Part 3 out of 4
his stakes,--on the first game, his arms; on the second, his horse;
and, on the third, his own head.
Then they began to play, and it fell to Rasalu's lot to make the first
move. Now he, forgetful of the dead man's warning, played with the dice
given him by Raja Sarkap, besides which, Sarkap let loose his famous
rat, Dhol Raja, and it ran about the board, upsetting the chaupur
pieces on the sly, so that Rasalu lost the first game, and gave up his
Then the second game began, and once more Dhol Raja, the rat, upset the
pieces; and Rasalu, losing the game, gave up his faithful steed. Then
Bhaunr, the Arab steed, who stood by, found voice, and cried to his
"Sea-born am I, bought with much gold;
Dear Prince! trust me now as of old.
I'll carry you far from these wiles--
My flight, all unspurr'd, will be swift as a bird,
For thousands and thousands of miles!
Or if needs you must stay; ere the next game you play,
Place hand in your pocket, I pray!"
Hearing this, Raja Sarkap frowned, and bade his slaves remove Bhaunr,
the Arab steed, since he gave his master advice in the game. Now, when
the slaves came to lead the faithful steed away, Rasalu could not
refrain from tears, thinking over the long years during which Bhaunr,
the Arab steed, had been his companion. But the horse cried out again,
"Weep not, dear Prince! I shall not eat my bread
Of stranger hands, nor to strange stall be led.
Take thy right hand, and place it as I said."
These words roused some recollection in Rasalu's mind, and when, just
at this moment, the kitten in his pocket began to struggle, he
remembered all about the warning, and the dice made from dead men's
bones. Then his heart rose up once more, and he called boldly to Raja
Sarkap, "Leave my horse and arms here for the present. Time enough to
take them away when you have won my head!"
Now, Raja Sarkap, seeing Rasalu's confident bearing, began to be
afraid, and ordered all the women of his palace to come forth in their
gayest attire and stand before Rasalu, so as to distract his attention
from the game. But he never even looked at them, and drawing the dice
from his pocket, said to Sarkap, "We have played with your dice all
this time; now we will play with mine."
Then the kitten went and sat at the window through which the rat Dhol
Raja used to come, and the game began.
After a while, Sarkap, seeing Raja Rasalu was winning, called to his
rat, but when Dhol Raja saw the kitten he was afraid, and would not go
further. So Rasalu won, and took back his arms. Next he played for his
horse, and once more Raja Sarkap called for his rat; but Dhol Raja,
seeing the kitten keeping watch, was afraid. So Rasalu won the second
stake, and took back Bhaunr, the Arab steed.
Then Sarkap brought all his skill to bear on the third and last game,
"Oh moulded pieces! favour me to-day!
For sooth this is a man with whom I play.
No paltry risk--but life and death at stake;
As Sarkap does, so do, for Sarkap's sake!"
But Rasalu answered back,
"Oh moulded pieces! favour me to-day!
For sooth it is a man with whom I play.
No paltry risk--but life and death at stake;
As Heaven does, so do, for Heaven's sake!"
So they began to play, whilst the women stood round in a circle, and
the kitten watched Dhol Raja from the window. Then Sarkap lost, first
his kingdom, then the wealth of the whole world, and lastly his head.
Just then, a servant came in to announce the birth of a daughter to
Raja Sarkap, and he, overcome by misfortunes, said, "Kill her at once!
for she has been born in an evil moment, and has brought her father ill
But Rasalu rose up in his shining armour, tender-hearted and strong,
saying, "Not so, oh king! She has done no evil. Give me this child to
wife; and if you will vow, by all you hold sacred, never again to play
chaupur for another's head, I will spare yours now!"
Then Sarkap vowed a solemn vow never to play for another's head; and
after that he took a fresh mango branch, and the new-born babe, and
placing them on a golden dish gave them to Rasalu.
Now, as he left the palace, carrying with him the new-born babe and the
mango branch, he met a band of prisoners, and they called out to him,
"A royal hawk art thou, oh King! the rest
But timid wild-fowl. Grant us our request,--
Unloose these chains, and live for ever blest!"
And Raja Rasalu hearkened to them, and bade King Sarkap set them at
Then he went to the Murti Hills, and placed the new-born babe, Kokilan,
in an underground palace, and planted the mango branch at the door,
saying, "In twelve years the mango tree will blossom; then will I
return and marry Kokilan."
And after twelve years, the mango tree began to flower, and Raja Rasalu
married the Princess Kokilan, whom he won from Sarkap when he played
chaupur with the King.
THE ASS IN THE LION'S SKIN
At the same time, when Brahma-datta was reigning in Benares, the future
Buddha was born one of a peasant family; and when he grew up, he gained
his living by tilling the ground.
At that time a hawker used to go from place to place, trafficking in
goods carried by an ass. Now at each place he came to, when he took the
pack down from the ass's back, he used to clothe him in a lion's skin,
and turn him loose in the rice and barley fields. And when the watchmen
in the fields saw the ass, they dared not go near him, taking him for a
So one day the hawker stopped in a village; and whilst he was getting
his own breakfast cooked, he dressed the ass in a lion's skin, and
turned him loose in a barley-field. The watchmen in the field dared not
go up to him; but going home, they published the news. Then all the
villagers came out with weapons in their hands; and blowing chanks, and
beating drums, they went near the field and shouted. Terrified with the
fear of death, the ass uttered a cry--the bray of an ass!
And when he knew him then to be an ass, the future Buddha pronounced
the First Verse:
"This is not a lion's roaring,
Nor a tiger's, nor a panther's;
Dressed in a lion's skin,
'Tis a wretched ass that roars!"
But when the villagers knew the creature to be an ass, they beat him
till his bones broke; and, carrying off the lion's skin, went away.
Then the hawker came; and seeing the ass fallen into so bad a plight,
pronounced the Second Verse:
"Long might the ass,
Clad in a lion's skin,
Have fed on the barley green.
But he brayed!
And that moment he came to ruin."
And even whilst he was yet speaking the ass died on the spot!
THE FARMER AND THE MONEY-LENDER
There was once a farmer who suffered much at the hands of a money-
lender. Good harvests, or bad, the farmer was always poor, the money-
lender rich. At the last, when he hadn't a farthing left, farmer went
to the money-lender's house, and said, "You can't squeeze water from a
stone, and as you have nothing to get by me now, you might tell me the
secret of becoming rich."
"My friend," returned the money-lender, piously, "riches come from Ram
"Thank you, I will!" replied the simple farmer; so he prepared three
girdle-cakes to last him on the journey, and set out to find Ram.
First he met a Brahman, and to him he gave a cake, asking him to point
out the road to Ram; but the Brahman only took the cake and went on his
way without a word, Next the farmer met a Jogi or devotee, and to him
he gave a cake, without receiving any help in return. At last, he came
upon a poor man sitting under a tree, and finding out he was hungry,
the kindly farmer gave him his last cake, and sitting down to rest
beside him, entered into conversation.
"And where are you going?" asked the poor man, at length.
"Oh, I have a long journey before me, for I am going to find Ram!"
replied the farmer. "I don't suppose you could tell me which way to
"Perhaps I can," said the poor man, smiling, "for _I_ am Ram! What
do you want of me?"
Then the farmer told the whole story, and Ram, taking pity on him, gave
him a conch shell, and showed him how to blow it in a particular way,
saying, "Remember! whatever you wish for, you have only to blow the
conch that way, and your wish will be fulfilled. Only have a care of
that money-lender, for even magic is not proof against their wiles!"
The farmer went back to his village rejoicing. In fact the money-lender
noticed his high spirits at once, and said to himself, "Some good
fortune must have befallen the stupid fellow, to make him hold his head
so jauntily." Therefore he went over to the simple farmer's house, and
congratulated him on his good fortune, in such cunning words,
pretending to have heard all about it, that before long the farmer
found himself telling the whole story--all except the secret of blowing
the conch, for, with all his simplicity, the farmer was not quite such
a fool as to tell that.
Nevertheless, the money-lender determined to have the conch by hook or
by crook, and as he was villain enough not to stick at trifles, he
waited for a favourable opportunity and stole the conch.
But, after nearly bursting himself with blowing the conch in every
conceivable way, he was obliged to give up the secret as a bad job.
However, being determined to succeed he went back to the farmer, and
said, coolly, "Look here; I've got your conch, but I can't use it; you
haven't got it, so it's clear you can't use it either. Business is at a
stand-still unless we make a bargain. Now, I promise to give you back
your conch, and never to interfere with your using it, on one
condition, which is this,--whatever you get from it, I am to get
"Never!" cried the farmer; "that would be the old business all over
"Not at all!" replied the wily money-lender; "you will have your share!
Now, don't be a dog in the manger, for if _you_ get all you want,
what can it matter to you if _I_ am rich or poor?"
At last, though it went sorely against the grain to be of any benefit
to a money-lender, the farmer was forced to yield, and from that time,
no matter what he gained by the power of the conch, the money-lender
gained double. And the knowledge that this was so preyed upon the
farmer's mind day and night, so that he had no satisfaction out of
At last, there came a very dry season,--so dry that the farmer's crops
withered for want of rain. Then he blew his conch, and wished for a
well to water them, and lo! there was the well, _but the money-lender
had two!_--two beautiful new wells! This was too much for any farmer
to stand; and our friend brooded over it, and brooded over it, till at
last a bright idea came into his head. He seized the conch, blew it
loudly, and cried out, "Oh, Ram! I wish to be blind of one eye!" And so
he, was, in a twinkling, but the money-lender of course was blind of
both, and in trying to steer his way between the two new wells, he fell
into one, and was drowned.
Now this true story shows that a farmer once got the better of a money-
lender--but only by losing one of his eyes.
THE BOY WHO HAD A MOON ON HIS FOREHEAD AND A STAR ON HIS CHIN
In a country were seven daughters of poor parents, who used to come
daily to play under the shady trees in the King's garden with the
gardener's daughter; and daily she used to say to them, "When I am
married I shall have a son. Such a beautiful boy as he will be has
never been seen. He will have a moon on his forehead and a star on his
chin." Then her playfellows used to laugh at her and mock her.
