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TURKISH FAIRY TALES
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.MND FOLK TALES
Collected by Dr lgt&czKunos
Translated from the Hunarian version
T R.N:is s Inm 2
S CeU. Lestrate by
r i Celia Levetus con
- New Yovk
Frederick fR. Stokes Company
THESE stories were collected from the mouths of the
Turkish peasantry by the Hungarian savant Dr. Igna-
tius Kunos, during his travels through Anatolia,1 and
published for the first time in 1889 by the well-known
Hungarian Literary Society, A Kisfaludy TarsasAg,"
under the title of Tbrbk N6pmesek ("Turkish Folk
Tales "), with an introduction by Professor Vambery.
That distinguished Orientalist, certainly the greatest
living authority on the primitive culture of the Turko-
Tartaric peoples, who is as familiar with Uzbeg epics
and Uiguric didactics as with the poetical masterpieces
of Western Europe, is enthusiastic in his praises of
these folk-tales. He compares the treasures of Turkish
folk-lore to precious stones lying neglected in the by-
ways of philology for want of gleaners to gather them
1 He has described his experience in the picturesque and
popular Anat6liai K6pekc (" Anatolian Pictures ") published at Pest
in, and he warns the student of ethnology that when
once the threatened railroad actually invades the
classic land of Anatolia, these naively poetical myths
and legends will, infallibly, be the first victims of
The almost unique collection of Dr. Ignatius Kunos
may therefore be regarded as a brand snatched from
the burning; in any case it is an important find," as
well for the scientific folk-lorist as for the lover of
fairy-tales pure and simple. That these stories should
contain anything absolutely new is, indeed, too much
to expect. Professor VTimbery himself traces affinities
between many of them and other purely Oriental
stories which form the bases of The Arabian Nights.
A few Slavonic and Scandinavian elements are also
plainly distinguishable, such, for instance, as that
mysterious fowl, the Emerald Anka, obviously no
very distant relative of the Bird Mogol and the Bird
Zhar, which figure in my Russian Fairy Tales and
Cossack Fairy Tales and Folk Tales respectively,
while the story of the Enchanted Turban is, in some
particulars, curiously like Hans Andersen's story,
The Travelling Companion. Nevertheless, these tales
have a character peculiarly their own; above all, they
are remarkable for a vivid imaginativeness, a gorgeous
play of fancy, compared with which the imagery of
the most popular fairy tales of the West seem almost
prosaically jejune, and if, as Professor Vimbery sug-
gests, these Nipmnsek provide the sort of entertain-
ment which beguiles the leisure of the Turkish ladies
while they sip their mocha and whiff their fragrant
narghilies, we cannot but admire the poetical taste
and nice discrimination, in this respect, of the harem
and the seraglio.
I have Englished these tales from the first Hun-
garian edition, so that this version is, perhaps, open
to the objection of being a translation of a translation.
Inasmuch, however, as f have followed my text very
closely, and having regard to the fact that Hungarian
and Turkish are closely cognate dialects (in point
of grammatical construction they are practically
identical), I do not think they will be found to have
lost so very much of their original fragrance and
I have supplemented these purely Turkish with
four semi-Turkish tales translated from the original
Roumanian of Ispirescu's Legende sacu Basmele
Romndnilori*. Bucharest, 1892. This collection,
which I commend to the notice of the Folk-Lore
Society, is very curious and original, abounding as it
does in extraordinarily bizarre and beautiful variants
of the best-known fairy tales, a very natural result
of the peculiar combination in Roumanian of such
heterogeneous elements as Romance, Slavonic, Mag-
yar, and Turkish.
R. NISBET BAIN.
THE STAG-PRINCE ... ... ... ... ... ... 1
THE THREE ORANGE-PERIS ... ... ... ... 12
THE ROSE-BEAUTY ... ... ... ... ... ... 30
MAD MEHMED ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 42
THE GOLDEN-HAIRED CHILDREN ... ... ... ... 53
THE HORSE-DEVIL AND THE WITCH ... .. ... ... 74
THE CINDER-YOUTH ... .. ... ... ... ... 84
THE PIECE OF LIVER.. ... ... ... .. ... 97
THE MAGIC TURBAN, THE MAGIC WHIP, AND THE MAGIC CARPET 102
THE WIND-DEMON ... ... ... ... ... ... 112
THE CROW-PERI ... ... ... ... ... ... 134
THE FORTY PRINCES AND THE SEVEN-HEADED DRAGON
THE WORLD'S MOST BEAUTEOUS DAMSEL .. ...
THE PADISHAH OF THE FORTY PERIS ... ...
THE SERPENT-PERI AND THE MAGIC MIRROR ...
STONE-PATIENCE AND KNIFE-PATIENOE ... .
THE GHOST OF THE SPRING AND THE SHREW ...
ROUMANIAN FAIRY TALES
THE STORY OF THE HALF-MAN-RIDING-ON-THE-WORSE-HALF-
OF-A-LAME-HORSE ... ... ... ... ... ... 209
THE ENCHANTED HOG ... ... ... ... ... 222
BOY-BEAUTIFUL, THE GOLDEN APPLES, AND THE WERE-WOLF 244
YOUTH WITHOUT AGE, AND LIFE WITHOUT DEATH ... ... 260
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
ONCE upon a time, when the servants of Allah were
many, there lived a Padishah 1 who had one son and
one daughter. The Padishah grew old, his time
came, and he died; his son ruled in his stead, and he
had not ruled very long before he had squandered
away his whole inheritance.
One day he said to his sister: "Little sister! all
our money is spent. If people were to hear that we
had nothing left they would drive us out of doors,
and we should never be able to look our fellow-men
in the face again. Far better, therefore, if we depart
and take up our abode elsewhere." So they tied
together the little they had left, and then the brother
and sister quitted their father's palace in the night-
time, and wandered forth into the wide world.
They went on and on till they came to a vast
sandy desert, where they were like to have fallen to
1 Emperor. B
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
the ground for the burning heat. The youth felt
that he could go not a step further, when he saw on
the ground a little puddle of water. "Little sister!"
said he, "I will not go a step further till I have
drunk this water."
"Nay, dear brother!" replied the girl, "who can
tell whether it be really water or filth ? If we have
held up so long, surely we can hold up a little longer.
Water we are bound to find soon."
"I tell thee," replied her brother, "that I'll not
go another step further till I have drunk up this
puddle, though I die for it,"-and with that he
knelt down, sucked up every drop of the dirty water,
and instantly became a stag.
The little sister wept bitterly at this mischance;
but there was nothing for it but to go on as they
were. They went on and on, up hill and down dale,
right across the sandy waste till they came to a full
spring beneath a large tree, and there they sat them
down and rested. "Hearken now, little sister!"
said the stag, "thou must mount up into that tree,
while I go to see if I can find something to eat."
So the girl climbed up into the tree, and the stag
went about his business, ran up hill and down dale,
caught a hare, brought it back, and he and his sister
ate it together, and so they lived from day to day
and from week to week.
Now the horses of the Padishah of that country
were wont to be watered at the spring beneath the
large tree. One evening the horsemen led their horses
up to it as usual, but, just as they were on the point
of drinking, they caught sight of the reflection of the
damsel in the watery mirror and reared back. The
horsemen fancied that perhaps the water was not
quite pure, so they drew off the trough and filled it
afresh, but again the horses reared backwards and
would not drink of it. The horsemen knew not
what to make of it, so they went and told the
"Perchance the water is muddy," said the
"Nay," replied the horsemen, "we emptied the
trough once and filled it full again with fresh water,
and yet the horses would not drink of it."
Go again," said their master, and look well about
you; perchance there is some one near the spring of
whom they are afraid."
The horsemen returned, and, looking well about the
spring, cast their eyes at last upon the large tree, on
the top of which they perceived the damsel. They
immediately went back and told the Padishah. The
Padishah took the trouble to go and look for himself,
and raising his eyes perceived in the tree a damsel
as lovely as the moon when she is fourteen days old,
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
so that he absolutely could not take his eyes off her.
"Art thou a spirit or a peri ?"1 said the Padishah to
"I am neither a spirit nor a peri, but a mortal
as thou art," replied the damsel.
In vain the Padishah begged her to come down
from the tree. In vain he implored her, nothing he
could say would make her come down. Then the
Padishah waxed wroth. He commanded them to cut
down the tree. The men brought their axes and
fell a-hewing at the tree. They hewed away at the
vast tree, they hewed and hewed until only a little
strip of solid trunk remained to be cut through; but,
meanwhile, eventide had drawn nigh and it began
to grow dark, so they left off their work, which they
purposed to finish next day.
Scarcely had they departed when the stag came
running out of the forest, looked at the tree, and
asked the little sister what had happened. The girl
told him that she would not descend from the tree,
so they had tried to cut it down. "Thou didst
well," replied the stag, "and take care thou dost
not come down in future, whatever they may say."
With that he went to the tree, licked it with his
tongue, and immediately the tree grew bigger round
the hewed trunk than before.
The Damsel and the Old Witch.-p. 5.
THE STAG-PRINCE 5
The next day, when the stag had again departed
about his business, the Padishah's men came and
saw that the tree was larger and harder round the
trunk than ever. Again they set to work hewing at
the tree, and hewed and hewed till they had cut
half through it; but by that time evening fell upon
them again, and again they put off the rest of the
work till the morrow and went home.
But all their labour was lost, for the stag came
again, licked the gap in the tree with his tongue, and
immediately it grew thicker and harder than ever.
Early next morning, when the stag had only just
departed, the Padishah and his wood-cutters again
came to the tree, and when they saw that the trunk
of the tree had filled up again larger and firmer than
ever, they determined to try some other means. So
they went home again and sent for a famous old
witch, told her of the damsel in the tree, and promised
her a rich reward if she would, by subtlety, make the
damsel come down. The old witch willingly took the
matter in hand, and bringing with her an iron tripod,
a cauldron, and sundry raw meats, placed them by the
side of the spring. She placed the tripod on the
ground, and the kettle on the top of it but upside
down, drew water from the spring and poured it not
into the kettle, but on the ground beside it, and with
that she kept her eyes closed as if she were blind.
6 TURKISH FAIRY TALES
The damsel fancied she really was blind, and called
to her from the tree. Nay but, my dear elder
sister! thou hast placed the kettle on the tripod
upside down, and art pouring all the water on the
Oh, my sweet little damsel !" cried the old woman,
"that is because I have no eyes to see with. I have
brought some dirty linen with me, and if thou dost
love Allah, thou wilt come down and put the kettle
right, and help me to wash the things." Then
the damsel thought of the words of the little stag,
and she did not come down.
The next day the old witch came again, stumbled
about the tree, laid a fire, and brought forth a heap
of meal in order to sift it, but instead of meal she
put ashes into the sieve. "Poor silly old granny !"
cried the damsel compassionately, and then she called
down from the tree to the old woman, and told her
that she was sifting ashes instead of meal. Oh,
my dear damsel!" cried the old woman, weeping,
"I am blind, I cannot see. Come down and help
me a little in my affliction." Now the little stag
had strictly charged her that very morning not to
come down from the tree whatever might be said to
her, and she obeyed the words of her brother.
On the third day the old witch again came
beneath the tree. This time she brought a sheep
THE STA G-PRINCE
with her, and brought out a knife to flay it with,
and began to jag and skin it from behind instead of
cutting its throat. The poor little sheep bleated
piteously, and the damsel in the tree, unable to endure
the sight of the beast's sufferings, came down from
the tree to put the poor thing out of its misery.
Then the Padishah, who was concealed close to the tree,
rushed out and carried the damsel off to his palace.
