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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "Loving Laili"

Loving Laili

" The prince heard her, and turned round. "Who is calling me?" he asked. At this Laili looked at him, and the moment she saw him she fell deeply in love with him, and she said to herself, "I am sure that is the Prince Majnun that Khuda says I am to marry." And she went home to her father and said, "Father, I wish to marry the prince who has come to your kingdom; for I know he is the Prince Majnun I am to marry."

"Very well, you shall have him for your husband," said Munsuk Raja. "We will ask him to-morrow." Laili consented to wait, although she was very impatient. As it happened, the prince left the Phalana kingdom that night, and when Laili heard he was gone, she went quite mad. She would not listen to a word her father, or her mother, or her servants said to her, but went off into the jungle, and wandered from jungle to jungle, till she got farther and farther away from her own country. All the time she kept saying, "Majnun, Majnun; I want Majnun;" and so she wandered about for twelve years.

At the end of the twelve years she met a fakir—he was really an angel, but she did not know this—who asked her, "Why do you always say, 'Majnun, Majnun; I want Majnun'?" She answered, "I am the daughter of the king of the Phalana country, and I want to find Prince Majnun; tell me where his kingdom is."

"I think you will never get there," said the fakir, "for it is very far from hence, and you have to cross many rivers to reach it." But Laili said she did not care; she must see Prince Majnun. "Well," said the fakir, "when you come to the Bhagirathi river you will see a big fish, a Rohu; and you must get him to carry you to Prince Majnun's country, or you will never reach it."

She went on and on, and at last she came to the Bhagirathi river. There was a great big fish called the Rohu fish. It was yawning just as she got up to it, and she instantly jumped down its throat into its stomach. All the time she kept saying, "Majnun, Majnun." At this the Rohu fish was greatly alarmed and swam down the river as fast as he could.

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