well, but when he had quenched his thirst and was ready to return to the top, the farmer's son called down to him: "Swear you will say that I am the son of Ogursuz and that you are the son of the farmer, also promise never to reveal the truth, or you shall remain where you are." As he was helpless, the Shahzada swore accordingly and was drawn to the surface.
They proceeded farther and in a few weeks arrived at the capital of the Padishah's kingdom. They wandered about the town inquiring for Ogursuz and Hajyrsyz, and when this came to the knowledge of the Padishah he ordered both boys to be brought before him. They were taken to the palace, and when the King asked which was his son, the Shahzada pointed to the other and named himself as the son of the farmer. So the one was taken into the palace as a prince, and the other given employment in the court.
Once in a dream the false Prince saw a dervish who presented to him the Princess Beautiful and gave him to drink of the chalice of love. From that time he was a changed man. Neither eating nor drinking, sleep nor rest, contented him; he became pale and weak. Physicians and hodjas, one after the other, were called in, but none did him any good; they did not understand his illness, and therefore could prescribe no remedy.
One day the false Prince said to the Padishah: "My father, physicians and
hodjas cannot help me. Love for the Princess Beautiful is my malady." The King was frightened at the youth's strange words and feared for his reason. "You must not think of her; it is dangerous," said the monarch; "her love would bring only death." But the young man continued to get thinner and paler and had no joy in life. The Padishah asked him continually whether he desired anything, and the answer was invariably the same: "The Princess Beautiful." The King felt that his son would surely die if he refused to let him go away, and that he would be the cause of his death. So trusting that the righteous Allah would have mercy upon him, he was about to consent to his son's departure, when the false Prince said: "I do not wish to go myself; let us send the farmer's son to fetch the maiden for me." The Padishah immediately sent for the farmer's son, and commissioned him to go in quest of the Princess Beautiful and bring her home to be the bride of the Shahzada.
On the following day the youth set off over hill and down dale, across plains and through ravines, in quest of the Princess Beautiful. After some time he came to the seashore, where he saw a little fish floundering on the sand. The creature implored him to cast it into the water, and he consented; but first the fish offered him three of its scales, saying: "When in trouble burn one of these scales." Accepting them gratefully, the youth threw the fish back into the sea and went his way.
Coming to a great plain he met an ant, who begged his aid, as it was going to a wedding and would be too late to join its companions
The young man took up the ant and carried it to its companions. Before taking leave of its helper, the insect offered him a piece of its wing, saying: "When in trouble burn this piece of my wing."
Dispirited and weary, the reputed farmer's son at length reached a thick forest, where he saw a small bird struggling with a large snake. The bird besought the aid of the youth, who promptly struck the snake with his sword and cut it in two. In reward the bird gave him three of her feathers, saying: "When in trouble burn one of these."
The Prince thought deeply, and recollecting the three fish-scales he burnt one of them. Immediately the little fish appeared and said: "What is your command, my Sultan?" "The ring of Princess Beautiful has fallen into the sea; fetch it to me," replied the Prince. The fish went after the ring, but could not find it; down it went a second time, without success; diving a third time, it went right down, down to the bottom of the seventh sea and brought up a fish. The Prince slit its stomach and found the ring inside. He gave it back to the Padishah, who handed it to his daughter. In the neighbourhood of the palace was a cave, filled with a mixture of ashes and millet. "Your second task," said the Padishah, "is to separate the ashes from the millet." The Prince went to the cave and burnt the ant's wing, whereupon all the ants in the world appeared and set about the work. The task was thus finished that very day, and in the evening the Padishah came and satisfied himself that not a grain had been overlooked.
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The Princess now appeared
"One other task remains to be done," said the Padishah, "and then I will take you to my daughter." Calling a female slave to him, the King split her head open and said to the youth: "Thus shall your own head be split if you cannot restore her to life." The youth left the palace wondering whether the bird's feather would help him. He burnt one, and straightway the little bird appeared and awaited his commands. With a heavy heart the Prince related the difficult task that had been set him. Now the bird belonged to the Peris, and flying up in the air out of sight it soon reappeared with a vessel of water. "Here," said the bird, "is some water of Paradise which will restore the dead to life." Taking it to the palace the Prince sprinkled some over the corpse, and the maiden arose immediately as though just awakened from sleep.
The Princess Beautiful was informed of the youth's exploits, and she prepared herself to receive him. The maiden resided in a small marble kiosk, before which was a golden reservoir, and into this water poured from four sides. In the court was a magnificent garden, filled with trees, flowers, and singing-birds. When the Prince saw all this it seemed to him as though he were at the gate of Paradise. Suddenly the door of the kiosk opened, and the garden was suffused with an effulgent light that quite dazzled the Prince. The Princess now appeared in all her radiant beauty. She approached the Prince to address him, but no sooner did she look at him than she fell in a swoon. She was carried to the kiosk, the youth following, and when she came to herself she said: "Oh, Prince, you are the son of Shah Suleiman, and you can aid me. In the garden of the Reh-Dew sings a pomegranate branch; if you will bring it to me I am yours eternally!"
