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

The Sons of Sultan Bey

The king, when he saw the ring, was compelled to give his daughter in marriage, for thus he had promised the Jinni.

Ali rode away on his horse until he came to the sea. Sea-maidens frolicking on the waves cried out to him, "Our mistress awaits you!"

So Ali plunged into the sea, fully clothed, and they bore him away to the deep cave beneath the sea, to the throne of the Bride of the Sea. Though he was underwater, he could breathe easily. Ali saw her, the Bride of the Sea, and he saw that her beauty was greater than that of the princess, and that she was sweet and gentle besides, and that her maidens adored her.

So Prince Ali and the Bride of the Sea were married. The Bride of the Sea commanded her attendants to bring a ship of gold and silver. Prince Ali and his bride sat on thrones in the stern of the ship, and the sea-maidens tied ropes to the ship and pulled it through the sea.

In time they came to the country of the Sultan Bey, the father of Ali. The Sultan and all his court were astonished to see a ship of gold and silver being pulled out of the sea by sea-maidens.

The Sultan Bey came out with all his court to meet the ship as it grounded on the beach. His troops and all the people of the town followed behind. Prince Ali lifted his bride and carried her from the ship onto the shore. The moment he set her down and her fish-tail touched the sands, it turned into two legs, slim and white and beautiful, and she became a complete and perfect woman.

Then the Sultan Bey judged between his three sons. He saw that two of them had brought great stores of gold, while the third had brought a ship of gold and silver and the Bride of the Sea. He commanded each of his sons to relate their adventures, and they obeyed his command.

The Sultan gave judgement, saying, "Those who love gold shall live with gold." He commanded that his sons Hussein and Hassan should be put as clerks in the treasury, and that they should spend their days counting gold.

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