But one day the King heard her telling them about the beautiful boy she
would have when she was married, and he said to himself he should like
very much to have such a son; the more so that though he had already
four Queens he had no child. He went, therefore, to the gardener and
told him he wished to marry his daughter. This delighted the gardener
and his wife, who thought it would indeed be grand for their daughter
to become a princess. So they said "Yes" to the King, and invited all
their friends to the wedding. The King invited all his, and he gave the
gardener as much money as he wanted. Then the wedding was held with
great feasting and rejoicing.
A year later the day drew near on which the gardener's daughter was to
have her son; and the King's four other Queens came constantly to see
her. One day they said to her, "The King hunts every day; and the time
is soon coming when you will have your child. Suppose you fell ill
whilst he was out hunting and could therefore know nothing of your
illness, what would you do then?"
When the King came home that evening, the gardener's daughter said to
him, "Every day you go out hunting. Should I ever be in trouble or sick
while you are away, how could I send for you?" The King gave her a
kettle-drum which he placed near the door for her, and he said to her,
"Whenever you want me, beat this kettle-drum. No matter how far away I
may be, I shall hear it, and will come at once to you."
Next morning when the King had gone out to hunt, his four other Queens
came to see the gardener's daughter. She told them all about her
kettle-drum. "Oh," they said, "do drum on it just to see if the King
really will come to you."
"No, I will not," she said; "for why should I call him from his hunting
when I do not want him?"
"Don't mind interrupting his hunting," they answered. "Do try if he
really will come to you when you beat your kettle-drum." So at last,
just to please them, she beat it, and the King stood before her.
"Why have you called me?" he said. "See, I have left my hunting to come
"I want nothing," she answered; "I only wished to know if you really
would come to me when I beat my drum."
"Very well," answered the King; "but do not call me again unless you
really need me." Then he returned to his hunting.
The next day, when the King had gone out hunting as usual, the four
Queens again came to see the gardener's daughter. They begged and
begged her to beat her drum once more, "just to see if the King will
really come to see you this time." At first she refused, but at last
she consented. So she beat her drum, and the King came to her. But when
he found she was neither ill nor in trouble, he was angry, and said to
her, "Twice I have left my hunting and lost my game to come to you when
you did not need me. Now you may call me as much as you like, but I
will not come to you," and then he went away in a rage.
The third day the gardener's daughter fell ill, and she beat and beat
her kettle-drum; but the King never came. He heard her kettle-drum, but
he thought, "She does not really want me; she is only trying to see if
I will go to her."
Meanwhile the four other Queens came to her, and they said, "Here it is
the custom before a child is born to bind its mother's eyes with a
handkerchief that she may not see it just at first. So let us bind your
eyes." She answered, "Very well, bind my eyes." The four wives then
tied a handkerchief over them.
Soon after, the gardener's daughter had a beautiful little son, with a
moon on his forehead and a star on his chin, and before the poor mother
had seen him, the four wicked Queens took the boy to the nurse and said
to her, "Now you must not let this child make the least sound for fear
his mother should hear him; and in the night you must either kill him,
or else take him away, so that his mother may never see him. If you
obey our orders, we will give you a great many rupees." All this they
did out of spite. The nurse took the little child and put him into a
box, and the four Queens went back to the gardener's daughter.
First they put a stone into her boy's little bed, and then they took
the handkerchief off her eyes and showed it her, saying, "Look! this is
your son!" The poor girl cried bitterly, and thought, "What will the
King say when he finds no child?" But she could do nothing.
When the King came home; he was furious at hearing his youngest wife,
the gardener's daughter, had given him a stone instead of the beautiful
little son she had promised him. He made her one of the palace
servants, and never spoke to her.
In the middle of the night the nurse took the box in which was the
beautiful little prince, and went out to a broad plain in the jungle.
There she dug a hole, made the fastenings of the box sure, and put the
box into the hole, although the child in it was still alive. The King's
dog, whose name was Shankar, had followed her to see what she did with
the box. As soon as she had gone back to the four Queens (who gave her
a great many rupees), the dog went to the hole in which she had put the
box, took the box out, and opened it. When he saw the beautiful little
boy, he was very much delighted and said, "If it pleases Khuda that
this child should live, I will not hurt him; I will not eat him, but I
will swallow him whole and hide him in my stomach." This he did.
After six months had passed, the dog went by night to the jungle, and
thought, "I wonder whether the boy is alive or dead." Then he brought
the child out of his stomach and rejoiced over his beauty. The boy was
now six months old. When Shankar had caressed and loved him, he
swallowed him again for another six months. At the end of that time he
went once more by night to the broad jungle-plain. There he brought up
the child out of his stomach (the child was now a year old), and
caressed and petted him a great deal, and was made very happy by his
But this time the dog's keeper had followed and watched the dog; and he
saw all that Shankar did, and the beautiful little child, so he ran to
the four Queens and said to them, "Inside the King's dog there is a
child! the loveliest child! He has a moon on his forehead and a star on
his chin. Such a child has never been seen!" At this the four wives
were very much frightened, and as soon as the King came home from
hunting they said to him, "While you were away your dog came to our
rooms, and tore our clothes and knocked about all our things. We are
afraid he will kill us." "Do not be afraid," said the King. "Eat your
dinner and be happy. I will have the dog shot to-morrow morning."
Then he ordered his servants to shoot the dog at dawn, but the dog
heard him, and said to himself, "What shall I do? The King intends to
kill me. I don't care about that, but what will become of the child if
I am killed? He will die. But I will see if I cannot save him."
So when it was night, the dog ran to the King's cow, who was called
Suri, and said to her, "Suri, I want to give you something, for the
King has ordered me to be shot to-morrow. Will you take great care of
whatever I give you?"
"Let me see what it is," said Suri, "I will take care of it if I can."
Then they both went together to the wide plain, and there the dog
brought up the boy. Suri was enchanted with him. "I never saw such a
beautiful child in this country," she said. "See, he has a moon on his
forehead and a star on his chin. I will take the greatest care of him."
So saying she swallowed the little prince. The dog made her a great
many salaams, and said, "To-morrow I shall die;" and the cow then went
back to her stable.
Next morning at dawn the dog was taken to the jungle and shot.
The child now lived in Suri's stomach; and when one whole year had
passed, and he was two years old, the cow went out to the plain, and
said to herself, "I do not know whether the child is alive or dead. But
I have never hurt it, so I will see." Then she brought up the boy; and
he played about, and Suri was delighted; she loved him and caressed
him, and talked to him. Then she swallowed him, and returned to her
At the end of another year she went again to the plain and brought up
the child. He played and ran about for an hour to her great delight,
and she talked to him and caressed him. His great beauty made her very
happy. Then she swallowed him once more and returned to her stable. The
child was now three years old.
But this time the cowherd had followed Suri, and had seen the wonderful
child and all she did to it. So he ran and told the four Queens, "The
King's cow has a beautiful boy inside her. He has a moon on his
forehead and a star on his chin. Such a child has never been seen
At this the Queens were terrified. They tore their clothes and their
hair and cried. When the King came home at evening, he asked them why
they were so agitated. "Oh," they said, "your cow came and tried to
kill us; but we ran away. She tore our hair and our clothes." "Never
mind," said the King. "Eat your dinner and be happy. The cow shall be
killed to-morrow morning."
Now Suri heard the King give this order to the servants, so she said to
herself, "What shall I do to save the child?" When it was midnight, she
went to the King's horse called Katar, who was very wicked, and quite
untameable. No one had ever been able to ride him; indeed no one could
go near him with safety, he was so savage. Suri said to this horse,
"Katar, will you take care of something that I want to give you,
because the King has ordered me to be killed to-morrow?"
"Good," said Katar; "show me what it is." Then Suri brought up the
child, and the horse was delighted with him. "Yes," he said, "I will
take the greatest care of him. Till now no one has been able to ride
me, but this child shall ride me." Then he swallowed the boy, and when
he had done so, the cow made him many salaams, saying, "It is for this
boy's sake that I am to die." The next morning she was taken to the
jungle and there killed.
The beautiful boy now lived in the horse's stomach, and he stayed in it
for one whole year. At the end of that time the horse thought, "I will
see if this child is alive or dead." So he brought him up; and then he
loved him, and petted him, and the little prince played all about the
stable, out of which the horse was never allowed to go. Katar was very
glad to see the child, who was now four years old. After he had played
for some time, the horse swallowed him again. At the end of another
year, when the boy was five years old, Katar brought him up again,
caressed him, loved him, and let him play about the stable as he had
done a year before. Then the horse swallowed him again.
But this time the groom had seen all that happened, and when it was
morning, and the King had gone away to his hunting, he went to the four
wicked Queens, and told them all he had seen, and all about the
wonderful, beautiful child that lived inside the King's horse Katar. On
hearing the groom's story the four Queens cried, and tore their hair
and clothes, and refused to eat. When the King returned at evening and
asked them why they were so miserable, they said, "Your horse Katar
came and tore our clothes, and upset all our things, and we ran away
for fear he should kill us."
"Never mind," said the King. "Only eat your dinner and be happy. I will
have Katar shot to-morrow." Then he thought that two men unaided could
not kill such a wicked horse, so he ordered his servants to bid his
troop of sepoys shoot him.
So the next day the King placed his sepoys all round the stable, and he
took up his stand with them; and he said he would himself shoot any one
who let his horse escape.
Meanwhile the horse had overheard all these orders. So he brought up
the child and said to him, "Go into that little room that leads out of
the stable, and you will find in it a saddle and bridle which you must
put on me. Then you will find in the room some beautiful clothes such
as princes wear; these you must put on yourself; and you must take the
sword and gun you will find there too. Then you must mount on my back."
Now Katar was a fairy-horse, and came from the fairies' country, so he
could get anything he wanted; but neither the King nor any of his
people knew this.
