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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

As our father's oldest son it would be wrong for me to run unnecessary risks, so I will take the left-hand road."

"And I will take the middle road," the second brother cried.

The Youngest Brother laughed and said:

"That leaves the dangerous road for me! Very well, brothers, that's the very road I wish to take for why should I leave home if it were not to have adventures! Farewell then until we meet again in one year's time."

The oldest traveled his safe road until he reached a city where he became a barber. He asked every man whose head he shaved:

"Do you know anything of the Nightingale Gisar?"

He never found any one who had even heard of the bird, so after a time he stopped asking.

The second brother followed the middle road to a city where he settled down and opened a coffee-house.

"Have you ever heard of a glorious Nightingale known as Gisar?" he asked at first of every traveler who came in and sipped his coffee. Not one of them ever had and as time went by the second brother gradually stopped even making inquiries.

The Youngest Brother who took the dangerous road came to no city at all but to a far-off desolate place without houses or highways or farms. Wild creatures hid in the brush and snakes glided in and out among the rocks. One day he came upon a wild woman who was combing her hair with a branch of juniper.

"That isn't the way to comb your hair," the Youngest Brother said. "Here, let me show you."

He took his own comb and smoothed out all the tangles in the wild woman's hair until she was comfortable and happy.

"You have been very kind to me," she said. "Now isn't there something I can do for you in return?"

"I am looking for the Nightingale Gisar. If you know where that glorious bird is, tell me and that will more than repay me."

But the wild woman had never heard of the Nightingale Gisar.

"Only wild animals inhabit this desolate place," she said, "and a few wild people like me. The Nightingale Gisar is not here."

"Then I must go farther," the Youngest Brother said.

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