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Arabian Nights Stories-43-1

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Story No 43-1/6

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43-1 -Prince Kaamraal Zamaan and the Princess of China (1 of 6) :
Prince and Princess Meet Each Other

There lived a Sultaan in the Islands of the Children of Khaaldaan just 20 days sail from Persia. He had only one son, his name was Kaamraal Zamaan. When he grew up, he became learned in all kinds of sciences which he should have known and everybody liked him. When he became 15 year old, his father decided to appoint him the Sultaan of that island. When he expressed this to his Vazeer, who although did not fully agree with this decision, said - "Sir, The Prince is still young, and it will be too early to crown him as a Sultaan. If you think that he might be spoiled during this period of age, you might think to get him married. Then keep him in the court with you so that he can learn how to rule."

The Sultaan agreed to his Vazeer, so he dismissed him and called his son there. The prince was not used to see his father without being called, so when the Sultaan called him at this odd hour, he got startled. He came and stood quietly eyes fixed on the ground. The Sultaan said - "Do you know why I have called you?" The Prince said - "No Father." The Sultaan said - "I wish to get you married. What do you think?" Kaamraal Zamaan said - "I am surprised at this proposal because I am very young." The Sultaan got affected by this reply and said to him - "Take your time and think over it."

The Sultaan admitted the Prince into his council and tried his best to convince him. At the end of the year he said to him - "Prince, Will you still refuse my proposal and make me suffer and die without this pleasure?" The Prince said - "After the consideration I am more firm in my ideas and I hope that Your Majesty will pardon me to talk further about marriage." And he went away without hearing his father's reply. The Sultaan reported this matter to his Vazeer and asked him - "How can I give my throne to such a rebellious son?" The Vazeer said - "Patience is greater than anything. Please be patient for another year. Maybe then you can propose to him in the council, and at that time he would not be able to refuse it." Another year passed but the Sultaan didn't find any change in the Prince's mind.

One day when there was great council held, the Sultaan again proposed marriage to his son in that council meeting. But the Prince still didn't agree with his father. At this the Sultaan cried - "Does one talk to his father like this?" He ordered his guards to take him away to an old tower which was unoccupied for quite some time, and lock him there with only a bed, a little furniture, some books and one slave to attend him. Kaamraal got very happy to hear this as he didn't want any disturbance in his freedom.

In the evening he took bath, read some chapters of the Quraan, left the lamp burning till he slept and went to bed. Now in the tower there was a well. There lived a fairy, Maimoon - the daughter of Damriyaat, in the daytime. Damriyaat was the head of Genies. At about midnight, Maimoon came up the well to wander about the world. She saw a light in a room of the tower, so she entered the room and saw the finest young man of the world. She thought "What crime he has committed that the King has punished him so severely." After a while she kissed him and came out of his room and went away flying.

After a while she heard the sound of flipping of wings and when she saw towards the direction of the sound, she found that the sound was coming from the wings of a rebellious Genie's wings. Maimoon was from that class whom Solomon compelled to acknowledge him. This Genie's name was Danhaash and he knew Maimoon and her power. He wanted to avoid her but she was too near to him to avoid. He requested her not to hurt him, and Maimoon promised him that she would not do so.

Then he said - "I tell you a wonderful thing. I am coming from the utmost limits of China. It is very beautiful." Maimoon said - "Go on, but just tell me the truth, otherwise I will cut your wings." Danhaash said - "I will tell you only truth and nothing but truth. It is a very powerful kingdom and presently its King is Gaioor. He has an only daughter, Badooraa, who is so beautiful that all of us Genies cannot describe her. Her father loves her very much. He has built seven most extraordinary and magnificent palaces for her. The first palace is of rock crystal, the second one is of copper, the third one is of fine steel, the fourth one is of brass, the fifth one is of touchstone, the sixth one is of silver and the seventh one is of gold. He has furnished all these palaces appropriately.

Seeing the riches of the Princess, the Prince of the neighboring country sent his ambassador to request her marriage. Since the girl was not satisfied, and the father did not like to force his wishes on her, the ambassador was sent back to his country. The Princess said to her father - "You want to see me married, but where will I find such palaces and gardens. People like to be masters, not to be commanded."

Then there was a Prince to whom her father himself recommended but the princess refused him also on the same basis. He father got very angry at this, as if she has gone mad, so he locked her up in a single room in one of his palaces with 10 old women for her help. And he declared that his daughter had gone mad and whoever would cure her, he would marry her to him. I am very sorry for this maiden and I go daily to see this incomparable beauty. Come with me and see her."

Maimoon laughed loudly and said - "Oh I was thinking you would tell me something very extraordinary, but this is the story of a mad woman. Then what would you say if you see my Prince?" "Which Prince you are talking about?" "The story of this Prince is also similar to that of your Princess." Danhaash said - "Well, Let me see your Prince then I can compare him with my Princess." Maimoon said - "There is no need to argue about the beauty of both, you go bring your Princess here and place her in my Prince's room, then it will be easier for us to compare who is more beautiful. If your Princess is more beautiful, I will pay; else you will pay." And she showed him the tower where he had to bring the Princess.

Danhaash agreed with Maimoon's proposal and brought the Princess almost immediately and laid her beside the Prince. Both looked at the Prince and the Princess but could not reach any conclusion, so they decided to call an umpire to decide this. Maimoon stamped her foot, the earth opened and out came a humpbacked, squinting, lame Genie with six horns on his head. His name was Kaashkaash. He greeted Maimoon and asked her what he could do for her. She asked him to tell her that who was more beautiful between the two. But he also could not decide; but he suggested that both of them should be awakened one by one and examined by their conduct. Both liked this proposal, so Maimoon changed herself into an insect and stung on the Prince's neck gently that he woke up.

When he woke up he saw the Princess of China lying beside his bed. He was surprised to see the greatest beauty of the world. She was so beautiful that he kissed her very softly. He was going to wake her up, that he thought, was it not this beauty to whom his father was going to marry him? Why didn't he show her to him before? It was his mistake that he disobeyed him. And now he wants to surprise me by keeping me here and bringing her here like this. Thinking like this he took out the ring that the Princess was wearing on her finger and put his own ring on her finger. After this he fell into a more profound sleep than before.

When the Prince was in sound sleep, Danhaash stung on the Princess' lips rudely. The Princess woke up startled and was very surprised to see the most handsome Prince beside her. She also thought in the same way. She thought, "Is it that Prince to whom my father wanted to marry me? I am indeed most unfortunate not to accept his proposal." She wanted to wake him up but Maimoon had made him sound sleep. She shook him several times but he did not wake up. She noticed that he had a ring on his finger which was like her own, then later she became sure that it was her own because she was wearing his ring. She could not think how the rings got exchanged, and then she also fell asleep fast.

When Maimoon saw that the Princess spoke without fear of awaking the Prince, she cried - "See, Your Princess is inferior to my Prince. I pardon you this time, but next time, you will have to agree with me." Danhaash took the Princess back to China and Maimoon also went away her own way.

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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 09/19/13