When all was ready, Katar burst out of his stable, with the prince on
his back, rushed past the King himself before the King had time to
shoot him, galloped away to the great jungle-plain, and galloped about
all over it. The King saw his horse had a boy on his back, though he
could not see the boy distinctly. The sepoys tried in vain to shoot the
horse; he galloped much too fast; and at last they were all scattered
over the plain. Then the King had to give it up and go home; and the
sepoys went to their homes. The King could not shoot any of his sepoys
for letting his horse escape, for he himself had let him do so.
Then Katar galloped away, on, and on, and on; and when night came they
stayed under a tree, he and the King's son. The horse ate grass, and
the boy wild fruits which he found in the jungle. Next morning they
started afresh, and went far, and far, till they came to a jungle in
another country, which did not belong to the little prince's father,
but to another king. Here Katar said to the boy, "Now get off my back."
Off jumped the prince. "Unsaddle me and take off my bridle; take off
your beautiful clothes and tie them all up in a bundle with your sword
and gun." This the boy did. Then the horse gave him some poor, common
clothes, which he told him to put on. As soon as he was dressed in them
the horse said, "Hide your bundle in this grass, and I will take care
of it for you. I will always stay in this jungle-plain, so that when
you want me you will always find me. You must now go away and find
service with some one in this country."
This made the boy very sad. "I know nothing about anything," he said.
"What shall I do all alone in this country?"
"Do not be afraid," answered Katar. "You will find service, and I will
always stay here to help you when you want me. So go, only before you
go, twist my right ear." The boy did so, and his horse instantly became
a donkey. "Now twist your right ear," said Katar. And when the boy had
twisted it, he was no longer a handsome prince, but a poor, common-
looking, ugly man; and his moon and star were hidden.
Then he went away further into the country, until he came to a grain
merchant of the country, who asked him who he was. "I am a poor man,"
answered the boy, "and I want service." "Good," said the grain
merchant, "you shall be my servant."
Now the grain merchant lived near the King's palace, and one night at
twelve o'clock the boy was very hot; so he went out into the King's
cool garden, and began to sing a lovely song. The seventh and youngest
daughter of the King heard him, and she wondered who it was who could
sing so deliciously. Then she put on her clothes, rolled up her hair,
and came down to where the seemingly poor common man was lying singing.
"Who are you? where do you come from?" she asked.
But he answered nothing.
"Who is this man who does not answer when I speak to him?" thought the
little princess, and she went away. On the second night the same thing
happened, and on the third night too. But on the third night, when she
found she could not make him answer her, she said to him, "What a
strange man you are not to answer me when I speak to you." But still he
remained silent, so she went away.
The next day, when he had finished his work, the young prince went to
the jungle to see his horse, who asked him, "Are you quite well and
happy?" "Yes, I am," answered the boy. "I am servant to a grain
merchant. The last three nights I have gone into the King's garden and
sung a song, and each night the youngest princess has come to me and
asked me who I am, and whence I came, and I have answered nothing. What
shall I do now?" The horse said, "Next time she asks you who you are,
tell her you are a very poor man, and came from your own country to
find service here."
The boy then went home to the grain merchant, and at night, when every
one had gone to bed, he went to the King's garden and sang his sweet
song again. The youngest princess heard him, got up, dressed, and came
to him. "Who are you? Whence do you come?" she asked.
"I am a very poor man," he answered. "I came from my own country to
seek service here, and I am now one of the grain merchant's servants."
Then she went away. For three more nights the boy sang in the King's
garden, and each night the princess came and asked him the same
questions as before, and the boy gave her the same answers.
Then she went to her father, and said to him, "Father, I wish to be
married; but I must choose my husband myself." Her father consented to
this, and he wrote and invited all the Kings and Rajas in the land,
saying, "My youngest daughter wishes to be married, but she insists on
choosing her husband herself. As I do not know who it is she wishes to
marry, I beg you will all come on a certain day, for her to see you and
make her choice."
A great many Kings, Rajas, and their sons accepted this invitation and
came. When they had all arrived, the little princess's father said to
them, "To-morrow morning you must all sit together in my garden" (the
King's garden was very large), "for then my youngest daughter will come
and see you all, and choose her husband. I do not know whom she will
The youngest princess ordered a grand elephant to be ready for her the
next morning, and when the morning came, and all was ready, she dressed
herself in the most lovely clothes, and put on her beautiful jewels;
then she mounted her elephant, which was painted blue. In her hand she
took a gold necklace.
Then she went into the garden where the Kings, Rajas, and their sons
were seated. The boy, the grain merchant's servant, was also in the
garden: not as a suitor, but looking on with the other servants.
The princess rode all round the garden, and looked at all the Kings and
Rajas and princes, and then she hung the gold necklace round the neck
of the boy, the grain merchant's servant. At this everybody laughed,
and the Kings were greatly astonished. But then they and the Rajas
said, "What fooling is this?" and they pushed the pretended poor man
away, and took the necklace off his neck, and said to him, "Get out of
the way, you poor, dirty man. Your clothes are far too dirty for you to
come near us!" The boy went far away from them, and stood a long way
off to see what would happen.
Then the King's youngest daughter went all round the garagain, holding
her gold necklace in her hand, and once more she hung it round the
boy's neck. Every one laughed at her and said, "How can the King's
daughter think of marrying this poor, common man!" and the Kings and
the Rajas, who had come as suitors, all wanted to turn him out of the
garden. But the princess said, "Take care! take care! You must not turn
him out. Leave him alone." Then she put him on her elephant, and took
him to the palace.
The Kings and Rajas and their sons were very much astonished, and said,
"What does this mean? The princess does not care to marry one of us,
but chooses that very poor man!" Her father then stood up, and said to
them all, "I promised my daughter she should marry any one she pleased,
and as she has twice chosen that poor, common man, she shall marry
him." And so the princess and the boy were married with great pomp and
splendour: her father and mother were quite content with her choice;
and the Kings, the Rajas and their sons, all returned to their homes.
Now the princess's six sisters had all married rich princes, and they
laughed at her for choosing such a poor ugly husband as hers seemed to
be, and said to each other, mockingly, "See! our sister has married
this poor, common man!" Their six husbands used to go out hunting every
day, and every evening they brought home quantities of all kinds of
game to their wives, and the game was cooked for their dinner and for
the King's; but the husband of the youngest princess always stayed at
home in the palace, and never went out hunting at all. This made her
very sad, and she said to herself, "My sisters' husbands hunt every
day, but my husband never hunts at all."
At last she said to him, "Why do you never go out hunting as my
sisters' husbands do every day, and every day they bring home
quantities of all kinds of game? Why do you always stay at home,
instead of doing as they do?"
One day he said to her, "I am going out to-day to eat the air."
"Very good," she answered; "go, and take one of the horses."
"No," said the young prince, "I will not ride, I will walk." Then he
went to the jungle-plain where he had left Katar, who all this time had
seemed to be a donkey, and he told Katar everything. "Listen," he said;
"I have married the youngest princess; and when we were married
everybody laughed at her for choosing me, and said, 'What a very poor,
common man our princess has chosen for her husband!' Besides, my wife
is very sad, for her six sisters' husbands all hunt every day, and
bring home quantities of game, and their wives therefore are very proud
of them. But I stay at home all day, and never hunt. To-day I should
like to hunt very much."
"Well," said Katar, "then twist my left ear;" and as soon as the boy
had twisted it, Katar was a horse again, and not a donkey any longer.
"Now," said Katar, "twist your left ear, and you will see what a
beautiful young prince you will become." So the boy twisted his own
left ear, and there he stood no longer a poor, common, ugly man, but a
grand young prince with a moon on his forehead and a star on his chin.
Then he put on his splendid clothes, saddled and bridled Katar, got on
his back with his sword and gun, and rode off to hunt.
He rode very far, and shot a great many birds and a quantity of deer.
That day his six brothers-in-law could find no game, for the beautiful
young prince had shot it all. Nearly all the day long these six princes
wandered about looking in vain for game; till at last they grew hungry
and thirsty, and could find no water, and they had no food with them.
Meanwhile the beautiful young prince had sat down under a tree, to dine
and rest, and there his six brothers-in-law found him. By his side was
some delicious water, and also some roast meat.
When they saw him the six princes said to each other, "Look at that
handsome prince. He has a moon on his forehead and a star on his chin.
We have never seen such a prince in this jungle before; he must come
from another country." Then they came up to him, and made him many
salaams, and begged him to give them some food and water. "Who are
you?" said the young prince. "We are the husbands of the six elder
daughters of the King of this country," they answered; "and we have
hunted all day, and are very hungry and thirsty." They did not
recognise their brother-in-law in the least.
"Well," said the young prince, "I will give you something to eat and
drink if you will do as I bid you." "We will do all you tell us to do,"
they answered, "for if we do not get water to drink, we shall die."
"Very good," said the young prince. "Now you must let me put a red-hot
pice on the back of each of you, and then I will give you food and
water. Do you agree to this?" The six princes consented, for they
thought, "No one will ever see the mark of the pice, as it will be
covered by our clothes; and we shall die if we have no water to drink."
Then the young prince took six pice, and made them red-hot in the fire;
he laid one on the back of each of the six princes, and gave them good
food and water. They ate and drank; and when they had finished they
made him many salaams and went home.
The young prince stayed under the tree till it was evening; then he
mounted his horse and rode off to the King's palace. All the people
looked at him as he came riding along, saying, "What a splendid young
prince that is! He has a moon on his forehead and a star on his chin."
But no one recognised him. When he came near the King's palace, all the
King's servants asked him who he was; and as none of them knew him, the
gate-keepers would not let him pass in. They all wondered who he could
be, and all thought him the most beautiful prince that had ever been
At last they asked him who he was. "I am the husband of your youngest
princess," he answered.
"No, no, indeed you are not," they said; "for he is a poor, common-
looking, and ugly man."
"But I am he," answered the prince; only no one would believe him.
"Tell us the truth," said the servants; "who are you?"
"Perhaps you cannot recognise me," said the young prince, "but call the
youngest princess here. I wish to speak to her." The servants called
her, and she came. "That man is not my husband," she said at once. "My
husband is not nearly as handsome as that man. This must be a prince
from another country."
Then she said to him, "Who are you? Why do you say you are my husband?"
