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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


The beggar youth said he would go but he insisted on going just as he was. The Sultan begged him to go dressed as a prince or the Flower o' the World might not receive him.

"No," said the youth, "I shall go as a beggar or not at all. It is for the Flower o' the World to know me whether or not I am the Sultan's Youngest Son and the man who stole from her the Nightingale Gisar."

So he went as he was to the tent of the Flower o' the World and her warriors when they saw him coming said to the Princess:

"This Sultan mocks you and sends you a beggar when you demand his Third Son."

But the Flower o' the World ordered them all out and bade the beggar enter alone. She looked at him long and steadily and she saw through his rags that he was indeed a noble youth with a body made strong and beautiful through exercise and toil and she thought to herself:

"It were not a hard fate to marry this youth!"

Then she questioned him:

"Are you the Sultan's Third Son?"

"I am."

"Then why are you dressed as a beggar?"

"Because I was set upon at the crossroads and beaten insensible and my clothes torn to rags. I was coming home with the Nightingale Gisar in my hands and I lay down at the roadside to rest while I awaited the coming of my brothers. When I awoke to consciousness the Nightingale and its golden cage were gone. I came home to my father's city as a beggar and there they told me that my brothers had come just before me bringing with them the Nightingale and boasting of the perils they had been through and the dangers they had faced. But the Nightingale, they told me, hanging in its golden cage beside the fountain, was silent. Yet when I went to the mosque it always sang."

The Warrior Princess looked deep into his eyes and knew that he was speaking truth. Her heart was touched with compassion at the wrong he had suffered from his brothers, but she hid her feelings and questioned him further.

"Then it was you," she said, "who really took from me my glorious Nightingale Gisar?

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