The damsel pleased the Padishah so mightily that
he wanted to be married to her without more ado;
but the damsel would not consent till they had
brought her her brother, the little stag: until she
saw him, she said, she could have not a moment's
rest. Then the Padishah sent men out into the
forest, who caught the stag and brought him to his
sister. After that he never left his sister's side.
They lay down together, and together they rose up.
Even when the Padishah and the damsel were
wedded, the little stag was never far away from them,
and in the evening when he found out where they
were, he would softly stroke each of them all over
with one of his front feet before going to sleep beside
them, and say-
"This little foot is for my sister,
That little foot is for my brother."
But time, as men count it, passes quickly to its
fulfilment, more quickly still passes the time of fairy
8 TURKISH FAIRY TALES
tales, but quickest of all flies the time of true love.
Yet our little people would have lived on happily
if there had not been a black female slave in the
palace. Jealousy devoured her at the thought that
the Padishah had taken to his bosom the ragged
damsel from the tree-top rather than herself, and she
watched for an opportunity of revenge.
Now there was a beautiful garden in the palace,
with a fountain in the midst of it, and there
the Sultan's damsel used to walk about. One day,
with a golden saucer in her hand and a silver sandal
on her foot, she went towards the great fountain,
and the black slave followed after her and pushed
her in. There was a big fish in the basin, and it
immediately swallowed up the Sultan's pet damsel.
Then the black slave returned to the palace, put on
the golden raiment of the Sultan's damsel, and sat
down in her place.
In the evening the Padishah came and asked the
damsel what she had done to her face that it was
so much altered. "I have walked too much in the
garden, and so the sun has tanned my face," re-
plied the girl. The Padishah believed her and
sat down beside her, but the little stag came
also, and when he began to stroke them both
down with his fore-foot he recognized the slave-girl
as he said-
"This little foot is for my sister,
And this little foot is for my brother."
Then it became the one wish of the slave-girl's
heart to be rid of the little stag as quickly as possible,
lest it should betray her.
So after a little thought she made herself sick,
and sent for the doctors, and gave them much money
to say to the Padishah that the only thing that
could save her was the heart of the little stag to
eat. So the doctors went and told the Padishah
that the sick woman must swallow the heart of the
little stag, or there was no hope for her. Then the
Padishah went to the slave-girl whom he fancied to
be his pet damsel, and asked her if it did not go
against her to eat the heart of her own brother ?
"What can I do?" sighed the impostor; "if I
die, what will become of my poor little pet ? If he
be cut up I shall live, while he will be spared the
torments of those poor beasts that grow old and
sick." Then the Padishah gave orders that a butcher's
knife should be whetted, and a fire lighted, and a
cauldron of water put over the fire.
The poor little stag perceived all the bustling about
and ran down into the garden to the fountain, and
called out three times to his sister-
"The knife is on the stone,
The water's on the boil,
Haste, little sister, hasten "
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
And thrice she answered back to him from the fish's
Here am I in the fish's belly,
In my hand a golden saucer,
On my foot a silver sandal,
In my arms a little Padishah "
For the Sultan's pet damsel had brought forth a
little son in the fish's belly.
Now the Padishah was intent on catching the
little stag when it ran down into the garden to the
fountain, and, coming up softly behind it, heard every
word of what the brother and sister were saying to
each other. He quietly ordered all the water to be
drained off the basin of the fountain, drew up the
fish, cut open its belly, and what do you think he
saw? In the belly of the fish was his wife, with
a golden saucer in her hand, and a silver sandal on
her foot, and a little son in her arms. Then the
Padishah embraced his wife, and kissed his son, and
brought them both to the palace, and heard the
tale of it all to the very end.
But the little stag found something in the fish's
blood, and when he had swallowed it, he became a
man again. Then he rushed to his sister, and they
embraced and wept with joy over each other's
But the Padishah sent for his black slave-girl,
THE STAG-PRINCE 11
and asked her which she would like the best-four
good steeds or four good swords. The slave-girl
replied: Let the swords be for the throats of my
enemies, but give me the four steeds that I may take
my pleasure on horseback." Then they tied the slave-
girl to the tails of four good steeds, and sent her out
for a ride; and the four steeds tore the black girl
into little bits and scattered them abroad.
But the Padishah and his wife lived happily
together, and the king's son who had been a stag
abode with them; and they gave a great banquet,
which lasted four days and four nights; and they
attained their desires, and may ye, 0 my readers,
attain your desires likewise.
THE THREE ORANGE-PERIS
IN the olden times, when there were sieves in
straws and lies in everything, in the olden times
when there was abundance, and men ate and drank
the whole day and yet lay down hungry, in those
olden, olden times there was once a Padishah whose
days were joyless, for he had never a son to bless
One day he was in the path of pleasure with his
Vizier, and when they had drunk their coffee and
smoked their chibooks, they went out for a walk,
and went on and on till they came to a great valley.
Here they sat down to rest a while, and as they were
looking about them to the right hand and to the left,
the valley was suddenly shaken as if by an earthquake,
a whip cracked, and a dervish, a green-robed, yellow-
slippered, white-bearded dervish, suddenly stood before
them. The Padishah and the Vizier were so fright-
ened that they dared not budge; but when the
THE THREE ORANGE-PERIS
dervish approached them and addressed them with
the words, "Selamun aleykyum," 1 they took heart a
bit, and replied courteously, Ve aleykyum selam." 2
"What is thy errand here, my lord Padishah 2"
asked the dervish.
"If thou dost know that I am a Padishah, thou
dost also know my errand," replied the Padishah.
Then the dervish took from his bosom an apple,
gave it to the Padishah, and said these words: Give
half of this to thy Sultana, and eat the other half
thyself," and with these words he disappeared.
Then the Padishah went home, gave half the apple
to his consort, and ate the other half himself, and in
exactly nine months and ten days there was a little
prince in the harem. The Padishah was beside him-
self for joy. He scattered sequins among the poor,
restored to freedom his slaves, and the banquet he
gave to his friends had neither beginning nor end.
Swiftly flies the time in fairy tales, and the child
had reached his fourteenth summer while yet they
fondled him. One day he said to his father: "My
lord father Padishah, make me now a little marble
palace, and let there be two springs under it, and let
one of them run with honey, and the other with
butter Dearly did the Padishah love his little son,
because he was his only child, so he made him the
1 "Peace be unto you." 2 Unto you be peace.'
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
marble palace with the springs inside it as his son
desired. There then sat the King's son in the marble
palace, and while he was looking at the springs that
bubbled forth both butter and honey, he saw an old
woman with a pitcher in her hand, and she would fain
have filled it from the spring. Then the King's son
caught up a stone and flung it at the old woman's
pitcher, and broke it into pieces. The old woman
said not a word, but she went away.
But the next day she was there again with her
pitcher, and again she made as if she would fill it,
and a second time the King's son cast a stone at her
and broke her pitcher. The old woman went away
without speaking a word. She came on the third
day also, and it fared with her pitcher then as on the
first two days. Then the old woman spoke. Oh,
youth !" cried she, "'tis the will of Allah that thou
shouldst fall in love with the three Orange-peris," and
with that she quitted him.
From thenceforth the heart of the King's son was
consumed by a hidden fire. He began to grow pale
and wither away. When the Padishah saw that his
son was ill, he sent for the wise men and the leeches,
but they could find no remedy for the disease. One
day the King's son said to his father: "Oh, my dear
little daddy Shah these wise men of thine cannot
cure me of my disease, and all their labours are in
THE THREE ORANGE-PERIS
vain. I have fallen in love with the three Oranges,
and never shall I be better till I find them."
"Oh, my dear little. son !" groaned the Padishah,
"thou art all that I have in the wide world: if thou
dost leave me, in whom can I rejoice ?" Then the
King's son slowly withered away, and his days were
as a heavy sleep; so his father saw that it would be
better to let him go forth on his way and find, if so
be he might, the three Oranges that were as the
balsam of his soul. "Perchance too he may return
again," thought the Padishah.
So the King's son arose one day and took with him
things that were light to carry, but heavy in the scales
of value, and pursued his way over mountains and
valleys, rising up and lying down again for many
days. At last in the midst of a vast plain, in front
of the high-road, he came upon her Satanic Majesty
the Mother of Devils, as huge as a minaret. One
of her legs was on one mountain, and the other leg on
another mountain; she was chewing gum (her mouth
was full of it) so that you could hear her half-an-
hour's journey off; her breath was a hurricane, and
her arms were yards and yards long.
Good-day, little mother!" cried the youth, and
he embraced the broad waist of the Mother of Devils.
"Good-day, little sonny!" she replied. "If thou
hadst not spoken to me so politely, I should have
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
gobbled thee up." Then she asked him whence he
came and whither he was going.
Alas! dear little mother," sighed the youth,
"such a terrible misfortune has befallen me that
I can neither tell thee nor answer thy question."
"Nay, come, out with it, my son," urged the
Mother of Devils.
"Well then, my sweet little mother," cried the
youth, and he sighed worse than before, I have fallen
violently in love with the three Oranges. If only I
might find my way thither !"
"Hush! cried the Mother of Devils, "it is not
lawful to even think of that name, much less pro-
nounce it. I and my sons are its guardians, yet
even we don't know the way to it. Forty sons have
I, and they go up and down the earth more than I
do, perchance they may tell thee something of the
matter." So when it began to grow dusk towards
evening, ere yet the devil-sons had come home, the
old woman gave the King's son a tap, and turned him
into a pitcher of water. And she did it not a moment
too soon, for immediately afterwards the forty sons
of the Mother of Devils knocked at the door and
cried: "Mother, we smell man's flesh !"
"Nonsense cried the Mother of Devils. What,
I should like to know, have the sons of men to do
here ? It seems to me you had better all clean your
THE THREE ORANGE-PERIS 17
teeth." So she gave the forty sons forty wooden
stakes to clean their teeth with, and out of one's
tooth fell an arm, and out of another's a thigh, and
out of another's an arm, till they had all cleaned their
teeth. Then they sat them down to eat and drink, and
in the middle of the meal their mother said to them:
If now ye had a man for your brother, what would
ye do with him ? "
-7 Do," they replied, "why love him like a brother,
" of course "
Then the Mother of Devils tapped the water-jar,
and the King's son stood there again. "Here is
your brother! cried she to her forty sons.
The devils thanked the King's son for his company
with great joy, invited their new brother to sit down,
and asked their mother why she had not told them
about him before, as then they might all have eaten
their meal together.
"Nay but, my sons," cried she, "he does not live
on the same sort of meat as ye; fowls, mutton, and
such-like is what he feeds on."
At this one of them jumped up, went out, fetched
a sheep, slew it, and laid it before the new brother.
Oh, what a child thou art! cried the Mother
of Devils. Dost thou not know that thou must
first cook it for him ? "
Then they skinned the sheep, made a fire, roasted
18 TURKISH FAIRY TALES
it, and placed it before him. The King's son ate a
piece, and after satisfying his hunger, left the rest of
it. "Why, that's nothing!" cried the devils, and
they urged him again and again to eat more. Nay,
my sons," cried their mother, men never eat more
Let us see then what this sheep-meat is like,"
said one of the forty brothers. So they fell upon it
and devoured the whole lot in a couple of mouthfuls.
Now when they all rose up early in the morning,
the Mother of Devils said to her sons: Our new
brother hath a great trouble."-" What is it? cried
they, for we would help him."
He has fallen in love with the three Oranges "-
"Well," replied the devils, "we know not the place
of the three Oranges ourselves, but perchance our
aunt may know."
Then lead this youth to her," said their mother;
"tell her that he is my son and worthy of all honour,
let her also receive him as a son and ease him of his
trouble." Then the devils took the youth to their
aunt, and told her on what errand he had come.