"Because I am your husband. I am telling you the truth," answered the
"No you are not, you are not telling me the truth," said the little
princess. "My husband is not a handsome man like you. I married a very
poor, common-looking man."
"That is true," he answered, "but nevertheless I am your husband. I was
the grain merchant's servant; and one hot night I went into your
father's garden and sang, and you heard me, and came and asked me who I
was and where I came from, and I would not answer you. And the same
thing happened the next night, and the next, and on the fourth I told
you I was a very poor man, and had come from my country to seek service
in yours, and that I was the grain merchant's servant. Then you told
your father you wished to marry, but must choose your own husband; and
when all the Kings and Rajas were seated in your father's garden, you
sat on an elephant and went round and looked at them all; and then
twice hung your gold necklace round my neck, and chose me. See, here is
your necklace, and here are the ring and the handkerchief you gave me
on our wedding day."
Then she believed him, and was very glad that her husband was such a
beautiful young prince. "What a strange man you are!" she said to him.
"Till now you have been poor, and ugly, and common-looking. Now you are
beautiful and look like a prince; I never saw such a handsome man as
you are before; and yet I know you must be my husband." Then she
worshipped God and thanked him for letting her have such a husband. "I
have," she said, "a beautiful husband. There is no one like him in this
country. He has a moon on his forehead and a star on his chin." Then
she took him into the palace, and showed him to her father and mother
and to every one. They all said they had never seen any one like him,
and were all very happy. And the young prince lived as before in the
King's palace with his wife, and Katar lived in the King's stables.
One day, when the King and his seven sons-in-law were in his court-
house, and it was full of people, the young prince said to him, "There
are six thieves here in your court-house." "Six thieves!" said the
King. "Where are they? Show them to me." "There they are," said the
young prince, pointing to his six brothers-in-law. The King and every
one else in the court-house were very much astonished, and would not
believe the young prince. "Take off their coats," he said, "and then
you will see for yourselves that each of them has the mark of a thief
on his back." So their coats were taken off the six princes, and the
King and everybody in the court-house saw the mark of the red-hot pice.
The six princes were very much ashamed, but the young prince was very
glad. He had not forgotten how his brothers-in-law had laughed at him
and mocked him when he seemed a poor, common man.
Now, when Katar was still in the jungle, before the prince was married,
he had told the boy the whole story of his birth, and all that had
happened to him and his mother. "When you are married," he said to him,
"I will take you back to your father's country." So two months after
the young prince had revenged himself on his brothers-in-law, Katar
said to him, "It is time for you to return to your father. Get the King
to let you go to your own country, and I will tell you what to do when
we get there."
The prince always did what his horse told him to do; so he went to his
wife and said to her, "I wish very much to go to my own country to see
my father and mother." "Very well," said his wife; "I will tell my
father and mother, and ask them to let us go." Then she went to them,
and told them, and they consented to let her and her husband leave
them. The King gave his daughter and the young prince a great many
horses, and elephants, and all sorts of presents, and also a great many
sepoys to guard them. In this grand state they travelled to the
prince's country, which was not a great many miles off. When they
reached it they pitched their tents on the same plain in which the
prince had been left in his box by the nurse, where Shankar and Suri
had swallowed him so often.
When the King, his father, the gardener's daughter's husband, saw the
prince's camp, he was very much alarmed, and thought a great King had
come to make war on him. He sent one of his servants, therefore, to ask
whose camp it was. The young prince then wrote him a letter, in which
he said, "You are a great King. Do not fear me. I am not come to make
war on you. I am as if I were your son. I am a prince who has come to
see your country and to speak with you. I wish to give you a grand
feast, to which every one in your country must come--men and women, old
and young, rich and poor, of all castes; all the children, fakirs, and
sepoys. You must bring them all here to me for a week, and I will feast
The King was delighted with this letter, and ordered all the men,
women, and children of all castes, fakirs, and sepoys, in his country
to go to the prince's camp to a grand feast the prince would give them.
So they all came, and the King brought his four wives too. All came, at
least all but the gardener's daughter. No one had told her to go to the
feast, for no one had thought of her.
When all the people were assembled, the prince saw his mother was not
there, and he asked the King, "Has every one in your country come to my
"Yes, every one," said the King.
"Are you sure of that?" asked the prince.
"Quite sure," answered the King.
"I am sure one woman has not come," said the prince. "She is your
gardener's daughter, who was once your wife and is now a servant in
"True," said the King, "I had forgotten her." Then the prince told his
servants to take his finest palanquin and to fetch the gardener's
daughter. They were to bathe her, dress her in beautiful clothes and
handsome jewels, and then bring her to him in the palanquin.
While the servants were bringing the gardener's daughter, the King
thought how handsome the young prince was; and he noticed particularly
the moon on his forehead and the star on his chin, and he wondered in
what country the young prince was born.
And now the palanquin arrived bringing the gardener's daughter, and the
young prince went himself and took her out of it, and brought her into
the tent. He made her a great many salaams. The four wicked wives
looked on and were very much surprised and very angry. They remembered
that, when they arrived, the prince had made them no salaams, and since
then had not taken the least notice of them; whereas he could not do
enough for the gardener's daughter, and seemed very glad to see her.
When they were all at dinner, the prince again made the gardener's
daughter a great many salaams, and gave her food from all the nicest
dishes. She wondered at his kindness to her, and thought, "Who is this
handsome prince, with a moon on his forehead and a star on his chin? I
never saw any one so beautiful. What country does he come from?"
Two or three days were thus passed in feasting, and all that time the
King and his people were talking about the prince's beauty, and
wondering who he was.
One day the prince asked the King if he had any children. "None," he
"Do you know who I am?" asked the prince.
"No," said the King. "Tell me who you are."
"I am your son," answered the prince, "and the gardener's daughter is
The King shook his head sadly. "How can you be my son," he said, "when
I have never had any children?"
"But I am your son," answered the prince. "Your four wicked Queens told
you the gardener's daughter had given you a stone and not a son; but it
was they who put the stone in my little bed, and then they tried to
The King did not believe him. "I wish you were my son," he said; "but as
I never had a child, you cannot be my son." "Do you remember your dog
Shankar, and how you had him killed? And do you remember your cow Suri,
and how you had her killed too? Your wives made you kill them because
of me. And," he said, taking the King to Katar, "do you know whose
horse that is?"
The King looked at Katar, and then said, "That is my horse, Katar."
"Yes," said the prince. "Do you not remember how he rushed past you out
of his stable with me on his back?" Then Katar told the King the prince
was really his son, and told him all the story of his birth, and of his
life up to that moment; and when the King found the beautiful prince
was indeed his son, he was so glad, so glad. He put his arms round him
and kissed him and cried for joy.
"Now," said the King, "you must come with me to my palace, and live
with me always."
"No," said the prince, "that I cannot do. I cannot go to your palace. I
only came here to fetch my mother; and now that I have found her, I
will take her with me to my father-in-law's palace. I have married a
King's daughter, and we live with her father."
"But now that I have found you, I cannot let you go," said his father.
You and your wife must come and live with your mother and me in my
"That we will never do," said the prince, "unless you will kill your
four wicked Queens with your own hand. If you will do that, we will
come and live with you."
So the King killed his Queens, and then he and his wife, the gardener's
daughter, and the prince and his wife, all went to live in the King's
palace, and lived there happily together for ever after; and the King
thanked God for giving him such a beautiful son, and for ridding him of
his four wicked wives.
Katar did not return to the fairies' country, but stayed always with
the young prince, and never left him.
THE PRINCE AND THE FAKIR
There was once upon a time a King who had no children. Now this King
went and laid him down to rest at a place where four roads met, so that
every one who passed had to step over him.
At last a Fakir came along, and he said to the King, "Man, why are you
He replied, "Fakir, a thousand men have come and passed by; you pass on
But the Fakir said, "Who are you, man?"
The King replied, "I am a King, Fakir. Of goods and gold I have no
lack, but I have lived long and have no children. So I have come here,
and have laid me down at the cross-roads. My sins and offences have
been very many, so I have come and am lying here that men may pass over
me, and perchance my sins may be forgiven me, and God may be merciful,
and I may have a son."
The Fakir answered him, "Oh King! If you have children, what will you
"Whatever you ask, Fakir," answered the King. The Fakir said, "Of goods
and gold I have no lack, but I will say a prayer for you, and you will
have two sons; one of those sons will be mine."
Then he took out two sweetmeats and handed them to the King, and said,
"King! take these two sweetmeats and give them to your wives; give them
to the wives you love best."
The King took the sweetmeats and put them in his bosom.
Then the Fakir said, "King! in a year I will return, and of the two
sons who will be born to you one is mine and one yours."
The King said, "Well, I agree."
Then the Fakir went on his way, and the King came home and gave one
sweetmeat to each of his two wives. After some time two sons were born
to the King. Then what did the King do but place those two sons in an
underground room, which he had built in the earth.
Some time passed, and one day the Fakir appeared, and said, "King!
bring me that son of yours!"
What did the King do but bring two slave-girls' sons and present them
to the Fakir. While the Fakir was sitting there the King's sons were
sitting down below in their cellar eating their food. Just then a
hungry ant had carried away a grain of rice from their food, and was
going along with it to her children. Another stronger ant came up and
attacked her in order to get this grain of rice. The first ant said, "O
ant, why do you drag this away from me? I have long been lame in my
feet, and I have got just one grain, and am carrying it to my children.
The King's sons are sitting in the cellar eating their food; you go and
fetch a grain from there; why should you take mine from me?" On this
the second ant let go and did not rob the first, but went off to where
the King's sons were eating their food.
On hearing this the Fakir said, "King! these are not your sons; go and
bring those children who are eating their food in the cellar."
Then the King went and brought his own sons. The Fakir chose the eldest
son and took him away, and set off with him on his journey, When he got
home he told the King's son to go out to gather fuel.
So the King's son went out to gather cow-dung, and when he had
collected some he brought it in.
Then the Fakir looked at the King's son and put on a great pot, and
said, "Come round here, my pupil."
But the King's son said, "Master first, and pupil after."
