The Six Friends
Then off he steered, straight for the Khan's royal dwelling.
Great was the excitement at the palace when the big colored bird was seen flying overhead. Everybody rushed about, asking what it might mean. The Khan was the most excited one of them all.
"It must be a magical being!" he cried, "for don't you see the gold on its wings? It must be delivering a special message for me! In truth, we must meet this noble bird in the proper way!" So he called together all his royal servants. Choosing the wife of the prince's son because she was the fairest of all, he bade her go quickly to the roof and welcome the magical messenger as the bird landed.
The damsel hastened to obey and stood waiting and marveling as the great wooden monster drew near. Imagine her surprise when it came whirring to a standstill, revealing her own dear husband seated within it! In a flash he caught her up by the waist. Before the astonished Khan and his court could realize what was happening, the magical bird had soared into the air and was only a vanishing speck in the sky.
The prince's son and his lovely wife, whose ring, much to her delight, was magically restored to her finger, returned along with the five faithful companions to see her old foster-father and foster-mother from the hut in the woods. Then all of them together returned to the land where the six friends had been born. They visited each of their families, told one and all of their marvelous adventures, and there they settled and were happy and prosperous to the end of their days.