Now this Aunt of the Devils had sixty sons, and
as she did not know the place of the three Oranges,
she had to wait till they came home. But lest any
harm should happen to this her new son, she gave
him a tap and turned him into a piece of crockery.
THE THREE ORANGE-PERIS
"We smell man's flesh, mother," cried the devils,
as they crossed the threshold.
"Perchance ye have eaten man's flesh, and the
remains thereof are still within your teeth," said their
mother. Then she gave them great logs of wood that
they might pick their teeth clean, and so be able to
swallow down something else. But in the midst of
the meal the woman gave the piece of crockery a tap,
and when the sixty devils saw their little human
brother, they rejoiced at the sight, made him sit
down at table, and bade him fall to if there was any-
thing there he took a fancy to. "My sons," said the
Mother of the Devils to her sixty sons when they all
rose up early on the morrow, this lad here has fallen
in love with the three Oranges, cannot you show
him the way thither ? "
We know not the way," replied the devils; "but
perchance our old great-aunt may know something
"Then take the youth thither," said their mother,
" and bid her hold him in high honour. He is my
son, let him be hers also and help him out of his
distress." Then they took him off to their great-aunt,
and told her the whole business. Alas I do not
know, my sons said the old, old great-aunt; but
if you wait till the evening, when my ninety sons
come home, I will ask them."
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
Then the sixty devils departed and left the King's
son there, and when it grew dusk the Mother of the
Devils gave the youth a tap, turned him into a broom,
and placed him in the doorway. Shortly afterwards
the ninety devils came home, and they also smelt the
smell of man, and took the pieces of man's flesh out
of their teeth. In the middle of their meal their
mother asked them how they would treat a human
brother if they had one. When they had sworn upon
eggs that they would not hurt so much as his little
finger, their mother gave the broom a tap, and the
King's son stood before them.
The devil brothers entreated him courteously, in-
quired after his health, and served him so heartily
with eatables that they scarcely gave him time to
breathe. In the midst of the meal their mother asked
them whether they knew where the three Oranges
were, for their new brother had fallen in love with
them. Then the least of the ninety devils leaped up
with a shout of joy, and said that he knew.
"Then if thou knowest," said his mother, see that
thou take this son of ours thither, that he may satisfy
his heart's desire."
On arising next morning, the devil-son took the
King's son with him, and the pair of them went
merrily along the road together. They went on, and
on, and on, and at last the little devil said these
THE THREE ORANGEPERIS
words: "My brother, we shall come presently to a
large garden, and in the fountain thereof are the
three. When I say to thee: 'Shut thine eye, open
thine eye !' lay hold of what thou shalt see."
They went on a little way further till they came
to the garden, and the moment the devil saw the
fountain he said to the King's son: Shut thine eye
and open thine eye He did so, and saw the three
Oranges bobbing up and down on the surface of the
water where it came bubbling out of the spring, and
he snatched up one of them and popped it in his
pocket. Again the devil called to him: "Open thine
eye and shut thine eye He did so, and snatched
up the second orange, and so with the third also in
the same way. "Now take care," said the devil,
that thou dost not cut open these oranges in any
place where there is no water, or it will go ill with
thee." The King's son promised, and so they parted,
one went to the right, and the other to the left.
The King's son went on, and on, and on. He went
a long way, and he went a short way, he went across
mountains and through valleys. At last he came
to a sandy desert, and there he bethought him of
the oranges, and drawing one out, he cut it open.
Scarcely had he cut into it when a damsel, lovely as
a Peri, popped out of it before him; the moon when
it is fourteen days old is not more dazzling. For
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
Allah's sake, give me a drop of water !" cried the
damsel, and inasmuch as there was no trace of water
anywhere, she vanished from the face of the earth.
The King's son grieved right sorely, but there was
no help for it, the thing was done.
Again he went on his way, and when he had gone
a little further he thought to himself, I may as well
cut open one more orange." So he drew out the second
orange, and scarcely had he cut into it than there
popped down before him a still more lovely damsel,
who begged piteously for water, but as the King's son
had none to give her, she also vanished.
S" Well, I'll take better care of the third," cried he,
and continued his journey. He went on and on till
he came to a large spring, drank out of it, and then
thought to himself: "Well, now I'll cut open the
third orange also." He drew it out and cut it, and
immediately a damsel even lovelier than the other
two stood before him. As soon as she called for
water, he led her tp the spring and gave her to drink,
and the damsel did not disappear, but remained there
as large as life.
Mother-naked was the damsel, and as he could not
take her to town like that, he bade her climb up a
large tree that stood beside the spring, while he went
into the town to buy her raiment and a carriage.
While the King's son had gone away, a negro
THE THREE ORANGE-PERIS
servant came to the spring to draw water, and saw
the reflection of the damsel in the watery mirror.
" Why, thou art something like a damsel," said she
to herself, and ever so much lovelier than thy
mistress; so she ought to fetch water for me, not I
for her." With that she broke the pitcher in two,
went home, and when her mistress asked where the
pitcher of water was, she replied : I am much more
beautiful than thou, so thou must fetch water for me,
not I for thee." Her mistress took up a mirror, held
it before her, and said: "Methinks thou must have
taken leave of thy senses; look at this mirror The
Moor looked into the mirror, and saw that she was as
coal-black as ever. Without another word she took
up the pitcher, went again to the spring, and seeing
the damsel's face in the mirror, again fancied that it
I'm right, after all," she cried; I'm ever so much
more beautiful than my mistress." So she broke the
pitcher to pieces again, and went home. Again her
mistress asked her why she had not drawn water.
"Because I am ever so much more beautiful than
thou, so thou must draw water for me," replied she.
"Thou art downright crazy," replied her mistress,
drew out a mirror, and showed it to her; and when
the Moor-girl saw her face in it, she took up another
pitcher and went to the fountain for the third time.
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
The damsel's face again appeared in the water, but
just as she was about to break the pitcher again, the
damsel called to her from the tree: Break not thy
pitchers, 'tis my face thou dost see in the water, and
thou wilt see thine own there also."
The Moor-girl looked up, and when she saw the
wondrously beautiful shape of the damsel in the tree,
she climbed up beside her and spake coaxing words
to her: Oh, my little golden damsel, thou wilt get
the cramp from crouching there so long; come, rest
thy head And with that she laid the damsel's
head on her breast, felt in her bosom, drew out a
needle, pricked the damsel with it in the skull, and in
an instant the Orange-Damsel was changed into a
bird, and pr-r-r-r-r she was gone, leaving the Moor
all alone in the tree.
Now when the King's son came back with his fine
coach and beautiful raiment, looked up into the tree,
and saw the black face, he asked the girl what had
happened to her. "A nice question!" replied the
Moor-girl. "Why, thou didst leave me here all day,
and wentest away, so of course the sun has tanned
me black." What could the poor King's son do?
He made the black damsel sit in the coach, and took
her straight home to his father's house.
In the palace of the Padishah they were all waiting,
full of eagerness, to behold the Peri-Bride, and
THE THREE ORANGE-PERIS 25
when they saw the Moorish damsel they said to the
King's son: "However couldst thou lose thy heart
to a black maid ?"
She is not a black maid," said the King's son.
"I left her at the top of a tree, and she was blackened
there by the rays of the sun. If only you let her
rest a bit she'll soon grow white again." And with
that he led her into her chamber, and waited for
her to grow white again.
Now there was a beautiful garden in the palace of
the King's son, and one day the Orange-Bird came
flying on to a tree there, and called down to the
"What dost thou want with me?" asked the
"What is the King's son doing?" inquired the bird.
He is doing no harm that I know of," replied the
And what about his black bride ?"
Oh, she's there too, sitting with him as usual."
Then the little bird sang these words:
"She may sit by his side,
But she shall not abide;
For all her fair showing
The thorns are a-growing.
As I hop on this tree,
It will wither neathh me."
And with that it flew away.
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
The next day it came again, and inquired once
more about the King's son and his black consort, and
repeated what it said before. The third day it did in
like manner, and as many trees as it hopped upon
withered right away beneath it.
One day the King's son felt weary of his black
bride, so he went out into the garden for a walk.
Then his eye fell on the withered trees, and he
called the gardener and said to him: "What is this,
gardener? Why dost thou not take better care of
thy trees? Dost thou not see that they are all
withering away ?" Then the gardener replied that
it was of but little use for him to take care of the
trees, for a few days ago a little bird had been there,
and asked what the King's son and his black consort
were doing, and had said that though she might be
sitting there, she should not sit for ever, but that
thorns would grow, and every tree it lit upon should
The King's son commanded the gardener to smear
the trees with bird-lime, and if the bird then lit upon
it, to bring it to him. So the gardener smeared the
trees with bird-lime, and when the bird came there
next day he caught it, and brought it to the King's
son, who put it in a cage. Now no sooner did the
black woman look upon the bird than she knew at
once that it was the damsel. So she pretended to be
THE THREE ORANGE-PERIS
very ill, sent for the chief medicine-man, and by dint
of rich gifts persuaded him to say to the King's son
that his consort would never get well unless he fed
her with such and such birds.
The King's son saw that his consort was very sick,
he sent for the doctor, went with him to see the sick
woman, and asked him how she was to be cured.
The doctor said she could only be cured if they gave
her such and such birds to eat. "Why, only this
very day have I caught one of such birds," said the
King's son; and they brought the bird, killed it, and
fed the sick lady with the flesh thereof. In an instant
the black damsel arose from her bed. But one of the
bird's dazzling feathers fell accidentally to the ground
and slipped between the planks, so that nobody
Time went on, and the King's son was still
waiting and waiting for his consort to turn white.
Now there was an old woman in the palace who used
to teach the dwellers in the harem to read and write.
One day as she was going down-stairs she saw some-
thing gleaming between the planks of the floor, and
going towards it, perceived that it was a bird's feather
that sparkled like a diamond. She took it home and
thrust it behind a rafter. The next day she went to
the palace, and while she was away the bird's feather
leaped down from the rafter, shivered a little, and the
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
next moment turned into a most lovely damsel. She
put the room tidy, cooked the meal, set everything
in order, and then leaped back upon the rafter and
became a feather again. When the old woman came
home she was amazed at what she saw. She thought:
"Somebody must have done all this," so she went up
and down, backwards and forwards through the house,
but nobody could she see.
SEarly next morning she again went to the palace,
and the feather leaped down again in like manner,
and did all the household work. When the old
woman came home, she perceived the house all nice
and clean, and everything in order. "I really must
find out the secret of this," thought she, so next
morning she made as if she were going away as usual,
and left the door ajar, but went and hid herself in a
corner. All at once she perceived that there was a
damsel in the room, who tidied the room and cooked
the meal, whereupon the old woman dashed out,
seized hold of her, and asked her who she was and
whence she came. Then the damsel told her her
sad fate, and how she had been twice killed by the
black woman, and had come thither in the shape of
"Distress thyself no more, my lass," said the old
woman. "I'll put thy business to rights, and this
very day, too." And with that she went straight
THE THREE ORANGE-PERIS
to the King's son and invited him to come and see
her that evening. The King's son was now so sick
unto death of his black bride that he was glad of any
excuse to escape from his own house, so the evening
found him punctually at the old woman's. They sat
down to supper, and when the coffee followed the
meats, the damsel entered with the cups, and when
the King's son saw her he was like to have fainted.
" Nay, but, mother," said the King's son, when he
had come to himself a little, who is that damsel ? "
Thy wife," replied the old woman.
How didst thou get that fair creature ? inquired
the King's son. Wilt thou not give her to me ?"
How can I give her to thee, seeing that she was
thine own once upon a time," said the old woman;
and with that the old woman took the damsel by the
hand, led her to the King's son, and laid her on his
breast. Take better care of the Orange-Peri another
time," said she.
