Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Turkish Variant of The 12 Dancing Princesses

The Magic Turban, the Magic Whip, and the Magic Carpet

"Once upon a time that was no time..." there were two brothers. The younger was lazy and lived off of his older brother. One day he was wandering and found three youths quarreling with each other. Their father had left them a magic turban, which made the wearer invisible; and a carpet which, one struck with the whip, would fly the rider far away. The three youths were arguing over who should inherit the gifts.

The lazy brother told them that he would shoot an arrow, and whoever brought back the arrow first would receive all the gifts. But as soon as the other brothers left to fetch the arrow, he put on the turban, sat on the carpet, struck it with the whip, and asked to be where his older brother was.

He found himself in a large city and soon learned that the Sultan's daughter disappeared every night from the palace, and whoever could discover where she went would win her hand. So he went to the palace and pretended to be asleep while watching the Sultan's daughter, who stuck a needle into her heel, took a candle, and went out a side door.

The youth followed, with the turban on his head. The maiden came to a spirit and sat on his head, and they were about to leave, when the youth jumped on as well. The spirit complained that the maiden was too heavy, and the Sultan's daughter protested, "thou art very odd tonight, for I am neither bigger nor smaller than I was yesterday."

The group came to a garden where the trees were made of silver and diamonds. The youth broke off a twig, and the trees wept and said, "There's a child of man here who tortures us!"
Ruth Sanderson

The maiden then realized that maybe the soul of the youth was pursuing them. Later they came to a garden where the trees sparkled with gold and precious stones. The youth plucked another twig, and the trees again wept, and the damsel and spirit were afraid.
Then they came to a fairy castle, where slaves greeted the princess and they brought her a pair of slippers covered with diamonds and precious stones, but the youth snatched one away and put it in his pocket. The maiden could not find the other shoe, so sent for another pair, but another shoe went missing, so she finally went on without shoes.
Shoes from here

She came to a black Peri, "one of whose lips touched the sky, while the other lip swept the ground." He angrily asked the princess why she was late, and she told him about the youth coming and there being trouble on the way, and the Peri said it was all a fancy. He ordered a slave to bring them sherbet, but the youth grabbed the hand of the slave handing it to her and the diamond cup fell and broke into pieces.

The princess was afraid and wanted to go back, but the Peri ordered other slaves to bring them food. The Peri got impatient when food and forks and spoons began to disappear, so maybe it was best if the Sultan's daughter did go home early. He wanted to kiss her, but the youth pulled them apart. The Peri called for the spirit to carry the princess home, and they left. The youth took a sword from the wall and chopped off the head of the Peri. The earth groaned and a voice cried, "Woe to us, a child of man hath slain our king!"

The youth went to the carpet and it carried him back to the palace, where he pretended to snore as the princess came back.

The next morning the youth had all the people called together, and he told them the full story of where the Princess had gone. The princess denied it, but the youth brought forth the enchanted twigs, slippers, and spoons and forks. The youth saw his older brother and insisted he should claim the princess and half the kingdom.

The princess was overjoyed, for the Peri had carried her off and put her under a spell, from which she was now free. She and the elder brother were married, and had a great banquet that lasted for forty days.

*Full tale found in Surlalune's Twelve Dancing Princesses: Tales From Around the World

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