The Fakir told him to come once, he told him twice, he told him three
times, and each time the King's son answered, "Master first, and pupil
Then the Fakir made a dash at the King's son, thinking to catch him and
throw him into the caldron. There were about a hundred gallons of oil
in this caldron, and the fire was burning beneath it. Then the King's
son, lifting the Fakir, gave him a jerk and threw him into the caldron,
and he was burnt, and became roast meat. He then saw a key of the
Fakir's lying there; he took this key and opened the door of the
Fakir's house. Now many men were locked up in this house; two horses
were standing there in a hut of the Fakir's; two greyhounds were tied
up there; two simurgs were imprisoned, and two tigers also stood there.
So the King's son let all the creatures go, and took them out of the
house, and they all returned thanks to God. Next he let out all the men
who were in prison. He took away with him the two horses, and he took
away the two tigers, and he took away the two hounds, and he took away
the two simurgs, and with them he set out for another country.
As he went along the road he saw above him a bald man, grazing a herd
of calves, and this bald man called out to him, "Fellow! can you fight
The King's son replied, "When I was little I could fight a bit, and
now, if any one wants to fight, I am not so unmanly as to turn my back.
Come, I will fight you."
The bald man said, "If I throw you, you shall be my slave; and if you
throw me, I will be your slave." So they got ready and began to fight,
and the King's son threw him.
On this the King's son said, "I will leave my beasts here, my simurgs,
tigers, and dogs, and horses; they will all stay here while I go to the
city to see the sights. I appoint the tiger as guard over my property.
And you are my slave, you, too, must stay here with my belongings." So
the King's son started off to the city to see the sights, and arrived
at a pool.
He saw that it was a pleasant pool, and thought he would stop and bathe
there, and therewith he began to strip off his clothes.
Now the King's daughter, who was sitting on the roof of the palace, saw
his royal marks, and she said, "This man is a king; when I marry, I
will marry him and no other." So she said to her father, "My father; I
wish to marry."
"Good," said her father.
Then the King made a proclamation: "Let all men, great and small,
attend to-day in the hall of audience, for the King's daughter will to-
day take a husband."
All the men of the land assembled, and the traveller Prince also came,
dressed in the Fakir's clothes, saying to himself, "I must see this
ceremony to-day." He went in and sat down.
The King's daughter came out and sat in the balcony, and cast her
glance round all the assembly. She noticed that the traveller Prince
was sitting in the assembly in Fakir's attire.
The Princess said to her handmaiden, "Take this dish of henna, go to
that traveller dressed like a Fakir, and sprinkle scent on him from the
The handmaiden obeyed the Princess's order, went to him, and sprinkled
the scent over him.
Then the people said, "The slave-girl has made a mistake."
But she replied, "The slave-girl has made no mistake, 'tis her mistress
has made the mistake."
On this the King married his daughter to the Fakir, who was really no
Fakir, but a Prince.
What fate had decreed came to pass in that country, and they were
married. But the King of that city became very sad in his heart,
because when so many chiefs and nobles were sitting there his daughter
had chosen none of them, but had chosen that Fakir; but he kept these
thoughts concealed in his heart.
One day the traveller Prince said, "Let all the King's sons-in-law come
out with me to-day to hunt."
People said, "What is this Fakir that he should go a-hunting?"
However, they all set out for the hunt, and fixed their meeting-place
at a certain pool.
The newly married Prince went to his tigers, and told his tigers and
hounds to kill and bring in a great number of gazelles and hog-deer and
markhor. Instantly they killed and brought in a great number. Then
taking with him these spoils of the chase, the Prince came to the pool
settled on as a meeting-place. The other Princes, sons-in-law of the
King of that city, also assembled there; but they had brought in no
game, and the new Prince had brought a great deal. Thence they returned
home to the town, and went to the King their father-in-law, to present
Now that King had no son. Then the new Prince told him that in fact he,
too, was a Prince. At this the King, his father-in-law, was greatly
delighted and took him by the hand and embraced him. He seated him by
himself, saying, "O Prince, I return thanks that you have come here and
become my son-in-law; I am very happy at this, and I make over my
kingdom to you."
WHY THE FISH LAUGHED
As a certain fisherwoman passed by a palace crying her fish, the queen
appeared at one of the windows and beckoned her to come near and show
what she had. At that moment a very big fish jumped about in the bottom
of the basket.
"Is it a he or a she?" inquired the queen. "I wish to purchase a she
On hearing this the fish laughed aloud.
"It's a he," replied the fisherwoman, and proceeded on her rounds.
The queen returned to her room in a great rage; and on coming to see
her in the evening, the king noticed that something had disturbed her.
"Are you indisposed?" he said.
"No; but I am very much annoyed at the strange behaviour of a fish. A
woman brought me one to-day, and on my inquiring whether it was a male
or female, the fish laughed most rudely."
"A fish laugh! Impossible! You must be dreaming."
"I am not a fool. I speak of what I have seen with my own eyes and have
heard with my own ears."
"Passing strange! Be it so. I will inquire concerning it."
On the morrow the king repeated to his vizier what his wife had told
him, and bade him investigate the matter, and be ready with a
satisfactory answer within six months, on pain of death. The vizier
promised to do his best, though he felt almost certain of failure. For
five months he laboured indefatigably to find a reason for the laughter
of the fish. He sought everywhere and from every one. The wise and
learned, and they who were skilled in magic and in all manner of
trickery, were consulted. Nobody, however, could explain the matter;
and so he returned broken-hearted to his house, and began to arrange
his affairs in prospect of certain death, for he had had sufficient
experience of the king to know that His Majesty would not go back from
his threat. Amongst other things, he advised his son to travel for a
time, until the king's anger should have somewhat cooled.
The young fellow, who was both clever and handsome, started off
whithersoever Kismat might lead him. He had been gone some days, when
he fell in with an old farmer, who also was on a journey to a certain
village. Finding the old man very pleasant, he asked him if he might
accompany him, professing to be on a visit to the same place. The old
farmer agreed, and they walked along together. The day was hot, and the
way was long and weary.
"Don't you think it would be pleasanter if you and I sometimes gave one
another a lift?" said the youth.
"What a fool the man is!" thought the old farmer.
Presently they passed through a field of corn ready for the sickle, and
looking like a sea of gold as it waved to and fro in the breeze.
"Is this eaten or not?" said the young man.
Not understanding his meaning, the old man replied, "I don't know."
After a little while the two travellers arrived at a big village, where
the young man gave his companion a clasp-knife, and said, "Take this,
friend, and get two horses with it; but mind and bring it back, for it
is very precious."
The old man, looking half amused and half angry, pushed back the knife,
muttering something to the effect that his friend was either a fool
himself or else trying to play the fool with him. The young man
pretended not to notice his reply, and remained almost silent till they
reached the city, a short distance outside which was the old farmer's
house. They walked about the bazar and went to the mosque, but nobody
saluted them or invited them to come in and rest.
"What a large cemetery!" exclaimed the young man.
"What does the man mean," thought the old farmer, "calling this largely
populated city a cemetery?"
On leaving the city their way led through a cemetery where a few people
were praying beside a grave and distributing chapatis and kulchas to
passers-by, in the name of their beloved dead. They beckoned to the two
travellers and gave them as much as they would.
"What a splendid city this is!" said the young man.
"Now, the man must surely be demented!" thought the old farmer. "I
wonder what he will do next? He will be calling the land water, and the
water land; and be speaking of light where there is darkness, and of
darkness when it is light." However, he kept his thoughts to himself.
Presently they had to wade through a stream that ran along the edge of
the cemetery. The water was rather deep, so the old farmer took of his
shoes and paijamas and crossed over; but the young man waded through it
with his shoes and paijamas on.
"Well! I never did see such a perfect fool, both in word and in deed,"
said the old man to himself.
However, he liked the fellow; and thinking that he would amuse his wife
and daughter, he invited him to come and stay at his house as long as
he had occasion to remain in the village.
"Thank you very much," the young man replied; "but let me first
inquire, if you please, whether the beam of your house is strong."
The old farmer left him in despair, and entered his house laughing.
"There is a man in yonder field," he said, after returning their
greetings. "He has come the greater part of the way with me, and I
wanted him to put up here as long as he had to stay in this village.
But the fellow is such a fool that I cannot make anything out of him.
He wants to know if the beam of this house is all right. The man must
be mad!" and saying this, he burst into a fit of laughter.
"Father," said the farmer's daughter, who was a very sharp and wise
girl, "this man, whosoever he is, is no fool, as you deem him. He only
wishes to know if you can afford to entertain him."
"Oh! of course," replied the farmer. "I see. Well perhaps you can help
me to solve some of his other mysteries. While we were walking together
he asked whether he should carry me or I should carry him, as he
thought that would be a pleasanter mode of proceeding."
"Most assuredly," said the girl. "He meant that one of you should tell
a story to beguile the time."
"Oh yes. Well, we were passing through a corn-field, when he asked me
whether it was eaten or not."
"And didn't you know the meaning of this, father? He simply wished to
know if the man was in debt or not; because, if the owner of the field
was in debt, then the produce of the field was as good as eaten to him;
that is, it would have to go to his creditors."
"Yes, yes, yes; of course! Then, on entering a certain village, he bade
me take his clasp knife and get two horses with it, and bring back the
knife again to him."
"Are not two stout sticks as good as two horses for helping one along
on the road? He only asked you to cut a couple of sticks and be careful
not to lose his knife."
"I see," said the farmer. "While we were walking over the city we did
not see anybody that we knew, and not a soul gave us a scrap of
anything to eat, till we were passing the cemetery; but there some
people called to us and put into our hands some chapatis and kulchas;
so my companion called the city a cemetery, and the cemetery a city."
"This also is to be understood, father, if one thinks of the city as
the place where everything is to be obtained, and of inhospitable
people as worse than the dead. The city, though crowded with people,
was as if dead, as far as you were concerned; while, in the cemetery,
which is crowded with the dead, you were saluted by kind friends and
provided with bread."
