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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "Loving Laili"

Loving Laili

Would he be very sorry if she died? And would he marry another wife? I will see." So he sent one of his angels in the form of a fakir into the jungle; and the angel went up to Laili, and threw some powder in her face, and instantly she fell to the ground a heap of ashes.

Prince Majnun was in great sorrow and grief when he saw his dear Laili turned into a little heap of ashes; and he went straight home to his father, and for a long, long time he would not be comforted. After a great many years he grew more cheerful and happy, and began to go again into his father's beautiful garden with Husain Mahamat. King Dantal wished his son to marry again. "I will only have Laili for my wife; I will not marry any other woman," said Prince Majnun.

"How can you marry Laili? Laili is dead. She will never come back to you," said the father. "Then I'll not have any wife at all," said Prince Majnun.

Meanwhile Laili was living in the jungle where her husband had left her a little heap of ashes. As soon as Majnun had gone, the fakir had taken her ashes and made them quite clean, and then he had mixed clay and water with the ashes, and made the figure of a woman with them, and so Laili regained her human form, and Khuda sent life into it. But Laili had become once more a hideous old woman, with a long, long nose, and teeth like tusks; just such an old woman, excepting her teeth, as she had been when she came out of the Rohu fish; and she lived in the jungle, and neither ate nor drank, and she kept on saying, "Majnun, Majnun; I want Majnun."

At last the angel who had come as a fakir and thrown the powder at her, said to Khuda, "Of what use is it that this woman should sit in the jungle crying, crying for ever, 'Majnun, Majnun; I want Majnun,' and eating and drinking nothing? Let me take her to Prince Majnun." "Well," said Khuda, "you may do so; but tell her that she must not speak to Majnun if he is afraid of her when he sees her; and that if he is afraid when he sees her, she will become a little white dog the next day.

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