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Main > Libyan folktales > Fairy tale "The Sons of Sultan Bey"

The Sons of Sultan Bey

For I have, indeed, great power, and I can give you anything from a sheep to a kingdom, and I lied when I said I had only gold, as a test for you, but now I see that you are honorable and not greedy as were your brothers. Shut your eyes then, and tell me that which is in your heart."

The Prince shut his eyes and said, "I desire the daughter of the Sultan of the Hejaz, for she is the finest and the loveliest princess in the whole world."

The Jinni struck the ground with his foot, and there was a crash as if of thunder. Prince Ali opened his eyes, hoping to see his bride. But the Jinni gave him only a ring and not a woman, saying, "You shall strive for her through many and strange adventures, and if you gain her in this manner she will seem sweet to you, and she also will love you. This ring is her father's ring. When you show it to him he will allow you to marry her, since he gave it to me as a pledge for his life."

Prince Ali put the golden ring on his finger and thanked the Jinni with exceeding thanks. Then he saddled his mare and departed, taking as a gift from the Jinni only the golden ring, for he took no coin and no treasure. He rode out into the world, and his destination was an ancient kingdom called the Hejaz.

Prince Ali rode until he came to the sea. By the shore he found a ship bound for the Hejaz. So the Prince approached the captain. The captain noted a young man whose clothing was of the richest fabric and who carried a heavy purse. He thought, "When we are at sea I will rob this youth, take his clothes, enslave him, and sell him."

So the captain invited the prince to board his ship, and gave him a place to sleep in his own cabin.

The ship set forth, sailing smoothly over the sea. At sunset the captain, in secret, mixed a sleeping powder with the spice called saffron and gave the mixture to the cook, so that he might use it to flavor the rice for the prince's dinner.

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