"True, true!" said the astonished farmer. "Then, just now, when we were
crossing the stream, he waded through it without taking off his shoes
"I admire his wisdom," replied the girl. "I have often thought how
stupid people were to venture into that swiftly flowing stream and over
those sharp stones with bare feet. The slightest stumble and they would
fall, and be wetted from head to foot. This friend of yours is a most
wise man. I should like to see him and speak to him."
"Very well," said the farmer; "I will go and find him, and bring him
"Tell him, father, that our beams are strong enough, and then he will
come in. I'll send on ahead a present to the man, to show him that we
can afford to have him for our guest."
Accordingly she called a servant and sent him to the young man with a
present of a basin of ghee, twelve chapatis, and a jar of milk, and the
following message:--"O friend, the moon is full; twelve months make a
year, and the sea is overflowing with water."
Half-way the bearer of this present and message met his little son,
who, seeing what was in the basket, begged his father to give him some
of the food. His father foolishly complied. Presently he saw the young
man, and gave him the rest of the present and the message.
"Give your mistress my salam," he replied, "and tell her that the moon
is new, and that I can only find eleven months in the year, and the sea
is by no means full."
Not understanding the meaning of these words, the servant repeated them
word for word, as he had heard them, to his mistress; and thus his
theft was discovered, and he was severely punished. After a little
while the young man appeared with the old farmer. Great attention was
shown to him, and he was treated in every way as if he were the son of
a great man, although his humble host knew nothing of his origin. At
length he told them everything--about the laughing of the fish, his
father's threatened execution, and his own banishment--and asked their
advice as to what he should do.
"The laughing of the fish," said the girl, "which seems to have been
the cause of all this trouble, indicates that there is a man in the
palace who is plotting against the king's life."
"Joy, joy!" exclaimed the vizier's son. "There is yet time for me to
return and save my father from an ignominious and unjust death, and the
king from danger."
The following day he hastened back to his own country, taking with him
the farmer's daughter. Immediately on arrival he ran to the palace and
informed his father of what he had heard. The poor vizier, now almost
dead from the expectation of death, was at once carried to the king, to
whom he repeated the news that his son had just brought.
"Never!" said the king.
"But it must be so, Your Majesty," replied the vizier; "and in order to
prove the truth of what I have heard, I pray you to call together all
the maids in your palace, and order them to jump over a pit, which must
be dug. We'll soon find out whether there is any man there."
The king had the pit dug, and commanded all the maids belonging to the
palace to try to jump it. All of them tried, but only one succeeded.
That one was found to be a man!!
Thus was the queen satisfied, and the faithful old vizier saved.
Afterwards, as soon as could be, the vizier's son married the old
farmer's daughter; and a most happy marriage it was.
THE DEMON WITH THE MATTED HAIR
_This story the Teacher told in Jetavana about a Brother who had
ceased striving after righteousness. Said the Teacher to him: "Is it
really true that you have ceased all striving?"--"Yes, Blessed One," he
replied. Then the Teacher said: "O Brother, in former days wise men
made effort in the place where effort should be made, and so attained
unto royal power." And he told a story of long ago._
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was King of Benares, the Bodhisatta
was born as son of his chief queen. On his name-day they asked 800
Brahmans, having satisfied them with all their desires, about his lucky
marks. The Brahmans who had skill in divining from such marks beheld
the excellence of his, and made answer:
"Full of goodness, great King, is your son, and when you die he will
become king; he shall be famous and renowned for his skill with the
five weapons, and shall be the chief man in all India." On hearing what
the Brahmans had to say, they gave him the name of the Prince of the
Five Weapons, sword, spear, bow, battle-axe, and shield.
When he came to years of discretion, and had attained the measure of
sixteen years, the King said to him:
"My son, go and complete your education."
"Who shall be my teacher?" the lad asked.
"Go, my son; in the kingdom of Candahar, in the city of Takkasila, is a
far-famed teacher from whom I wish you to learn. Take this, and give it
him for a fee." With that he gave him a thousand pieces of money, and
The lad departed, and was educated by this teacher; he received the
Five Weapons from him as a gift, bade him farewell, and leaving
Takkasila, he began his journey to Benares, armed with the Five
On his way he came to a forest inhabited by the Demon with the Matted
Hair. At the entering in of the forest some men saw him, and cried out:
"Hullo, young sir, keep clear of that wood! There's a Demon in it
called he of the Matted Hair: he kills every man he sees!" And they
tried to stop him. But the Bodhisatta, having confidence in himself,
went straight on, fearless as a maned lion.
When he reached mid-forest the Demon showed himself. He made himself as
tall as a palm tree; his head was the size of a pagoda, his eyes as big
as saucers, and he had two tusks all over knobs and bulbs; he had the
face of a hawk, a variegated belly, and blue hands and feet.
"Where are you going?" he shouted. "Stop! You'll make a meal for me!"
Said the Bodhisatta: "Demon, I came here trusting in myself. I advise
you to be careful how you come near me. Here's a poisoned arrow, which
I'll shoot at you and knock you down!" With this menace, he fitted to
his bow an arrow dipped in deadly poison, and let fly. The arrow stuck
fast in the Demon's hair. Then he shot and shot, till he had shot away
fifty arrows; and they all stuck in the Demon's hair. The Demon snapped
them all off short, and threw them down at his feet; then came up to
the Bodhisatta, who drew his sword and struck the Demon, threatening
him the while. His sword--it was three-and-thirty inches long--stuck in
the Demon's hair! The Bodhisatta struck him with his spear--that stuck
too! He struck him with his club--and that stuck too!
When the Bodhisatta saw that this had stuck fast, he addressed the
Demon. "You, Demon!" said he, "did you never hear of me before--the
Prince of the Five Weapons? When I came into the forest which you live
in I did not trust to my bow and other weapons. This day will I pound
you and grind you to powder!" Thus did he declare his resolve, and with
a shout he hit at the Demon with his right hand. It stuck fast in his
hair! He hit him with his left hand--that stuck too! With his right
foot he kicked him--that stuck too; then with his left--and that stuck
too! Then he butted at him with his head, crying, "I'll pound you to
powder!" and his head stuck fast like the rest.
Thus the Bodhisatta was five times snared, caught fast in five places,
hanging suspended: yet he felt no fear--was not even nervous.
Thought the Demon to himself: "Here's a lion of a man! A noble man!
More than man is he! Here he is, caught by a Demon like me; yet he will
not fear a bit. Since I have ravaged this road, I never saw such a man.
Now, why is it that he does not fear?" He was powerless to eat the man,
but asked him: "Why is it, young sir, that you are not frightened to
"Why should I fear, Demon?" replied he. "In one life a man can die but
once. Besides, in my belly is a thunderbolt; if you eat me, you will
never be able to digest it; this will tear your inwards into little
bits, and kill you: so we shall both perish. That is why I fear
nothing." (By this, the Bodhisatta meant the weapon of knowledge which
he had within him.)
When he heard this, the Demon thought: "This young man speaks the
truth. A piece of the flesh of such a lion-man as he would be too much
for me to digest, if it were no bigger than a kidney-bean. I'll let him
go!" So, being frightened to death, he let go the Bodhisatta, saying
"Young sir, you are a lion of a man! I will not eat you up. I set you
free from my hands, as the moon is disgorged from the jaws of Rahu
after the eclipse. Go back to the company of your friends and
And the Bodhisatta said: "Demon, I will go, as you say. You were born a
Demon, cruel, blood-bibbing, devourer of the flesh and gore of others,
because you did wickedly in former lives. If you still go on doing
wickedly, you will go from darkness to darkness. But now that you have
seen me you will find it impossible to do wickedly. Taking the life of
living creatures causes birth, as an animal, in the world of Petas, or
in the body of an Asura, or, if one is reborn as a man, it makes his
life short." With this and the like monition he told him the
disadvantage of the five kinds of wickedness, and the profit of the
five kinds of virtue, and frightened the Demon in various ways,
discoursing to him until he subdued him and made him self-denying, and
established him in the five kinds of virtue; he made him worship the
deity to whom offerings were made in that wood; and having carefully
admonished him, departed out of it.
At the entrance of the forest he told all to the people thereabout; and
went on to Benares, armed with his five weapons. Afterwards he became
king, and ruled righteously; and after giving alms and doing good he
passed away according to his deeds.
_And the Teacher, when this tale was ended, became perfectly
enlightened, and repeated this verse:
Whose mind and heart from all desire is free,
Who seeks for peace by living virtuously,
He in due time will sever all the bonds
That bind him fast to life, and cease to be.
Thus the Teacher reached the summit, through sainthood and the teaching
of the law, and thereupon he declared the Four Truths. At the end of
the declaring of the Truths, this Brother also attained to sainthood.
Then the Teacher made the connexion, and gave the key to the birth-
tale, saying: "At that time Angulimala was the Demon, but the Prance of
the Five Weapons was I myself."_
THE IVORY CITY AND ITS FAIRY PRINCESS
One day a young prince was out practising archery with the son of his
father's chief vizier, when one of the arrows accidentally struck the
wife of a merchant, who was walking about in an upper room of a house
close by. The prince aimed at a bird that was perched on the window-
sill of that room, and had not the slightest idea that anybody was at
hand, or he would not have shot in that direction. Consequently, not
knowing what had happened, he and the vizier's son walked away, the
vizier's son chaffing him because he had missed the bird.
Presently the merchant went to ask his wife about something, and found
her lying, to all appearance, dead in the middle of the room, and an
arrow fixed in the ground within half a yard of her head. Supposing
that she was dead, he rushed to the window and shrieked, "Thieves
thieves! They have killed my wife." The neighbours quickly gathered,
and the servants came running upstairs to see what was the matter. It
happened that the woman had fainted, and that there was only a very
slight wound in her breast where the arrow had grazed.
As soon as the woman recovered her senses she told them that two young
men had passed by the place with their bows and arrows, and that one of
them had most deliberately aimed at her as she stood by the window.
On hearing this the merchant went to the king, and told him what had
taken place. His Majesty was much enraged at such audacious wickedness,
and swore that most terrible punishment should be visited on the
offender if he could be discovered. He ordered the merchant to go back
and ascertain whether his wife could recognise the young men if she saw
"Oh yes," replied the woman, "I should know them again among all the
people in the city."