The King's son now nearly fainted in real earnest,
but it was from sheer joy. He took the damsel to his
palace, put to death the black slave-girl, but held high
festival with the Peri for forty days and forty nights.
So they had the desire of their hearts, and may Allah
satisfy your desires likewise.
ONCE upon a time in the old old days when straws
were sieves, and the camel a chapman, and the mouse
a barber, and the cuckoo a tailor, and the donkey ran
errands, and the tortoise baked bread, and I was only
fifteen years old, but my father rocked my cradle, and
there was a miller in the land who had a black cat-
in those olden times, I say, there was a King who
had three daughters, and the first daughter was forty,
and the second was thirty, and the third was twenty.
One day the youngest daughter wrote this letter to
her father: My lord father my eldest sister is forty
and my second sister is thirty, and still thou hast
given neither of them a husband. I have no desire
to grow grey in waiting for a husband."
The King read the letter, sent for his three daugh-
ters, and addressed them in these words : Look now !
let each one of you shoot an arrow from a bow and
seek her sweetheart wherever her arrow falls So
the three damsels took their bows. The eldest
damsel's arrow fell into the palace of the Vizier's son,
so the Vizier's son took her to wife. The second
girl's arrow flew into the palace of the Chief Mufti's
son, so they gave her to him. The third damsel also
fired her arrow, and lo it stuck in the hut of a poor
young labourer. That won't do, that won't do "
cried they all. So she fired again, and again the
arrow stuck in the hut. She aimed a third time, and
a third time the arrow stuck in the hut of the poor
young labourer. Then the King was wroth and cried
to the damsel: Look now, thou slut! thou hast got
thy deserts. Thy sisters waited patiently, and there-
fore they have got their hearts' desires. Thou wast
the youngest of all, yet didst thou write me that saucy
letter, hence thy punishment. Out of my sight, thou
slave-girl, to this husband of thine, and thou shalt
have nought but what he can give thee So the
poor damsel departed to the hut of the labourer, and
they gave her to him to wife.
They lived together for a time, and on the tenth
day of the ninth month the time came that she should
bear a child, and her husband, the labourer, hastened
away for the midwife. While the husband was thus
away his wife had neither a bed to lie down upon
nor a fire to warm herself by, though grinding
winter was upon them. All at once the walls of
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
the poor hut opened hither and thither, and three
beautiful damsels of the Peri race stepped into it.
One stood at the damsel's head, another at her
feet, the third by her side, and they all seemed
to know their business well. In a moment every-
thing in the poor hut was in order, the princess
lay on a beautiful soft couch, and before she
could blink her eyes a pretty little new-born baby
girl was lying by her side. When everything was
finished the. three Peris set about going, but first of
all they approached the bed one by one, and the first
"Rosa be thy damsel's name,
And she shall weep not tears but pearls "
The second Peri approached the bed and said:
"Rosa be thy damsel's name,
The rose shall blossom when she smiles !"
And the third Peri wound up with these words:
"Rosa be thy damsel's name,
Sweet verdure in her footsteps spring !"
whereupon they all three disappeared.
Now all this time the husband was seeking a mid-
wife, but could find one nowhere. What could he
do but go home ? But when he got back he was
amazed to find everything in the poor hut in
beautiful order, and his wife lying on a splendid
TIHE BOSE-BEA UTY
bed. Then she told him the story of the three Peris,
and there was no more spirit left in him, so astounded
was he. But the little girl grew more and more
lovely from hour to day, and from day to week, so that
there was not another like her in the whole world.
Whosoever looked upon her lost his heart at once, and
pearls fell from her eyes when she wept, roses burst
into bloom when she smiled, and a bright riband of
fresh green verdure followed her footsteps. Who-
soever saw her had no more spirit left in him,
and the fame of lovely Rosa went from mouth to
At last the King of that land also heard of the
damsel, and instantly made up his mind that she
and nobody else should be his son's consort. So he
sent for his son, and told him that there was a damsel
in the town of so rare a beauty that pearls fell from
her eyes when she wept, roses burst into bloom when
she smiled, and the earth grew fresh and green
beneath her footsteps, and with that he bade him up
and woo her.
Now the Peris had for a long time shown the
King's son the beautiful Rose-damsel in his dreams,
and the sweet fire of love already burned within him;
but he was ashamed to let his father see this, so he
hung back a little. At this his father became more
and more pressing, bade him go and woo her at once,
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
and commanded the chief dame of the palace to
accompany him to the hut of the labourer.
They entered the hut, said on what errand they
came, and claimed the damsel for the King's son in
the name of Allah. The poor folks rejoiced at their
good luck, promised the girl, and began to make
Now this palace dame's daughter was also a beauty,
and not unlike Rosa. Terribly distressed was the
dame that the King's son should take to wife a
poor labourer's daughter, instead of her own child; so
she made up her mind to deceive them and put her
own daughter in Rosa's place. So on the day of the
banquet she made the poor girl eat many salted
meats, and then brought a pitcher of water and a
large basket, got into the bridal coach with Rosa and
her own daughter, and set out for the palace. As
they were on the road (and a very long time they
were about it) the damsel grew thirsty and asked the
palace dame for some water. "Not till thou hast
given me one of thine eyes," said the palace dame.
What could the poor damsel do ?-she was dying with
thirst. So she cut out one of her eyes and gave it
for a drink of water.
They went on and on, further and further, and the
damsel again became thirsty and asked for another
drink of water. "Thou shalt have it if thou give
me thy other eye," said the palace dame. And the
poor damsel was so tormented with thirst that she
gave the other eye for a drink of water.
The old dame took the two eyes, pitched the sight-
less damsel into the big basket, and left her all alone
on the top of a mountain. But the beautiful bridal
robe she put upon her own daughter, brought her to
the King's son, and gave her to him with the words:
" Behold thy wife So they made a great banquet,
and when they had brought the damsel to her bride-
groom and taken off her veil, he perceived that the
damsel who now stood before him was not the damsel
of his dreams. As, however, she resembled her a
little he said nothing about it to anybody. So they
lay down to rest, and when they rose up again early
next morning the King's son was quite undeceived,
for the damsel of his dreams had wept pearls, smiled
roses, and sweet green herbs had grown up in her
footsteps, but this girl had neither roses nor pearls
nor green herbs to show for herself. The youth felt
there was some trickery at work here. This was not
the girl he had meant to have. How am I to find
it all out ?" thought he to himself; but not a word
did he say to any one.
While all these things were going on in the palace,
poor Rosa was weeping on the mountain top, and
such showers of pearls fell from her by dint of her
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
sore weeping that there was scarce room to hold them
all in the big basket. Now a mud-carrier happened
to be passing by who was carting mud away, and
hearing the weeping of the damsel was terribly afraid,
and cried: "Who art thou ?-A Jinn or a Peri ? "-
" I am neither a Jinn nor yet a Peri," replied the
damsel, "but the remains of a living child of man."
Whereupon the mud-raker took courage, opened the
basket, and there a poor sightless damsel was sobbing,
and her tears fell from her in showers of pearls. So
he took the damsel by the hand and led her to his
hut, and as the old man had nobody about him he
adopted the damsel as if she were his own child and
took care of her. But the poor girl did nothing but
weep for her two eyes, and the old man had all he
could do to pick up the pearls, and whenever they
were in want of money he would take a pearl and sell
it, and they lived on whatever he got for it.
Thus time passed, and there was mirth in the
palace, and misery in the hut of the mud-raker. Now
it chanced one day as fair Rosa was sitting in the hut,
that something made her smile, and immediately a rose
bloomed. Then the damsel said to her foster-father,
the mud-raker: Take this rose, papa, and go with it
in front of the palace of the King's son, and cry aloud
that thou hast roses for sale that are not to be
matched in the wide world. But if the dame of the
palace comes out, see that thou dost not give her the
rose for money, but say that thou wilt sell it for a
So the man took the rose and stood in front of the
palace, and began to cry aloud : "A rose for sale, a
rose for sale, the like of which is nowhere to be
found." Now it was not the season for roses, so
when the dame of the palace heard the man crying a
rose for sale, she thought to herself: I'll put it in my
daughter's hair, and thus the King's son will think that
she is his true bride." So she called the poor man to
her, and asked him what he would sell the rose for ?
" For nothing," replied the man, "for no money told
down, but I'll give it thee for a human eye."
Then the dame of the palace brought forth one of
fair Rosa's eyes and gave it for the rose. Then she
took it to her daughter, plaited it in her hair, and
when the King's son saw the rose, he thought
of the Peri of his dreams, but could not understand
whither she had gone. Nevertheless he now fancied
he was about to find out, so he said not a word to
Meanwhile, the old man went home with the eye
and gave it to the damsel, fair Rosa. Then she fitted
it in its right place, sighed from her heart in prayer
to Allah, who can do all things; and behold! she
could see right well again with her one eye. The
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
poor girl was so pleased that she could not help
smiling, and immediately another rose sprang forth.
This also she gave to her father that he might walk
in front of the palace and give it for another human
eye. The old man took the rose, and scarcely had he
begun crying it before the palace when the old dame
again heard him. He has just come at the nick of
time," thought she; the King's son has begun to love
my rose-bedizened daughter; if I can only get this
rose also, he will love her still better, and this
serving-wench will go out of his mind altogether."
So she called the mud-raker to her and asked for the
rose, but again he would not take money for it, though
he was willing to let her have it in exchange for a
human eye. Then the old woman gave him the
second eye, and the old man hastened home with it
and gave it to the damsel. Rosa immediately put it
in its proper place, prayed to Allah, and was so
rejoiced when her two bright eyes sparkled with
living light that she smiled all the day, and roses
bloomed on every side of her. Henceforth she was
lovelier than ever. Now one day beautiful Rosa went
for a walk, and as she smiled continually as she walked
along, roses bloomed around her and the ground grew
fresh and green beneath her feet. The palace dame
saw her and was terrified. What will become of me,
she thought, if the affair of this damsel comes to be
known ? She knew where the poor mud-scraper lived,
so she went all alone to his dwelling, and terrified him
by telling him that he had an evil witch in his house.
The poor man had never seen a witch, so he was terri-
fied to death, and asked the palace dame what he had
better do. "Find out, first of all, what her talisman
is," advised the palace dame, and then I'll come and
do the rest."
So the first thing the old man did when the damsel
came home was to ask her how she, a mere child of
man, had come to have such magic power. The
damsel, suspecting no ill, said that she had got her
talisman from the three Peris, and that pearls, roses,
and fresh sweet verdure would accompany her so long
as her talisman was alive.
"What then is thy talisman ? asked the old man.
A little deer on the hill-top;
If it die, I also dead drop,"
The next day the palace dame came thither in the
utmost misery, heard all about it from the mud-
scraper, and hastened home with great joy. She told
her daughter that on the top of the neighboring hill
was a little deer which she should ask her husband to
get for her. That very same day the Sultana told her
husband of the little deer on the top of the hill, and
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
begged and implored him to get her its heart to eat.
And after not many days the Prince's men caught the
little deer and killed it, and took out its heart and
gave it to the Sultana. At the same instant when
they killed the little fawn fair Rosa died. The mud-
raker sorrowed over her till he could sorrow no more,
and then took and buried her.
Now in the heart of the little fawn there was a
little red coral eye which nobody took any notice of.
When the Sultana ate the heart, the little red coral
eye fell out and rolled down the steps as if it wanted
to hide itself.
Time went on, and in not more than nine months
and ten days the Prince's consort was brought to bed
of a little daughter, who wept pearls when she cried,
dropt roses when she smiled, and sweet green herbs
sprang up in her footsteps.
