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Main > Tanzanian folktales > Fairy tale "The Magician and the Sultan’s Son"

The Magician and the Sultan’s Son

“Hullo!” said the horse; “where do you come from, you son of Adam?”

“This is my father’s house,” said Keejaanaa.

“Oh, indeed!” was the reply. “Well, you’ve got a pretty nice parent! Do you know that he occupies himself with eating people, and donkeys, and horses, and oxen and goats and everything he can lay his hands on? You and I are the only living things left.”

This scared the youth pretty badly, and he faltered, “What are we to do?”

“What’s your name?” said the horse.


“Well, I’m Faaraa′see. Now, Keejaanaa, first of all, come and unfasten me.”

The youth did so at once.

“Now, then, open the door of the room with the gold in it, and I will swallow it all; then I’ll go and wait for you under the big tree down the road a little way. When the magician comes home, he will say to you, ‘Let us go for firewood;’ then you answer, ‘I don’t understand that work;’ and he will go by himself. When he comes back, he will put a great big pot on the hook and will tell you to make a fire under it. Tell him you don’t know how to make a fire, and he will make it himself.

“Then he will bring a large quantity of butter, and while it is getting hot he will put up a swing and say to you, ‘Get up there, and I’ll swing you.’ But you tell him you never played at that game, and ask him to swing first, that you may see how it is done. Then he will get up to show you; and you must push him into the big pot, and then come to me as quickly as you can.”

Then the horse went away.

Now, Mchaawee had invited some of his friends to a feast at his house that evening; so, returning home early, he said to Keejaanaa, “Let us go for firewood;” but the youth answered, “I don’t understand that work.” So he went by himself and brought the wood.

Then he hung up the big pot and said, “Light the fire;” but the youth said, “I don’t know how to do it.” So the magician laid the wood under the pot and lighted it himself.

Then he said, “Put all that butter in the pot;” but the youth answered, “I can’t lift it; I’m not strong enough.

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