"Then," said the king, when the merchant brought back this reply, "to-
morrow I will cause all the male inhabitants of this city to pass
before your house, and your wife will stand at the window and watch for
the man who did this wanton deed."
A royal proclamation was issued to this effect. So the next day all the
men and boys of the city, from the age of ten years upwards, assembled
and marched by the house of the merchant. By chance (for they both had
been excused from obeying this order) the king's son and the vizier's
son were also in the company, and passed by in the crowd. They came to
see the tamasha.
As soon as these two appeared in front of the merchant's window they
were recognised by the merchant's wife, and at once reported to the
"My own son and the son of my chief vizier!" exclaimed the king, who
had been present from the commencement. "What examples for the people!
Let them both be executed."
"Not so, your Majesty," said the vizier, "I beseech you Let the facts
of the case be thoroughly investigated. How is it?" he continued,
turning to the two young men. "Why have you done this cruel thing?"
"I shot an arrow at a bird that was sitting on the sill of an open
window in yonder house, and missed," answered the prince. "I suppose
the arrow struck the merchant's wife. Had I known that she or anybody
had been near I should not have shot in that direction."
"We will speak of this later on," said the king, on hearing this
answer. "Dismiss the people. Their presence is no longer needed."
In the evening his Majesty and the vizier had a long and earnest talk
about their two sons. The king wished both of them to be executed; but
the vizier suggested that the prince should be banished from the
country. This was finally agreed to.
Accordingly, on the following morning, a little company of soldiers
escorted the prince out of the city. When they reached the last custom-
house the vizier's son overtook them. He had come with all haste,
bringing with him four bags of muhrs on four horses. "I am come," he
said, throwing his arms round the prince's neck, "because I cannot let
you go alone. We have lived together, we will be exiled together, and
we will die together. Turn me not back, if you love me."
"Consider," the prince answered, "what you are doing. All kinds of
trial may be before me. Why should you leave your home and country to
be with me?"
"Because I love you," he said, "and shall never be happy without you."
So the two friends walked along hand in hand as fast as they could to
get out of the country, and behind them marched the soldiers and the
horses with their valuable burdens. On reaching a place on the borders
of the king's dominions the prince gave the soldiers some gold, and
ordered them to return. The soldiers took the money and left; they did
not, however, go very far, but hid themselves behind rocks and stones,
and waited till they were quite sure that the prince did not intend to
On and on the exiles walked, till they arrived at a certain village,
where they determined to spend the night under one of the big trees of
the place. The prince made preparations for a fire, and arranged the
few articles of bedding that they had with them, while the vizier's son
went to the baniya and the baker and the butcher to get something for
their dinner. For some reason he was delayed; perhaps the tsut was not
quite ready, or the baniya had not got all the spices prepared. After
waiting half an hour the prince became impatient, and rose up and
He saw a pretty, clear little brook running along not far from their
resting-place, and hearing that its source was not far distant, he
started off to find it. The source was a beautiful lake, which at that
time was covered with the magnificent lotus flower and other water
plants. The prince sat down on the bank, and being thirsty took up some
of the water in his hand. Fortunately he looked into his hand before
drinking, and there, to his great astonishment, he saw reflected whole
and clear the image of a beautiful fairy. He looked round, hoping to
see the reality; but seeing no person, he drank the water, and put out
his hand to take some more. Again he saw the reflection in the water
which was in his palm. He looked around as before, and this time
discovered a fairy sitting by the bank on the opposite side of the
lake. On seeing her he fell so madly in love with her that he dropped
down in a swoon.
When the vizier's son returned, and found the fire lighted, the horses
securely fastened, and the bags of muhrs lying altogether in a heap,
but no prince, he did not know what to think. He waited a little while,
and then shouted; but not getting any reply, he got up and went to the
brook. There he came across the footmarks of his friend. Seeing these,
he went back at once for the money and the horses, and bringing them
with him, he tracked the prince to the lake, where he found him lying
to all appearance dead.
"Alas! alas!" he cried, and lifting up the prince, he poured some water
over his head and face. "Alas! my brother, what is this? Oh! do not die
and leave me thus. Speak, speak! I cannot bear this!"
In a few minutes the prince, revived by the water, opened his eyes, and
looked about wildly.
"Thank God!" exclaimed the vizier's son. "But what is the matter,
"Go away," replied the prince. "I don't want to say anything to you, or
to see you. Go away."
"Come, come; let us leave this place. Look, I have brought some food
for you, and horses, and everything. Let us eat and depart."
"Go alone," replied the prince.
"Never," said the vizier's son. "What has happened to suddenly estrange
you from me? A little while ago we were brethren, but now you detest
the sight of me."
"I have looked upon a fairy," the prince said. "But a moment I saw her
face; for when she noticed that I was looking at her she covered her
face with lotus petals. Oh, how beautiful she was! And while I gazed
she took out of her bosom an ivory box, and held it up to me. Then I
fainted. Oh! if you can get me that fairy for my wife, I will go
anywhere with you."
"Oh, brother," said the vizier's son, "you have indeed seen a fairy.
She is a fairy of the fairies. This is none other than Gulizar of the
Ivory City. I know this from the signs that she gave you. From her
covering her face with lotus petals I learn her name, and from her
showing you the ivory box I learn where she lives. Be patient, and rest
assured that I will arrange your marriage with her."
When the prince heard these encouraging words he felt much comforted,
rose up, and ate, and then went away gladly with his friend.
On the way they met two men. These two men belonged to a family of
robbers. There were eleven of them altogether. One, an elder sister,
stayed at home and cooked the food, and the other ten--all brothers--
went out, two and two, and walked about the four different ways that
ran through that part of the country, robbing those travellers who
could not resist them, and inviting others, who were too powerful for
two of them to manage, to come and rest at their house, where the whole
family attacked them and stole their goods. These thieves lived in a
kind of tower, which had several strong-rooms in it, and under it was a
great pit, wherein they threw the corpses of the poor unfortunates who
chanced to fall into their power.
The two men came forward, and, politely accosting them, begged them to
come and stay at their house for the night. "It is late," they said,
"and there is not another village within several miles."
"Shall we accept this good man's invitation, brother?" asked the
The vizier's son frowned slightly in token of disapproval; but the
prince was tired, and thinking that it was only a whim of his friend's,
he said to the men, "Very well. It is very kind of you to ask us."
So they all four went to the robbers' tower.
Seated in a room, with the door fastened on the outside, the two
travellers bemoaned their fate.
"It is no good groaning," said the vizier's son. "I will climb to the
window, and see whether there are any means of escape. Yes! yes!" he
whispered, when he had reached the window-hole. "Below there is a ditch
surrounded by a high wall. I will jump down and reconnoitre. You stay
here, and wait till I return."
Presently he came back and told the prince that he had seen a most ugly
woman, whom he supposed was the robbers' housekeeper. She had agreed to
release them on the promise of her marriage with the prince.
So the woman led the way out of the enclosure by a secret door.
"But where are the horses and the goods?" the vizier's son inquired.
"You cannot bring them," the woman said. "To go out by any other way
would be to thrust oneself into the grave."
"All right, then; they also shall go out by this door. I have a charm,
whereby I can make them thin or fat." So the vizier's son fetched the
horses without any person knowing it, and repeating the charm, he made
them pass through the narrow doorway like pieces of cloth, and when
they were all outside restored them to their former condition. He at
once mounted his horse and laid hold of the halter of one of the other
horses, and then beckoning to the prince to do likewise, he rode off.
The prince saw his opportunity, and in a moment was riding after him,
having the woman behind him.
Now the robbers heard the galloping of the horses, and ran out and shot
their arrows at the prince and his companions. And one of the arrows
killed the woman, so they had to leave her behind.
On, on they rode, until they reached a village where they stayed the
night. The following morning they were off again, and asked for Ivory
City from every passer-by. At length they came to this famous city, and
put up at a little hut that belonged to an old woman, from whom they
feared no harm, and with whom, therefore, they could abide in peace and
comfort. At first the old woman did not like the idea of these
travellers staying in her house, but the sight of a muhr, which the
prince dropped in the bottom of a cup in which she had given him water,
and a present of another muhr from the vizier's son, quickly made her
change her mind. She agreed to let them stay there for a few days.
As soon as her work was over the old woman came and sat down with her
lodgers. The vizier's son pretended to be utterly ignorant of the place
and people. "Has this city a name?" he asked the old woman.
"Of course it has, you stupid. Every little village, much more a city,
and such a city as this, has a name."
"What is the name of this city?"
"Ivory City. Don't you know that? I thought the name was known all over
On the mention of the name Ivory City the prince gave a deep sigh. The
vizier's son looked as much as to say "Keep quiet, or you'll discover
"Is there a king of this country?" continued the vizier's son.
"Of course there is, and a queen, and a princess."
"What are their names?"
"The name of the princess is Gulizar, and the name of the queen----"
The vizier's son interrupted the old woman by turning to look at the
prince, who was staring like a madman. "Yes," he said to him
afterwards, "we are in the right country. We shall see the beautiful
One morning the two travellers noticed the old woman's most careful
toilette: how careful she was in the arrangement of her hair and the
set of her kasabah and puts.
"Who is coming?" said the vizier's son.
"Nobody," the old woman replied.
"Then where are you going?"
"I am going to see my daughter, who is a servant of the Princess
Gulizar. I see her and the princess every day. I should have gone
yesterday, if you had not been here and taken up all my time."
"Ah-h-h! Be careful not to say anything about us in the hearing of the
princess." The vizier's son asked her not to speak about them at the
palace, hoping that, because she had been told not to do so, she would
mention their arrival, and thus the princess would be informed of their
On seeing her mother the girl pretended to be very angry. "Why have you
not been for two days?" she asked.