When the Prince saw it he mused and mused over
it, the little girl was the very image of fair Rosa, and
not a bit like the mother who had borne her. So his
sleep was no repose to him, till one night fair Rosa
appeared to him in his dreams and spoke these words
to him: "Oh, my prince! oh, my betrothed! my
soul is' beneath thy palace steps, my body is in the
tomb, thy little girl is my little girl, my talisman is
the little coral eye."
The Prince had no sooner awakened than he went
to the staircase and searched about, and lo there was
the little coral eye. He picked it up, took it into his
chamber, and laid it on the table. Meanwhile, the
little girl entered the room, saw the red coral, and
scarcely had she laid hold of it than she vanished as
if she had never been. The three Peris had carried
off the child and taken her to her mother's tomb, and
scarcely had she placed the coral eye in the dead
woman's mouth than she awoke up to a new life.
But the King's son was not easy in his mind. He
went to the cemetery, had the tomb opened, and there
in her coffin lay the Rose-beauty of his dreams, with
her little girl in her arms and the coral talisman in
her mouth. They arose from the tomb and embraced
him, and pearls fell from the eyes of both of them as
they wept, and roses from their mouths as they
smiled, and sweet green herbs grew up in their foot-
The palace dame and her daughter paid for their
crimes, but beautiful Rosa and her father and her
mother, the Sultan's daughter, were all re-united,
and for forty days and forty nights they held high
revel amidst the beating of drums and the tinkling of
ONCE upon a time in the old old days when the
camel was only a spy, when toads rose in the air on
wings, and I myself rode in the air while I walked on
the ground, and went up hill and down dale at the
same time, in those days, I say, there were two brothers
who dwelt together.
All that they had inherited from their father were
some oxen and other beasts, and a sick mother. One
day the spirit of division seized upon the younger
brother (he was half-witted besides, Allah help him !),
and he went to his brother and said: "Look now,
brother at these two stables One of them is as new
as new can be, while the other is old and rotten. Let
us drive our cattle hither, and whatever goes into
the new stable shall be mine, and all the rest shall be
"Not so, Mehmed," said the elder brother; "let
whatever goes into the old stable be thine!" To
this also the half-crazy Mehmed agreed. That same
day they went and drove up their cattle, and all the
cattle went into the new stable except a helpless old
ox that was so blind that it mistook its way and went
into the old stable instead. Mehmed said never a
word, but took the blind old ox into the fields to
graze; every morning early he drove it thither, and
late every evening he drove it back again. One day
when he was on the road, the wind began to shake a
big wayside tree so violently that its vast branches
whined and whimpered again. Hi! whimpering
old dad! said the fool to the tree, "hast thou seen
my elder brother ?" But the tree, as if it didn't hear,
only went on whining. The fool flew into such a rage
at this that he caught up his chopper and struck at the
tree, when out of it gushed a whole stream of golden
sequins. At this the fool rallied what little wits he
had, hastened home, and asked his brother to lend him
another ox, as he wanted to plough with a pair. He
found a cart also, and some empty sacks. These
he filled with earth, and set out forthwith for his tree.
There he emptied his sacks of their earth, filled them
with sequins instead, and when he returned home in
the evening, his brother well-nigh dropped down for
amazement at the sight of the monstrous treasure.
They could think of nothing now but dividing it,
so the younger brother went to their neighbour for
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
a three-peck measure to measure it with. Now the
neighbour was curious to know what such clodpoles
could have to measure. So he took and smeared the
bottom of the measure with tar, and, sure enough,
when the fool brought the measure back a short time
afterwards, a sequin was sticking to the bottom of it.
The neighbour immediately went and told it to
another, who went and told it to a third, and so it
was not long before everybody knew all about it.
Now the wiser brother knew not what might happen
to them now that they had all this money, and he
began to feel frightened. So he snatched up his
pick and shovel, dug a trench, buried the treasure,
and made off as fast as his heels could carry him. On
the way it occurred to the wise brother that he had
done foolishly in not shutting the door of the hut
behind him, so he sent off his younger brother to do
it for him. So the fool went back to the house, and
he thought to himself: "Well, since I am here, I
ought not to forget my old mother either." So he
filled a huge cauldron with water, boiled it, and soused
his old mother in it so thoroughly that her poor old
head was never likely to speak again. After that he
propped the old woman against the wall with the
broom, tore the door off its hinges, threw it over his
shoulders, and went and rejoined his brother in the
The elder brother looked at the door, and listened
to the sad case of his poor old mother, but scold and
chide his younger brother as he might the latter grew
more cock-a-hoop than ever-he fancied he had done
such a clever thing. He had brought the door away with
him, he said, in order that no one might get into the
house. The wise brother would have given anything
to have got rid of the fool, and began turning over in
his mind how he might best manage it. He looked
before him and behind him, he looked down the high-
road, and there were three horsemen galloping along.
The thought instantly occurred to the pair of them
that these horsemen were on their track, so they
scrambled up a tree forthwith, door and all. They
were scarcely comfortably settled when the three
horsemen drove up beneath the tree and encamped
there. The dusk of evening had come on at the very
nick of time, so that they could not see the two
Now the two brothers would have done very well
indeed up in the tree had not one of them been a fool.
Mehmed the fool began to practise pleasantries which
disturbed the repose of the horsemen beneath the tree.
Presently, however, came a crash-bang !-and down
on the heads of the three sleepers fell the great
heavy door from the top of the tree. The end of
the world has come, the end of the world has
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
come!" cried they, and they rushed off in such a
fright that no doubt they haven't ceased running
to this very day. This finished the business so far
as the elder brother was concerned. In the morning
he arose and went on his way, and left the foolish
younger brother by himself.
Thus poor silly Mehmed had to go forth into the
wide world alone. He went on and on till he came
to a village, by which time he was very hungry.
There he stood in the gate of a mosque, and got one
or two paras1 from those who went in and out till he
had enough to buy himself something to eat. At that
moment a fat little man came out of the mosque, and
casting his eyes on Mehmed, asked him if he would
like to enter his service.
I don't mind if I do," replied Mehmed, but only
on condition that neither of us is to get angry with
the other for any cause whatever. If thou art wroth
with me I'll kill thee, and if I get wroth with thee
thou mayest kill me also." The fat man agreed to
these terms, for there was a great lack of servants in
In order to make short work of the fat little man the
fool began by at once chasing all the hens and sheep off
his master's premises. "Art angry, master ?" he then
inquired of his lord. His master was amazed, but he
only answered: "Angry ? Not I! Why should I
be ? At the same time he entrusted nothing more
to him, but let him sit in the house without any-
thing to do.
His master had a wife and child, and Mehmed had
to look after them. He liked to dandle the child up
and down, but he knocked it about and hurt it, so
clumsy was he; so he soon had to leave that off. But
the wife began to be afraid that her turn would come
next, sooner or later, so she persuaded her husband to
run away from the fool one night. Mehmed over-
heard what they said, hid himself in their store-
box, and when they opened it in the next village out
After a while his master and his wife agreed
together that they would go and sleep at night on
the shores of a lake. They took Mehmed with them,
and put his bed right on the water's edge, that he
might tumble in when he went to sleep. However, the
fool was not such a fool but that he made his master's
wife jump into the lake instead of himself. "Art
angry, master? cried he.-" Angry indeed! How
can I help being angry when I see my property
wasted, and my wife and child killed, and myself a
beggar-and all through thee Then the fool seized
his master, put him in mind of their compact, and
pitched him into the water.
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
Mehmed now found himself all alone, so he went
forth into the wide world once more. He went on
and on, did nothing but drink sweet coffee, smoke
chibooks, look about over his shoulder, and walk
leisurely along at his ease. As he was thus knocking
about, he chanced to light upon a five-para piece,
which he speedily changed for some lebleb,' which he
immediately fell to chewing, and, as he chewed, part of
it fell into a wayside spring, whereupon the fool began
roaring loud enough to split his throat: Give me
back my lebleb, give me back my lebleb At this
frightful bawling a Jinn popped up his head, and he
was so big that his upper lip swept the sky, while his
lower lip hid the earth. What dost thou require ? "
asked the Jinn.-" I want my lebleb, I want my
lebleb !" cried Mehmed.
The Jinn ducked down into the spring, and when
he came up again, he held a little table in his hand.
This little table he gave to the fool and said:
"Whenever thou art hungry thou hast only to say:
'Little table, give me to eat;' and when thou hast
eaten thy fill, say: 'Little table, I have now had
So Mehmed took the table and went with it into a
village, and when he felt hungry he said: "Little table,
give me to eat 1" and immediately there stood before
1 Roasted pepper.
him so many beautiful, nice dishes that he couldn't
make up his mind which to begin with. Well,"
thought he, I must let the poor people of the village
see this wonder also," so he went and invited them all
to a great banquet.
The villagers came one after another, they looked
to the right, they looked to the left, but there was no
sign of a fire, or any preparations for a meal. "Nay,
but he would needs make fools of us thought they.
But the young man brought out his table, set it in
the midst, and cried: Little table, give me to eat! "
and there before them stood all manner of delicious
meats and drinks, and so much thereof that when the
guests had stuffed themselves to the very throat,
there was enough left over to fill the servants. Then
the villagers laid their heads together as to how they
might manage to have a meal like this every day.
" Come now !" said some of them, let us steal a march
upon Mlehmed one day and lay hands upon his table,
and then there will be an end to the fool's glory."
And they did so.
What could the poor, empty-bellied fool do then ?
Why he went to the wayside spring and asked again :
"I want my lebleb, I want my lebleb !" And he
asked and asked so long that at last the Jinn popped
up his head again out of the spring and inquired what
was the matter. "I want my lebleb, I want my
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
lebleb !" cried the fool.-" But where's thy little
table ? "-" They stole it."
The big-lipped Jinn again popped down, and when
he rose out of the spring again he had a little mill in
his hand. This he gave to the fool and said to him:
" Grind it to the right and gold will flow out of it,
grind it to the left and it will give thee silver." So
the youth took the mill home and ground it first to
the right and then to the left, and huge treasures of
gold and silver lay heaped about him on the floor.
So he grew such a rich man that his equal was not
to be found in the village, nay, nor in the town
But no sooner had the people of the village got to
know all about the little mill than they laid their
heads together and schemed and schemed till the mill
also disappeared1 one fine morning from Mehmed's
cottage. Then IMehmed ran off to the spring once
more and cried: "I want my lebleb, I want my
"But where is thy little table ? Where is thy
little mill ? asked the big-lipped Jinn.
They have stolen them both from me," lamented
the witless one, and he wept bitterly.
Again the Jinn bobbed down, and this time he
brought up two sticks with him. He gave them to
1 Lit. the place of the mill was cold one morning,
the fool, and impressed upon him very strongly on no
account to say : Strike, strike, my little sticks "
Mehmed took the sticks, and first he turned them
to the right and then to the left, but could make
nothing of them. Then he thought he would just
try the effect of saying: Strike, strike, my little
sticks!" and no sooner were the words out of his
mouth than the sticks fell upon him unmercifully,
and. belaboured him on every part of the body that
can feel-the head, the foot, the arm, the back-till he
was nothing but one big ache. Stop, stop, my
little sticks cried he, and lo the two sticks were
still. Then, for all his aches and pains, Mehmed
rejoiced greatly that he had found out the mystery.
He had no sooner got home with the two sticks
than he called together all the villagers, but said
not a word about what he meant to do. In less than
a couple of hours everybody had assembled there, and
awaited the new show with great curiosity. Then
Mehmed came with his two sticks and cried: Strike,
strike, my little sticks, strike, strike !" whereupon the
two sticks gave the whole lot of them such a rub-a-
dub-dubbing that it was as much as they could do
to howl for mercy. Now," said Mehmed, who was
getting his wits back again, I'll have no mercy
till you have given back to me my little table and
my little mill."