The youth went far away to fulfil the Princess's behest. For a month he wandered up hill and down dale. "Oh, Allah, Creator of all things," he prayed," show me the right way." Presently he reached the foot of a mountain. Here he heard a terrible noise, as though the Judgment Day had come; the rocks and mountains trembled, and pitch darkness
fell. As the youth went bravely forward the noise increased and became more terrifying, while he was enveloped in a whirlwind of dust and smoke. He could not tell whether he was on the right road, but he knew that a six months' journey should bring him to the garden of the Reh-Dew and that the awful noise was created by the talismans of the Dew.
Continuing his onward way, the little garden at length came in view. At the gate were the shrieking talismans and also the guard. The Prince went to him and told him what he wanted. "Why were you not terrified by the great noise?" asked the guard in astonishment. "All the talismans were aroused on your account; they alarmed even me." The Prince enquired about the pomegranate branch. "It is a difficult matter to procure it," said the guard gravely; "but if you are not afraid you may perchance succeed. At the end of a three months' journey you will arrive at another place similar to this, with other talismans; there you will find another garden, the guardian of which is my mother. But go not near her; wait until she comes to you. Give her my greeting, but do not relate your business until she questions you." The youth now took the road pointed out to him, and after journeying
for three months he heard an awe-inspiring sound which it would be impossible to describe. Here was the large garden of the Reh-Dew, and the noise proceeded from his talismans. The youth hid himself behind a rock, and presently saw a human form which proved to be that of an old woman about ninety years old. Her hair was snow-white, her eyelids red, her eyebrows like two arrows, her eyes gleamed fire, her fingernails were two yards long; and leaning on a staff she sniffed the air, sneezed at every step, and her knees knocked together. Such was the guardian of the large garden. Coming up to the youth she demanded to know what he was doing there. The Prince gave her greeting from her son. "The good-for-nothing fellow!" she wheezed; "So you have met him, eh? Did my miserable son think I should have mercy on you that he sent you to me? I'll soon make an end of you." So saying she seized the youth and shook him fiercely.
The Prince knew not what had happened; he saw only that he was on
the back of something which had neither eyes nor ears, and was shrivelled up like a toad. This creature was making off with him, taking gigantic strides and springing over seas at a single bound. Suddenly the hideous thing set him down, and said: "Whatever you hear, whatever you see, be careful not to speak thereof, or you are lost!" In a moment it was gone,
As in a dream the Prince now saw a garden of endless extent, with rippling streams and waterfalls, and trees, flowers, and fruits, whose like could be found nowhere in the world. All around was the sound of singing-birds as though the air itself were song. Taking a glance around the youth entered the garden, and heard a heartrending sound as of weeping. Remembering the pomegranate branch he began to seek it. In the midst of the garden was a small conservatory, and in this hung, like lamps, a number of pomegranates. He plucked a branch, and at once a fearful cry was heard: "A mortal is taking our lives! A mortal is killing us!" Seized with dread, the youth fled from the garden.
"Quick! Run!" shouted the nameless thing waiting at the gate. He jumped on its back, and with one bound he was on the other side of the sea. Now for the first time the youth looked at the pomegranate branch. He saw there were fifty pomegranates thereon, each of which sang a different song, as though all the music of the world were brought together there. Now he met the old woman who was ninety years old.
"Take good care of the pomegranate branch," said the old woman; "never let it out of your sight. If you can listen to it throughout your wedding day the pomegranates will love you; you need fear nothing, for they will protect you in any distress."
Taking leave of the mother the Prince went to her son, who exhorted him to bear the old woman's advice well in mind. Then the youth made the best of his way to the Princess Beautiful.
The maiden awaited him anxiously, for she loved the Prince so fondly
that her days were filled with fear on his behalf lest any misfortune might befall him. Suddenly the sound of music was heard, the different melodies of the fifty pomegranates. The maiden hastened to meet the Prince, and the pomegranate branch chanted the union of their two hearts in such exquisite strains that they seemed to be lifted up from this earth to the Paradise of Allah. Their wedding-feast lasted forty days and forty nights, and all the time they listened to the singing of the pomegranates. When the feast was ended the Prince said: "Like yourself, I have a father and mother. We have already celebrated our marriage here; we will now go to my parents and celebrate it there also." Accordingly they set out on the following day.
When they arrived at the end of their journey the youth went to the Padishah and reported that he had succeeded in bringing the Princess Beautiful with him. The King praised him for his bravery and skill, gave him a valuable present, and made preparations for the Princess's marriage to the false Shahzada. When the maiden saw that it was intended to unite her to the false Prince, she struck him in the face. He ran to the Padishah to complain, and the monarch, suspecting there was more in the matter than appeared on the surface, went to the maiden and begged her to explain such conduct.
The Princess implored the Padishah not to allow the marriage to take place until the farmer's son had been put to death. Accordingly the King ordered the youth to be brought before him, and he was beheaded in his presence. Immediately the Princess took Paradise water, sprinkled the body of the youth therewith, and at once he arose to new life.
"Now," said the Princess, "you have died and risen again; thus you are released from your oath, and can tell all that has befallen you." On this the youth related how, after leaving his mother, he met with the farmer's son, He spoke of the incident at the well, and of everything connected with his perilous quest for the Princess. He
also established his identity by showing the amulet he had received from his mother.
Being convinced that the youth was truly his son, the Padishah embraced and kissed him repeatedly. The impostor was executed, and the Prince's mother was brought to the palace in time for the wedding of her son with the Princess Beautiful.