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Main > Slavic Folktale > Fairy tale "The Nightingale in the Mosque - The Story of the Sultan's Youngest Son and the Princess Flower o' the World"

The Nightingale in the Mosque - The Story of the Sultan's Youngest Son and the Princess Flower o' the World

Send me at once your son who stole my glorious Nightingale Gisar or I will march against your city!"

The Sultan was greatly shocked to receive this message together with the head of his oldest son.

"Alas!" he cried, calling his second son, "would that I had listened to you when you insisted that it was you and not your brother who actually did the deed! Unhappily I listened to your brother! See now the awful result of this mistake! Go you now to this heartless Princess whom men call Flower o' the World or else our poor defenseless city will have to pay the penalty."

So the second prince was taken to the tent of the Warrior Maiden and she put to him the same questions and he fared even worse than his brother had fared. So his head, too, was sent to the Sultan with this message:

"Send me no more liars and cowards but the son who actually did steal from me my glorious Nightingale Gisar."

In despair the Sultan went to the mosque to pray. As he bowed his head he heard the Nightingale burst forth in song. Then when he looked up he saw a beggar youth standing near the fountain.

When his prayers were finished the Sultan went outside to the Dervish and said to him:

"The Warrior Princess, Flower o' the World, demands that I send her another son. I know not where my Third Son is. What shall I do?"

Without looking at the Sultan the Dervish answered in his sing-song voice:

"Send her the son for whom the Nightingale sings."

The Sultan turned away in disappointment, not understanding what the Dervish meant, but one of his attendants plucked his sleeve and whispered:

"The Nightingale sings for yonder beggar youth. Perhaps it is he the Dervish means. Why not ask him if he will go to Flower o' the World in place of your Youngest Son?"

The Sultan nodded, so the attendant called the beggar youth and the Sultan asked him would he go to the Warrior Princess as the Youngest Prince.

"Allah alone knows where my Youngest Son is," the Sultan said, "but he is just about your age and if you were washed and anointed and dressed in fitting garments you would not be unlike him.

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