52 TURKISH FAIRY TALES
The people of the village, all bruised and bleeding
as they were, consented to everything, and hurried
off for the little table and the little mill. Then
Mehmed cried : "Stand still, my little sticks !" and
there was peace and quiet as before.
Then the man took away the three gifts to his own
village, and as he now had money he grew more
sensible, and there also he found his brother. He
gave all the buried treasure to his brother, and each
of them sought out a damsel meet to be a wife, and
married, and lived each in a world of his own. And
there was not a wiser man in that village than Mad
Mehmed now that he had grown rich.
THE GOLDEN-HAIRED CHILDREN
ONCE upon a time, in days long gone by, when my
father was my father, and I was my father's son,
when my father was my son, and I was my father's
mother, once upon a time, I say, at the uttermost
ends of the world, hard by the realm of demons, stood
a great city.
In this same city there dwelt three poor damsels,
the daughters of a poor wood-cutter. From morn to
eve, from evening to morning, they did nothing but
sew and stitch, and when the embroideries were
finished, one of them would go to the market-place
and sell them, and so purchase wherewithal to live
Now it fell out, one day, that the Padishah of that
city was wroth with the people, and in his rage he
commanded that for three days and three nights
nobody should light a candle in that city. What
were these three poor sisters to do ? They could not
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
work in the dark. So they covered their window
with a large thick curtain, lit a tiny rushlight, and sat
them down to earn their daily bread.
On the third night of the prohibition, the Padishah
took it into his head to go round the city himself to
see whether every one was keeping his commandment.
He chanced to step in front of the house of the three
poor damsels, and as the folds of the curtain did not
quite cover the bottom of the window he caught sight
of the light within. The damsels, however, little
suspecting their danger, went on sewing and stitching
and talking amongst themselves about their poor
Oh," said the eldest, if only the Padishah would
wed me to his chief cook, what delicious dishes I
should have every day. Yes, and I would embroider
him for it a carpet so long that all his horses and all
his men could find room upon it."
"As for me," said the middling damsel, "I should
like to be wedded to the keeper of his wardrobe.
What lovely splendid raiment I should then have to
put on. And then I would make the Padishah a tent
so large, that all his horses and all his men should
find shelter beneath it."
"Well," cried the youngest damsel, "I'll look at
nobody but the Padishah himself, and if he would only
take me to wife I would bear him two little children
THE GOLDEN-HAIRED CHILDREN
with golden hair. One should be a boy and the
other a girl, and a half-moon should shine on the
forehead of the boy, and a bright star should sparkle
on the temples of the girl."
The Padishah heard the discourse of the three
damsels, and no sooner did the red dawn shine in the
morning sky than he sent for all three to the palace.
The eldest he gave to his head pantler, the second to
his head chamberlain, but the youngest he took for
And in truth it fared excellently well with the
three damsels. The eldest got so many rich dishes to
eat, that when it came to sewing the promised carpet
she could scarce move her needle for the sleep of
surfeit. So they sent her back again to the wood-
cutter's hut. The second damsel, too, when they
dressed her up in gold and silver raiment, would not
deign to dirty her fingers by making tents, so they
sent her back too, to keep her elder sister company.
And how about the youngest ? Well, after nine
months and ten days the two elder sisters came
sidling up to the palace to see if the poor thing
would really be as good as her word, and bring
forth the two wondrous children. In the gates of
the palace they met an old woman, and they per-
suaded her with gifts and promises to meddle in
the matter. Now this old woman was the devil's
56 TURKISH FAIRY TALES
own daughter, so that mischief and malice were
her meat and drink. She now went and picked
up two pups and took them with her to the sick
And oh, my soul! the wife of the Padishah brought
forth two little children like shining stars. One was
a boy, the other a girl; on the boy's forehead was
a half-moon and on the girl's a star, so that darkness
was turned to light when they were by. Then the
wicked old woman exchanged the children for the
pups, and told it in the ears of the Padishah that his
wife had brought forth two pups. The Padishah was
like to have had a fit in the furiousness of his rage.
He took his poor wife, buried her up to the waist in
the ground, and commanded throughout the city that
every passer-by should strike her on the head with
a stone. But no sooner had the evil witch got hold
of the two children, than she took them a long way
outside the town, exposed them on the bank of a
flowing stream, and returned to the palace right glad
that she had done her work so well.
Now close to the water where the two children lay
stood a hut where lived an aged couple. The old man
had a she-goat which used to go out in the morning
to graze, and come back in the evening to be milked,
and that was how the poor people kept body and soul
together. One day, however, the old woman was
The Golden-Haired Children.-p. 57.
THE GOLDEN-HAIRED CHILDREN
surprised to find that the goat did not give one drop
of milk. She complained about it to the old man her
husband, and told him to follow the goat to see if
perchance there was any one who stole the milk.
So the next day the old man went after the goat,
which went right up to the water's edge, and then
disappeared behind a tree. And what do you think he
saw ? He saw a sight which would have delighted
your eyes also-two golden-haired children were lying
in the grass, and the goat went right up to them
and gave them to suck. Then she bleated to them
a little, and so left them and went off to graze.
And the old man was so delighted at the sight of the
little starry things, that he was like to have lost his
head for joy. So he took the little ones (Allah had
not blessed him with children of his own) and carried
them to his hut and gave them to his wife. The
woman was filled with a still greater joy at the
children which Allah had given her, and took care of
them, and brought them up. But now the little goat
came bleating in as if in sore distress, but the moment
she saw the children, she went to them and suckled
them, and then went out to graze again.
But time comes and goes. The two wondrous
children grew up and scampered up hill and down
dale, and the dark woods were bright with the
radiance of their golden hair. They hunted the
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
wild beasts, tended sheep, and helped the old people
by word and deed. Time came and went till the
children had grown up, and the old people had
become very old indeed. The golden-haired ones
grew in strength while the silver-haired ones grew in
feebleness, till, at last, one morning they lay dead there,
and the brother and sister were left all alone. Sorely
did the poor little things weep and wail, but was ever
woe mended by weeping ? So they buried their old
parents, and the girl stayed at home with the little
she-goat, while the lad went a-hunting, for how to
find food was now their great care and their little
One day, while he was hunting wild beasts in the
forest, he met his father, the Padishah, but he did not
know it was his father, neither did the father recog-
nize his son. Yet the moment the Padishah beheld
the wondrously beautiful child, he longed to clasp
him to-his breast, and commanded those about him
to inquire of the child from whence he came.
Then one of the courtiers went up to the youth,
and said: "Thou hast shot much game there, my
Bey "-" Allah also has created much," replied the
youth, and there is enough for thee and for me
also," and with that he left him like a blockhead.
But the Padishah went back to his palace, and was
sick at heart because of the boy; and when they
THE GOLDEN-HAIRED CHILDREN
asked what ailed him, he said that he had seen such
a wondrously beautiful child in the forest, and that
he loved him so that he could rest no more. The
boy had the very golden hair and the same radiant
forehead that his wife had promised him.
The old woman was sore afraid at these words.
She hastened to the stream, saw the house, peeped
in, and there sat a lovely girl, like a moon fourteen
days old. The girl entreated the old woman court-
eously, and asked her what she sought. The old
woman did not wait to be asked twice; indeed, her
foot was scarce across the threshold when she began
to ask the girl with honey-sweet words whether she
lived all alone.
"Nay, my mother," replied the girl; "I have a
young brother. In the day-time he goes hunting,
and in the evening he comes home."
"Dost thou not grow weary of being all alone here
by thyself?" inquired the witch.-" If even I did,"
said the girl, "what can I do ? I must fill up my
time as best I may."
"Tell me now, my little diamond dost thou dearly
love this brother of thine ?"
Of course I do."
Well, then, my girl," said the witch, "I'll tell
thee something, but don't let it go any further!
When thy brother comes home this evening, fall to
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
weeping and wailing, and keep it up with all thy
might. When then he asks what ails thee, answer
him not, and when he asks thee again, again give
him never a word. When, however, he asks thee
a third time, say that thou art tired to death with
staying at home here all by thyself, and that if he
loves thee, he will go to the garden of the Queen
of the Peris, and bring thee from thence a branch. A
lovelier branch thou hast never seen all thy life
long."-The girl promised she would do this, and
the old woman went away.
Towards evening the damsel burst forth a-weeping
and wailing till both her eyes were as red as blood.
The brother came home in the evening, and was
amazed to see his sister in such dire distress, yet
could he not prevail upon her to tell him the cause
of it. He promised her all the grass of the field and
all the trees of the forest if she would only tell him
what was the matter, and, to satisfy the desire of his
sister's heart, the golden-haired youth set off next
morning for the garden of the fairy queen. He went
on and on, smoking his chibook and drinking coffee,
till he reached the boundaries of the fairy realm. He
came to deserts where no caravan had ever gone; he
came to mountains where no bird could ever fly; he
came to valleys where no serpent can ever crawl. But
his trust was in Allah, so he went on and on till he
THE GOLDEN-HAIRED CHILDREN
came to an immense desert which the eye of man had
never seen nor the foot of man trodden. In the
midst of it was a beautiful palace, and by the road-
side sat the Mother of Devils, and the smell of her
was as the pestilence in the air all round about her.
The youth went straight up to the Mother of
Devils, hugged her to his breast, kissed her all over,
and said: "Good-day, little mother mine! I am
thine own true lad till death!" and he kissed her
"A good-day to thee also, my little son !" replied
the Mother of Devils. "If thou hadst not called
me thy dear little mother, if thou hadst not embraced
me, and if thy innocent mother had not been under
the earth, I would have devoured thee at once. But
tell me now, my little son, whither away ? "
The poor youth said that he wanted a branch from
the garden of the Queen of the Peris.
Who put that word in thy mouth, my little son?"
asked the woman in amazement. "Hundreds and
hundreds of talismans guard that garden, and hun-
dreds of souls have perished there by reason thereof."
Yet the youth did not hold back. I can but die
once," thought he.-" Thou dost but go to salute thy
innocent, buried mother," said the old woman; and
then she made the youth sit down beside her and
taught him the way: Set out on thy quest at day-
62 TURKISH FAIRY TALES
break, and never stop till thou dost see right in front
of thee a well and a forest. Draw forth thine arrows
in this forest and catch five to ten birds, but catch
them alive. Take these birds to the well, and when
thou hast recited a prayer twice over, plunge the
birds into the well and cry aloud for a key. A key
will straightway be cast out of the well, take it to
thee, and go on thy way. Thou wilt come presently
to a large cavern; open the door thereof with thy key,
and, as soon as thy foot is inside, stretch forth thy
right hand into the blank darkness, grip fast hold of
whatever thy hand shall touch, drag the thing quickly
forth, and cast the key back into the well again. But
look not behind thee all the time, or Allah have mercy
on thy soul "
Next day, when the red dawn was in the sky, the
youth went forth on his quest, caught the five to ten
birds in the forest, got hold of the key, opened there-
with the door of the cavern, and-oh, Allah!-
stretched forth his right hand, gripped hold of some-
thing, and, without once looking behind him, dragged
it all the way to his sister's hut, and never stopped
till he got there. Only then did he cast his eyes
upon what he had in his hand, and it was neither
more nor less than a branch from the garden of the
Queen of the Peris. But what a branch it was It
was full of little twigs, and the twigs were full of little
THE GOLDEN-HAIRED CHILDREN
leaves, and there was a little bird on every little leaf,
and every little bird had a song of its own. Such
music, such melody was there as would have brought
even a dead man to life again. The whole hut was
filled with joy.
