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Main > Arabic folktales > Fairy tale "The Seven Stages of Roostem"

The Seven Stages of Roostem

Oulâd, when informed of what had passed, was excited to fury, and prepared to assail the Persian hero, who, expecting him, had put on his armour and mounted Reksh. His appearance so dismayed Oulâd that he dared not venture on the combat till he had summoned his adherents. They all fell upon Roostem at once; but the base-born caitiffs were scattered like chaff before the wind; many were slain, others fled, among whom was their chief. Him Roostem came up with at the fifth stage, and having thrown his noose over him, took him prisoner. Oulâd, in order to save his life, not only gave him full information of the place where his sovereign was confined, and of the strength of the Deev-e-Seffeed, but offered to give the hero every aid in the accomplishment of his perilous enterprise. This offer was accepted, and he proved a most useful auxiliary.

On the sixth day they saw in the distance the city of Mazenderan, near which the Deev-e-Seffeed resided. Two chieftains, with numerous attendants, met them; and one had the audacity to ride up to Roostem, and seize him by the belt. That chief’s fury at this insolence was unbounded; he disdained, however, to use his arms against such an enemy, but, seizing the miscreant’s head, wrenched it from the body, and hurled it at his companions, who fled in terror and dismay at this terrible proof of the hero’s prowess.

Roostem proceeded, after this action, with his guide to the castle where the king was confined. The Deevs who guarded it were asleep, and Ky-Kâoos was found in a solitary cell, chained to the ground. He recognised Roostem, and bursting into tears, pressed his deliverer to his bosom. Roostem immediately began to knock off his chains. The noise occasioned by this awoke the Deevs, whose leader, Beedâr-Reng, advanced to seize Roostem; but the appearance and threats of the latter so overawed him that he consented to purchase his own safety by the instant release of the Persian king and all his followers.

After this achievement Roostem proceeded to the last and greatest of his labours, the attack of the Deev-e-Seffeed.

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