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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "Loving Laili"

Loving Laili

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"Well," said Laili, "it is better that you should be killed than I, for if I were to be killed a second time, Khuda would not give me my life again; but I can bring you to life if you are killed." Now Chumman Basa had come quite near, and seemed very pleasant, so thought Prince Majnun; but when he was speaking to Majnun, he drew his scimitar and cut off the prince's head at one blow.

Laili sat quite still on her horse, and as the Raja came towards her she said, "Why did you kill my husband?"

"Because I want to take you," he answered.

"You cannot," said Laili.

"Yes, I can," said the Raja.

"Take me, then," said Laili to Chumman Basa; so he came quite close and put out his hand to take hers to lift her off her horse. But she put her hand in her pocket and pulled out a tiny knife, only as long as her hand was broad, and this knife unfolded itself in one instant till it was such a length! and then Laili made a great sweep with her arm and her long, long knife, and off came Chumman Basa's head at one touch.

Then Laili slipped down off her horse, and she went to Majnun's dead body, and she cut her little finger inside her hand straight down from the top of her nail to her palm, and out of this gushed blood like healing medicine. Then she put Majnun's head on his shoulders, and smeared her healing blood all over the wound, and Majnun woke up and said, "What a delightful sleep I have had! Why, I feel as if I had slept for years!" Then he got up and saw the Raja's dead body by Laili's horse.

"What's that?" said Majnun.

"That is the wicked Raja who killed you to seize me, just as I said he would."

"Who killed him?" asked Majnun.

"I did," answered Laili, "and it was I who brought you to life."

"Do bring the poor man to life if you know how to do so," said Majnun.

"No," said Laili, "for he is a wicked man, and will try to do you harm." But Majnun asked her for such a long time, and so earnestly to bring the wicked Raja to life, that at least she said, "Jump up on the horse, then, and go far away with the groom.

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