Next day the youth again went forth to hunt, and,
as he was pursuing the beast of the forest, the Padishah
saw him again. He exchanged a word or two with
the youth, and then returned to his palace, but he was
now sicker than ever, by reason of his love for his
Then the old woman strolled off to the hut again,
and there she saw the damsel sitting with the magic
branch in her hand.
Well, my girl! said the old woman, what did I
tell thee ? But that's nothing at all. If thy brother
would only fetch thee the mirror of the Queen of the
Peris, Allah knows that thou wouldst cast that branch
right away. Give him no peace till he get it for
The witch had no sooner departed than the damsel
began screaming and wailing so that her brother was
at his wit's end how to comfort her. He said he
would take the whole world on his shoulders to please
her, went straight off to the Mother of Devils, and
besought her so earnestly that she had not the heart
to say him nay.
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
Thou hast made up thy mind to go under the sod
to thy innocent, buried mother, I see," cried she,
"for not by hundreds but by thousands have human
souls perished in this quest of thine." Then she
instructed the youth whither he should go and what
he should do, and he set off on his way. He took
an iron staff in his hand and tied iron sandals to his
feet, and he went on and on till he came to two doors,
as the Mother of Devils told him he would before-
hand. One of these doors was open, the other was
closed. He closed the open door and opened the
closed door, and there, straight before him, was
another door. In front of this door was a lion and a
sheep, and there was grass before the lion and flesh
before the sheep. He took up the flesh and laid it
before the lion, then he took up the grass and laid it
before the sheep, and they let him enter unharmed.
But now he came to a third door, and in front of it
were two furnaces, and fire burned in the one and ashes
smouldered in the other. He put out the flaming
furnace, stirred up the cinders in the smouldering
furnace till they blazed again, and then through the
door he went into the garden of the Peris, and from
the garden into the Peri palace. He snatched up the
enchanted mirror, and was hastening away with it
when a mighty voice cried out against him so that the
earth and the heavens trembled. Burning furnace,
THE GOLDEN-HAIRED CHILDREN
seize him, seize him 1" cried the voice, just as he came
up to the furnace.
I can't," answered the first furnace, "for he has
put me out! But the other furnace was grateful to
him for kindling it into a blaze again, so it let him
pass by too.
"Lion, lion, tear him to pieces !" cried the mighty
voice from the depths of the palace, when the youth
came up to the two beasts.
"Not I," answered the lion, "for he helped me to a
good meal of flesh "-Nor would the sheep hurt him
either, because he had given it the grass.-" Open
door let him not out! cried the voice from within
the palace.-" Nay, but I will replied the door; "for
had he not opened me I should be closed still! "-and
so the golden-haired youth was not very long in
getting home, to the great joy of his sister. She
snatched at the mirror and instantly looked into it,
and-Allah be praised !-she saw the whole world in
it. Then the damsel thought no more of the Peri-
branch, for her eyes were glued to the mirror.
Again the youth went a-hunting, and again he
caught the eye of the Padishah. But the sight of
the youth this third time so touched the fatherly
heart of the Padishah that they carried him back to
his palace half fainting. Then the witch guessed only
too well how matters stood,
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
So she arose and went to the damsel, and so filled
her foolish little head with her tales that she persuaded
her not to give her brother rest day and night till he had
brought her the Queen of the Peris herself. That'll
make him break his hatchet anyhow! thought the
old woman. But the damsel rejoiced beforehand at
the thought of having the Queen of the Peris also,
and in her impatience could scarce wait for her
brother to come home.
When her brother came home she shed as many
tears as if she were a cloud dripping rain. In vain
her brother tried to prove to her how distant and how
dangerous was the way she would fain have him go.
"I want the Queen of the Peris, and have her I
must," cried the damsel.
So again the youth set out on his journey, went
straight to the Mother of Devils, pressed her hand,
kissed her lips, pressed her lips and kissed her
hand, and said: Oh, my mother! help me in this
my sore need The Mother of Devils was amazed
at the valour of the man, and never ceased dissuad-
ing him from his purpose, for every human soul
that goes on such a quest must needs perish.-
"Die I may, little mother !" cried the youth, "but I
will not come back without her."
So what could the Mother of Devils do but show
him the way ? "Go the same road," said she, "that
THE GOLDEN-HAIRED CHILDREN
led thee to the branch, and then go on to where
thou didst find the mirror. Thou wilt come at last to
a large desert, and beyond the desert thou wilt see two
roads, but look neither to the right hand nor yet to
the left, but go right on through the sooty darkness
betwixt them. When now it begins to grow a little
lighter, thou wilt see a large cypress wood, and in this
cypress wood a large tomb. In this tomb, turned to
stone, are all those who ever desired the Queen of
the Peris. Stop not there, but go right on to the
palace of the Queen of the Peris and call out her
name with the full strength of thy lungs. What will
happen to thee after that not even I can tell thee."
Next day the youth set out on his journey. He
prayed by the wayside well, opened all the gates he
came to, and, looking neither to the right hand nor
to the left, went on straight before him through the
sooty darkness. All at once it began to grow a little
lighter, and a large cypress wood appeared right in
front of him. The leaves of the trees were of a burn-
ing green, and their drooping crowns hid snow-white
tombs. Nay, but they were not tombs, but stones
as big as men. Nay, but they were not stones at all,
but men who had turned, who had stiffened, into
stone. There was neither man, nor spirit, nor noise,
nor breath of wind, and the youth froze with horror
to his very marrow, Nevertheless he plucked up his
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
courage and went on his way. He looked straight
before him all the time, and his eyes were almost
blinded by a dazzling light. Was it the sun he saw ?
No, it was the palace of the Queen of the Peris!
Then he rallied all the strength that was left in him
and shouted the name of the Queen of the Peris with
all his might, and the words had not yet died away
upon his lips when his whole body up to his knee-cap
stiffened into stone. Again he shouted with all his
might, and he turned to stone up to his navel. Then
he shouted for the last time with all his might, and
stiffened up to his throat first and then up to his head,
till he became a tombstone like the rest.
But now the Queen of the Peris came into her
garden, and she had silver sandals on her feet and a
golden saucer in her hand, and she drew water from a
diamond fountain, and when she watered the stone
youth, life and motion came back to him.
Well, thou youth thou," said the Queen of the
Peris, 'tis not enough, then, that thou hast taken
away my Peri branch and my magic mirror, but thou
must needs, forsooth, venture hither a third time !
Thou shalt share the fate of thy innocent buried
mother, stone thou shalt become and stone shalt
thou remain. What brought thee hither ?-speak!"
I came for thee," replied the youth very courage-
THE GOLDEN-HAIRED CHILDREN
Well, as thou hast loved me so exceedingly, no
harm shall befall thee, and we will go away together."
Then the youth begged her to have compassion on
all the men she had turned to stone and give them
back their lives again. So the Peri returned to her
palace, packed up her baggage, which was small in
weight but priceless in value, filled the little golden
saucer with water, and sprinkled therewith all the
stones and the whole multitude of the stones became
men. They all took horse, and as they quitted the
Peri realm, the earth trembled beneath them and the
sky was shaken as if the seven worlds and the seven
heavens were mingled together, so that the youth
would have died of fright if the Queen of the Peris
had not been by his side. Never once did they look
behind them, but galloped on and on till they came to
the house of the youth's sister, and such was their joy
and gladness at seeing each other again that place
could scarce be found for the Queen of the Peris.
But now the youth was in no great hurry to go hunt-
ing as before, for he had changed hearts with the
lovely Queen of the Peris, and she was his and he was
Now when the Queen of the Peris had heard the
history of the children and their parents, and the fate
of their innocent mother, she said one morning to the
youth: "Go a-hunting in the forest, and thou wilt
rPURkIUSIT PAIPY TALPS
meet the Padishah. The first thing he will do will be
to invite thee to the palace, but beware lest thou
accept his invitation." And so indeed it turned out.
Scarcely had he taken a turn in the wood than the
Padishah stood before him, and, one word leading to
another, he invited the youth to his palace, but the
youth would not go.
Early next morning the Peri awoke the children,
clapped her hands together and called her Lala,1 and
immediately a huge negro sprang up before them.
So big was he that one of his lips touched the sky
while the other swept the earth. What dost thou
command me, my Sultana ? cried the Lala.
"Fetch me hither my father's steed commanded
The negro vanished like a hurricane, and, a moment
afterwards, the steed stood before them, and the like
of it was not to be found in the wide world.
The youth leaped upon the horse, and the splendid
suite of the Padishah was already waiting for him at
But-0 Allah, forgive me !-I have forgotten the
best of the story. The Peri charged the youth as he
quitted her to take heed, while he was in the palace
of the Padishah, to the neighing of his horse. At the
first neighing he was to hasten back.
'IIE GOLDEN-HAIRED CHILDREN
So the youth went to meet the Padishah on his
diamond-bridled charger, and behind him came a gay
and gallant retinue. He saluted the people on the
right hand and on the left all the way to the palace,
and there they welcomed him with a pomp the like of
which was never known before. They ate and drank
and made merry till the Padishah could scarce contain
himself for joy, but then the steed neighed, the youth
arose, and all their entreaties to him to stay could not
turn him from his set purpose. He mounted his
horse, invited the Padishah to be his guest on the
following day, and returned home to the Peri and his
Meanwhile the Peri dug up the mother of the
children, and so put her to rights again by her Peri
arts that she became just as she was in the days of
her first youth. But she spake not a word about the
mother to the children, nor a word about the children
to the mother. On the morning of the reception of
guests she rose up early and commanded that on the
spot where the little hut stood a palace should rise,
the like of which eye hath never seen nor ear heard
of, and there were as many precious stones heaped up
there as were to be found in the whole kingdom.
And then the garden that surrounded that palace!
There were multitudes of flowers, each one lovelier
than the other, and on every flower there was a
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
singing bird, and every bird had feathers aglow with
light, so that one could only look at it all open-
mouthed and cry: "Oh! oh !" And the palace
itself was full of domestics, there were black harem
slaves, and white captive youths, and dancers and
singers, and players of stringed instruments-more
than thou canst count, count thou never so much, and
words cannot tell of the splendour of the retinue
which went forth to greet the Padishah as a guest.
"These children are not of mortal birth !" thought
the Padishah to himself, when he beheld all these
marvels, or if they are of mortal birth a Peri must
have had a hand in the matter."
They led the Padishah into the most splendid room
of the palace, they brought him coffee and sherbet,
and then the music spoke to him, and the singing
birds-oh! a man could have listened to them for
ever and ever! Then rich meats on rare and precious
dishes were set before him, and then the dancers and
the jugglers diverted him till the evening.
At eventide the servants came and bowed before
the Padishah and said: "My lord peace be with
thee! They await thee in the harem!" So he
entered the harem, and there he saw before him the
golden-haired youth, with a beautiful half-moon shin-
ing on his forehead, and his bride, the Peri-Queen, and
his own consort, the Sultana, who had been buried in
TflE GOLDEN-HAIRED CHILDREN
the earth, and by her side a golden-haired maiden
with a star sparkling on her forehead. There stood
the Padishah as if turned to stone, but his consort ran
up to him and kissed the edge of his garment, and the
Peri-Queen began to tell him the whole of her life
and how everything had happened.
The Padishah was nigh to dying in the fulness of
his joy. He could scarce believe his eyes, but he
pressed his consort to his breast and embraced the
two beauteous children, and the Queen of the Peris
likewise. He forgave the sisters of the Sultana their
offences, but the old witch was mercilessly destroyed
by lingering tortures. But he and his consort and
her son and the Queen of the Peris, and his daughter,
and his daughter's bridegroom sat down to a great
banquet and made merry. Forty days and forty
nights they feasted, and the blessing of Allah was
THE HORSE-DEVIL AND THE WITCH
THERE was once upon a time a Padishah who had
three daughters. One day the old father made him
ready for a journey, and calling to him his three
daughters straightly charged them to feed and water
his favourite horse, even though they neglected every-
thing else. He loved the horse so much that he
would not suffer any stranger to come near it.
