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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

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The Tiger had never heard of the Nightingale Gisar but he thought that his oldest brother the Lion might know.

"Go straight on from here," he said, "until you come to the Lion's house. His old wife stands outside facing the house with her long thin old dugs thrown over her shoulders. Go up to her from behind and take her dugs and put them in your mouth and suck them and when she asks you who you are, say: 'Don't you know me, old mother? I'm your oldest cub.' Then she will lead you in to the Lion who is so old that his eyelids droop. Prop them open and when he sees you he will tell you what he knows."

So the Youngest Brother went on to the Lion's house and he found the Lion's old wife standing outside as the Tiger said he would. He did all the Tiger had told him to do and when the Lion's wife asked him who he was, he said: 'Don't you know me, old mother? I'm your oldest cub.' Then the Lion's old wife led him in to the Lion and he propped open the Lion's drooping eyelids and asked about the Nightingale Gisar.

The old Lion shook his head.

"I have never heard of the Nightingale Gisar. He has never sung in this wild place. Turn back, young man, and seek him elsewhere. Beyond this is a country of wilder creatures where you will only lose your life."

"That is as God wills," the Youngest Brother said.

With that he bade the old Lion and his old wife farewell and pushed on into the farther wilds. The mountains grew more and more rugged, the plains more parched and barren, and the Youngest Son was hard put to it to find food from day to day.

Once when he was crossing a desert three eagles swooped down upon him and it was all he could do to fight them off. He slashed at them with his sword and succeeded in cutting off the beak of one, a wing of another, and a leg of the third. He put these three things in his bag as trophies.

He came at last to a hut where an old woman was baking cakes on the hearth.

"God bless you, granny!" he said. "Can you give me a bite of supper and shelter for the night?

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