"Because, my dear," the old woman answered, "two young travellers, a
prince and the son of some great vizier, have taken up their abode in
my hut, and demand so much of my attention. It is nothing but cooking
and cleaning, and cleaning and cooking, all day long. I can't
understand the men," she added; "one of them especially appears very
stupid. He asked me the name of this country and the name of the
king. Now where can these men have come from, that they do not know
these things? However, they are very great and very rich. They each
give me a muhr every morning and every evening."
After this the old woman went and repeated almost the same words to the
princess, on the hearing of which the princess beat her severely; and
threatened her with a severer punishment if she ever again spoke of the
strangers before her.
In the evening, when the old woman had returned to her hut, she told
the vizier's son how sorry she was that she could not help breaking her
promise, and how the princess had struck her because she mentioned
their coming and all about them.
"Alas! alas!" said the prince, who had eagerly listened to every word.
"What, then, will be her anger at the sight of a man?"
"Anger?" said the vizier's son, with an astonished air. "She would be
exceedingly glad to see one man. I know this. In this treatment of the
old woman I see her request that you will go and see her during the
coming dark fortnight."
"Heaven be praised!" the prince exclaimed.
The next time the old woman went to the palace Gulizar called one of
her servants and ordered her to rush into the room while she was
conversing with the old woman; and if the old woman asked what was the
matter, she was to say that the king's elephants had gone mad, and were
rushing about the city and bazaar in every direction, and destroying
everything in their way.
The servant obeyed, and the old woman, fearing lest the elephants
should go and push down her hut and kill the prince and his friend,
begged the princess to let her depart. Now Gulizar had obtained a
charmed swing, that landed whoever sat on it at the place wherever they
wished to be. "Get the swing," she said to one of the servants standing
by. When it was brought she bade the old woman step into it and desire
to be at home.
The old woman did so, and was at once carried through the air quickly
and safely to her hut, where she found her two lodgers safe and sound.
"Oh!" she cried, "I thought that both of you would be killed by this
time. The royal elephants have got loose and are running about wildly.
When I heard this I was anxious about you. So the princess gave me this
charmed swing to return in. But come, let us get outside before the
elephants arrive and batter down the place."
"Don't believe this," said the vizier's son. "It is a mere hoax. They
have been playing tricks with you."
"You will soon have your heart's desire," he whispered aside to the
prince. "These things are signs."
Two days of the dark fortnight had elapsed, when the prince and the
vizier's son seated themselves in the swing, and wished themselves
within the grounds of the palace. In a moment they were there, and
there too was the object of their search standing by one of the palace
gates, and longing to see the prince quite as much as he was longing to
Oh, what a happy meeting it was!
"At last," said Gulizar, "I have seen my beloved, my husband."
"A thousand thanks to Heaven for bringing me to you," said the prince.
Then the prince and Gulizar betrothed themselves to one another and
parted, the one for the hut and the other for the palace, both of them
feeling happier than they had ever been before.
Henceforth the prince visited Gulizar every day and returned to the hut
every night. One morning Gulizar begged him to stay with her always.
She was constantly afraid of some evil happening to him--perhaps
robbers would slay him, or sickness attack him, and then she would be
deprived of him. She could not live without seeing him. The prince
showed her that there was no real cause for fear, and said that he felt
he ought to return to his friend at night, because he had left his home
and country and risked his life for him; and, moreover, if it had not
been for his friend's help he would never have met with her.
Gulizar for the time assented, but she determined in her heart to get
rid of the vizier's son as soon as possible. A few days after this
conversation she ordered one of her maids to make a pilaw. She gave
special directions that a certain poison was to be mixed into it while
cooking, and as soon as it was ready the cover was to be placed on the
saucepan, so that the poisonous steam might not escape. When the pilaw
was ready she sent it at once by the hand of a servant to the vizier's
son with this message "Gulizar, the princess, sends you an offering in
the name of her dead uncle."
On receiving the present the vizier's son thought that the prince had
spoken gratefully of him to the princess, and therefore she had thus
remembered him. Accordingly he sent back his salam and expressions of
When it was dinner-time he took the saucepan of pilaw and went out to
eat it by the stream. Taking off the lid, he threw it aside on the
grass and then washed his hands. During the minute or so that he was
performing these ablutions, the green grass under the cover of the
saucepan turned quite yellow. He was astonished, and suspecting that
there was poison in the pilaw, he took a little and threw it to some
crows that were hopping about. The moment the crows ate what was thrown
to them they fell down dead.
"Heaven be praised," exclaimed the vizier's son, "who has preserved me
from death at this time!"
On the return of the prince that evening the vizier's son was very
reticent and depressed. The prince noticed this change in him, and
asked what was the reason. "Is it because I am away so much at the
palace?" The vizier's son saw that the prince had nothing to do with
the sending of the pilaw, and therefore told him everything.
"Look here," he said, "in this handkerchief is some pilaw that the
princess sent me this morning in the name of her deceased uncle. It is
saturated with poison. Thank Heaven, I discovered it in time!"
"Oh, brother! who could have done this thing? Who is there that
entertains enmity against you?"
"The Princess Gulizar. Listen. The next time you go to see her, I
entreat you to take some snow with you; and just before seeing the
princess put a little of it into both your eyes. It will provoke tears,
and Gulizar will ask you why you are crying. Tell her that you weep for
the loss of your friend, who died suddenly this morning. Look! take,
too, this wine and this shovel, and when you have feigned intense grief
at the death of your friend, bid the princess to drink a little of the
wine. It is strong, and will immediately send her into a deep sleep.
Then, while she is asleep, heat the shovel and mark her back with it.
Remember to bring back the shovel again, and also to take her pearl
necklace. This done, return. Now fear not to execute these
instructions, because on the fulfilment of them depends your fortune
and happiness. I will arrange that your marriage with the princess
shall be accepted by the king, her father, and all the court."
The prince promised that he would do everything as the vizier's son had
advised him; and he kept his promise.
The following night, on the return of the prince from his visit to
Gulizar, he and the vizier's son, taking the horses and bags of muhrs,
went to a graveyard about a mile or so distant. It was arranged that
the vizier's son should act the part of a fakir and the prince the part
of the fakir's disciple and servant.
In the morning, when Gulizar had returned to her senses, she felt a
smarting pain in her back, and noticed that her pearl necklace was
gone. She went at once and informed the king of the loss of her
necklace, but said nothing to him about the pain in her back.
The king was very angry when he heard of the theft, and caused
proclamation concerning it to be made throughout all the city and
"It is well," said the vizier's son, when he heard of this
proclamation. "Fear not, my brother, but go and take this necklace, and
try to sell it in the bazaar."
The prince took it to a goldsmith and asked him to buy it.
"How much do you want for it?" asked the man.
"Fifty thousand rupees," the prince replied.
"All right," said the man; "wait here while I go and fetch the money."
The prince waited and waited, till at last the goldsmith returned, and
with him the kotwal, who at once took the prince into custody on the
charge of stealing the princess's necklace.
"How did you get the necklace?" the kotwal asked.
"A fakir, whose servant I am, gave it to me to sell in the bazaar," the
prince replied. "Permit me, and I will show you where he is."
The prince directed the kotwal and the policeman to the place where he
had left the vizier's son, and there they found the fakir with his eyes
shut and engaged in prayer. Presently, when he had finished his
devotions, the kotwal asked him to explain how he had obtained
possession of the princess's necklace.
"Call the king hither," he replied, "and then I will tell his Majesty
face to face."
On this some men went to the king and told him what the fakir had said.
His Majesty came, and seeing the fakir so solemn and earnest in his
devotions, he was afraid to rouse his anger, lest peradventure the
displeasure of Heaven should descend on him, and so he placed his hands
together in the attitude of a supplicant, and asked, "How did you get
my daughter's necklace?"
"Last night," replied the fakir, "we were sitting here by this tomb
worshipping Khuda, when a ghoul, dressed as a princess, came and
exhumed a body that had been buried a few days ago, and began to eat
it. On seeing this I was filled with anger, and beat her back with a
shovel, which lay on the fire at the time. While running away from me
her necklace got loose and dropped. You wonder at these words, but they
are not difficult to prove. Examine your daughter, and you will find
the marks of the burn on her back. Go, and if it is as I say, send the
princess to me, and I will punish her."
The king went back to the palace, and at once ordered the princess's
back to be examined.
"It is so," said the maid-servant; "the burn is there."
"Then let the girl be slain immediately," the king shouted.
"No, no, your Majesty," they replied. "Let us send her to the fakir who
discovered this thing, that he may do whatever he wishes with her."
The king agreed, and so the princess was taken to the graveyard.
"Let her be shut up in a cage, and be kept near the grave whence she
took out the corpse," said the fakir.
This was done, and in a little while the fakir and his disciple and the
princess were left alone in the graveyard. Night had not long cast its
dark mantle over the scene when the fakir and his disciple threw off
their disguise, and taking their horses and luggage, appeared before
the cage. They released the princess, rubbed some ointment over the
scars on her back, and then sat her upon one of their horses behind the
prince. Away they rode fast and far, and by the morning were able to
rest and talk over their plans in safety. The vizier's son showed the
princess some of the poisoned pilaw that she had sent him, and asked
whether she had repented of her ingratitude. The princess wept, and
acknowledged that he was her greatest helper and friend.
A letter was sent to the chief vizier telling him of all that had
happened to the prince and the vizier's son since they had left their
country. When the vizier read the letter he went and informed the king.
The king caused a reply to be sent to the two exiles, in which he
ordered them not to return, but to send a letter to Gulizar's father,
and inform him of everything. Accordingly they did this; the prince
wrote the letter at the vizier's son's dictation.
On reading the letter Gulizar's father was much enraged with his
viziers and other officials for not discovering the presence in his
country of these illustrious visitors, as he was especially anxious to
ingratiate himself in the favour of the prince and the vizier's son. He
ordered the execution of some of the viziers on a certain date.
"Come," he wrote back to the vizier's son, "and stay at the palace. And
if the prince desires it, I will arrange for his marriage with Gulizar
as soon as possible."
The prince and the vizier's son most gladly accepted the invitation,
and received a right noble welcome from the king. The marriage soon
took place, and then after a few weeks the king gave them presents of
horses and elephants, and jewels and rich cloths, and bade them start