So the Padishah went on his way, but when the
eldest daughter brought the fodder into the stable the
horse would not let her come near him. Then the
middling daughter brought the forage, and he treated
her likewise. Last of all the youngest daughter
brought the forage, and when the horse saw her he
never budged an inch, but let her feed him and then
return to her sisters. The two elder sisters were
content that the youngest should take care of the
horse, so they troubled themselves about it no more.
The Padishah came home, and the first thing he
THE HORSE-DEVIL AND THE WITCH
asked was whether they had provided the horse with
everything. "He wouldn't let us come near him,"
said the two elder sisters ; "it was our youngest sister
here who took care of him."
No sooner had the Padishah heard this than he
gave his youngest daughter to the horse to wife, but
his two other daughters he gave to the sons of his
Chief Mufti and his Grand Vizier, and they celebrated
the three marriages at a great banquet, which lasted
forty days. Then the youngest daughter turned into
the stable, but the two eldest dwelt in a splendid
palace. In the daytime the youngest sister had only
a horse for a husband and a stable for a dwelling;
but in the night-time the stable became a garden of
roses, the horse-husband a handsome hero, and they
lived in a world of their own. Nobody knew of it
but they two. They passed the day together as
best they could, but eventide was the time of their
One day the Padishah held a tournament in the
palace. Many gallant warriors entered the lists, but
none strove so valiantly as the husbands of the
Sultan's elder daughters.
"Only look now!" said the two elder daughters
to their sister who dwelt in the stable, "only look
now! how our husbands overthrow all the other
warriors with their lances; our two lords are not
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
so much lords as lions Where is this horse-husband
of thine, prythee ? "
On hearing this from his wife, the horse-husband
shivered all over, turned into a man, threw himself
on horseback, told his wife not to betray him on any
account, and in an instant appeared within the lists.
He overthrew every one with his lance, unhorsed his
two brothers-in-law, and re-appeared in the stable
again as if he had never left it.
The next day, when the sports began again, the
two elder sisters mocked as before, but then the un-
known hero appeared again, conquered and vanished.
On the third day the horse-husband said to his wife:
" If ever I should come to grief or thou shouldst need
my help, take these three wisps of hair, burn them,
and it will help thee wherever thou art." With that
he hastened to the games again and triumphed over
his brothers-in-law. Every one was amazed at his
skill, the two elder sisters likewise, and again they
said to their younger sister: Look how these heroes
excel in prowess! They are very different to thy
The girl could not endure standing there with
nothing to say for herself, so she told her sisters that
the handsome hero was no other than her horse-
husband-and no sooner had she pointed at him than
he vanished from before them as if he had never been.
THE HORSE-DEVIL AND THE WITCH 77
Then only did she call to mind her lord's command to
her not to betray her secret, and away she hurried off
to the stable. But 'twas all in vain, neither horse
nor man came to her, and at midnight there was
neither rose nor rose-garden.
"Alas !" wept the girl, I have betrayed my lord,
I have broken my word, what a crime is mine She
never closed an eye all that night, but wept till morn-
ing. When the red dawn appeared she went to her
father the Padishah, complained to him that she had
lost her horse-husband, and begged that she might go
to the ends of the earth to seek him. In vain her
father tried to keep her back, in vain he pointed out
to her that her husband was now most probably
among devils, and she would never be able to find him
-turn her from her resolution he could not. What
could he do but let her go on her way ?
With a great desire the damsel set out on her
quest, she went on and on till her tender body was
all aweary, and at last she sank down exhausted at
the foot of a great mountain. Then she called to mind
the three hairs, and she took out one and set fire
to it-and lo! her lord and master was in her arms
again, and they could not speak for joy.
Did I not bid thee tell none of my secret ? cried
the youth sorrowfully; and now if my hag of a
mother see thee she will instantly tear thee to pieces.
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
This mountain is our dwelling-place. She will be
here immediately, and woe to thee if she see thee!"
The poor Sultan's daughter was terribly frightened,
and wept worse than ever at the thought of losing
her lord again, after all her trouble in finding him.
The heart of the devil's son was touched at her
sorrow: he struck her once, changed her into an apple,
and put her on the shelf. The hag flew down from
the mountain with a terrible racket, and screeched
out that she smelt the smell of a man, and her mouth
watered for the. taste of human flesh. In vain her
son denied that there was any human flesh there,
she would not believe him one bit.
If thou wilt swear by the egg not to be offended,
I'll show thee what I've hidden," said her son. The
hag swore, and her son gave the apple a tap, and there
before them stood the beautiful damsel. Behold my
wife said he to his mother. The old mother said
never a word, what was done could not be undone.
" I'll give the bride something to do all the same,"
They lived a couple of days together in peace and
quiet, but the hag was only waiting for her son to
leave the house. At last one day the youth had work
to do elsewhere, and scarcely had he put his foot out
of doors when the hag said to the damsel: Come,
sweep and sweep not and with that she went out,
THE HORSE-DEVIL AND THE WITCH
and said she should not be back till evening. The
girl thought to herself again and again : What am I
to do now ? What did she mean by 'sweep and
sweep not' ?" Then she thought of the hairs, and
she took out and burned the second hair also. Im-
mediately her lord stood before her and asked her
what was the matter, and the girl told him of his
mother's command : Sweep and sweep not !" Then
her lord explained to her that she was to sweep out
the chamber, but not to sweep the ante-chamber.
The girl did as she was told, and when the hag
came home in the evening she asked the girl whether
she had accomplished her task. "Yes, little mother,"
replied the bride, "I have swept and I have not
swept."-"Thou daughter of a dog," cried the old
witch, not thine own wit but my son's mouth hath
told thee this thing."
The next morning when the hag got up she gave
the damsel vases, and told her to fill them with tears.
The moment the hag had gone the damsel placed the
three vases before her, and wept and wept, but what
could her few teardrops do to fill them ? Then she
took out and burned the third hair.
Again her lord appeared before her, and explained
to her that she must fill the three vases with water,
and then put a pinch of salt in each vase. The girl
did so, and when the hag came home in the evening
TURKISH FAIRY TALES
and demanded an account of her work, the girl
showed her the three vases full of tears. "Thou
daughter of a dog!" chided the old woman again,
"that is not thy work; but I'll do for thee yet, and
for my son too."
The next day she devised some other task for
her to do; but her son guessed that his mother
would vex the wench, so he hastened home to his
bride. There the poor thing was worrying herself
about it all alone, for the third hair was now burnt,
and she did not know how to set about doing the
task laid upon her. Well, there is now nothing
for it but to run away," said her lord, for she won't
rest now till she hath done thee a mischief." And
with that he took his wife, and out into the wide
world they went.
In the evening the hag came home, and saw
neither her son nor his bride. "They have flown,
the dogs cried the hag, with a threatening voice,
and she called to her sister, who was also a witch,
to make ready and go in pursuit of her son and his
bride. So the witch jumped into a pitcher, snatched
up a serpent for a whip, and went after them.
The demon-lover saw his aunt coming, and in an
instant changed the girl into a bathing-house, and
himself into a bath-man sitting down at the gate.
The witch leaped from the pitcher, went to the bath-
THE IIORSE-DEVIL AND THE WITCH
keeper, and asked him if he had not seen a young boy
and girl pass by that way.
I have only just warmed up my bath," said the
youth, "there's nobody inside it; if thou dost not
believe me, thou canst go and look for thyself." The
witch thought: "'Tis impossible to get a sensible word
out of a fellow of this sort," so she jumped into her
pitcher, flew back, and told her sister that she couldn't
find them. The other hag asked her whether she had
exchanged words with any one on the road. Yes,"
replied the younger sister, there was a bath-house
by the roadside, and I asked the owner of it about
them; but he was either a fool or deaf, so I took no
notice of him."
"'Tis thou who wert the fool," snarled her elder
sister. Didst thou not recognize in him my son,
and in the bath-house my daughter-in-law ?" Then
she called her second sister, and sent her after the
The devil's son saw his second aunt flying along
in her pitcher. Then he gave his wife a tap and
turned her into a spring, but he himself sat down
beside it, and began to draw water out of it with
a pitcher. The witch went up to him, and asked
him whether he had seen a girl and a boy pass by
"There's drinkable water in this spring," replied
82 TUIrISII PAIRY TALES
he, with a vacant stare, "I am always drawing
it." The witch thought she had to do with a fool,
turned back, and told her sister that she had not
met with them. Her sister asked her if she had
not come across any one by the way. Yes, indeed,"
replied she, a half-witted fellow was drawing water
from a spring, but I couldn't get a single sensible
word out of him."
"That half-witted fellow was my son, the spring
was his wife, and a pretty wiseacre thou art,"
screeched her sister. "I shall have to go myself,
I see," and with that she jumped into her pitcher,
snatched up a serpent to serve her as a whip, and off
Meanwhile the youth looked back again, and saw
his mother coming after them. He gave the girl
a tap and changed her into a tree, but he himself
turned into a serpent, and coiled himself round the
tree. The witch recognized them, and drew near to
the tree to break it to pieces; but when she saw the
serpent coiled round it, she was afraid to kill her own
son along with it, so she said to her son Son, son!
show me, at least, the girl's little finger, and then
I'll leave you both in peace." The son saw that he
could not free himself from her any other way,
and that she must have at least a little morsel of the
damsel to nibble at. So he showed her one of the
THE IhORSE-DEViL AND TIlE TVITCI 83
girl's little fingers, and the old hag wrenched it off,
and returned to her domains with it. Then the youth
gave the girl a tap and himself another tap, put on
human shape again, and away they went to the girl's
father, the Padishah. The youth, since his talisman
had been destroyed, remained a mortal man, but the
diabolical part of him stayed at home with his witch-
mother and her kindred. The Padishah rejoiced
greatly in his children, gave them a wedding-banquet
with a wave of his finger, and they inherited the
realm after his death.
ONCE upon a time that was no time, in the days
when the servants of Allah were many and the
misery of man was great, there lived a poor woman
who had three sons and one daughter. The youngest
son was half-witted, and used to roll about all day
in the warm ashes.
One day the two elder brothers went out to plough,
and said to their mother: "Boil us something, and
send our sister out with it into the field."-Now the
three-faced devil had pitched his tent close to this
field, and in order that the girl might not come near
them he determined to persuade her to go all round
about instead of straight to them.
The mother cooked the dinner and the girl went
into the field with it, but the devil contrived to
make her lose her road, so that she wandered further
and further away from the place where she wanted
to go. At last, when her poor head was quite con-
fused, the devil's wife appeared before her and asked
the terrified girl what she meant by trespassing there.
Then she talked her over and persuaded her to come
home with her, that she might hide her from the
vengeance of the devil, her husband.
But the three-faced devil had got home before
them, and when they arrived the old woman told the
girl to make haste and get something ready to eat
while her maid-servant stirred up the fire. But
scarcely had she begun to get the dish ready than
the devil crept stealthily up behind her, opened his
mouth wide, and swallowed the girl whole, clothes
Meanwhile her brothers were waiting in the field
for their dinner, but neither the damsel nor the
victuals appeared. Afternoon came and went and
evening too, and then the lads went home, and when
they heard from their mother that their sister had
gone to seek them early in the morning they sus-
pected what had happened-their little sister must
have fallen into the hands of the devil. The two
elder brothers did not think twice about it, but the
elder of them set off at.once to seek his sister.
He went on and on, puffing at his chibook,
sniffing the perfume of flowers and drinking coffee,
till he came to an oven by the wayside. By the
oven sat an old man, who asked the youth on