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The Fan Prince
by [?]

In a country there lived a king who had a wife and seven daughters. One day he called all his daughters to him, and said to them, “My children, who gives you food? and by whose permission do you eat it?” Six of them answered, “Father, you give us food; and by your permission we eat it.” But the seventh and youngest said, “Father, God gives me my food; and by my own permission I eat it.” This answer made her father and mother very angry with their youngest daughter. They said, “We will not let our youngest child stay with us any longer.” And her father called some servants and said to them, “Get a palanquin ready, and put my youngest daughter into it; then carry her away to the jungle, and there leave her.”

The servants got the palanquin ready, put the youngest princess into it, and carried her into the jungle. There they put the palanquin down and said to her, “We are going to drink some water.” “Go home now,” said the girl, “as my father ordered you to do.” They left her, therefore, in the jungle alone, and went back to the king’s palace.

The girl prayed to God and worshipped him; then she went to sleep for a little while in her palanquin. When she awoke, it was evening, and she found in her palanquin a jar of water and some food on a plate which God had sent her while she slept. She knew that God had sent her this nice dinner, and thanked him and worshipped him. Then she bathed her face and hands in a little of the water, and ate and drank, and went to sleep quietly in her palanquin as night had come.

This little princess had always been a very gentle girl, and had always done what was right, and been very good, so God loved her dearly. While she slept, therefore, he made a beautiful palace for her on the jungle-plain where she was lying in her palanquin. God made a garden and tank for her, too. When the princess woke in the morning, and got out of her palanquin, she saw the palace standing by its tank in a beautiful garden. “I never saw that palace before,” she said. “It was not here last night.” She went into the garden, and servants met her and made her salaams. The palace was far finer than her father’s; and when she went into it she found it full of servants. “To whom does this palace belong?” she asked. “To you,” they answered. “God made all this for you last night, and he sent us to wait on you and be your servants.” (Now, they were all men, not angels, that God had sent to take care of her.) The princess thanked God, and worshipped him.

A few days later, her father heard that in the jungle to which he had sent her a beautiful palace and garden and tank had suddenly appeared, and that in this palace she was living; and he said, “Yes; my daughter told me the truth: it is God who gives us everything. I know it is he who gave her this beautiful house.” So some time passed, and the princess lived in her palace in the jungle; but her father did not go to see her.

One day he said to himself, “To-day I will go and eat the air in another country, and I will go by water.” So he ordered a boat to be got ready, and he went to his six daughters, and told them he was going away for a little while. “What would you like me to bring you from this other country?” he said. “I will bring you anything you would like to have.” Some of them wanted jewels, a necklace, a pair of earrings, and so on; and some wanted silk stuffs for sárís and other clothes. Then the king remembered his youngest child, and thought, “I must send to her, and see what she would like.” He called one of his servants, and told him to go to the jungle to his youngest daughter and say, “Your father is going to eat the air of another country. He wishes to know what you would like him to bring back for you.”