Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

The King’s Son And The Wazir’s Daughter
by [?]

In a country there was a great king who had a wazír. One day he thought he should like to play at cards with this wazír, and he told him to go and get some for him, and then play a game with him. So the wazír brought the cards, and he and the king sat down to play. Now neither the king nor the wazír had any children; and as they were playing, the king said, “Wazír, if I have a son and you have a daughter, or if I have a daughter and you have a son, let us marry our children to each other.” To this the wazír agreed. A year after the king had a son; and when the boy was two years old, the wazír had a daughter. Some years passed, and the king’s son was twelve years old, and the wazír’s daughter ten. Then the king said to the wazír, “Do you remember how one day, when we were playing at cards, we agreed to marry our children to each other?” “I remember,” said the wazír. “Let us marry them now,” said the king. So they held the wedding feast; but the wazír’s little daughter remained in her father’s house because she was still so young.

As the king’s son grew older he became very wicked, and took to gambling and drinking till his father and mother died of grief. After their death he went on in the same way, gambling and drinking, until he had no money left, and had to leave the palace, and live anywhere he could in the town, wandering from house to house in a fakír’s dress, begging his bread, and sleeping wherever he found a spot on which to lie down.

Meanwhile the wazír’s daughter was living alone, for her husband had never come to fetch her as he should have done when she was old enough. Her father and mother were dead too. She had given half of the money they left her to the poor, and she lived on the other half. She spent her days in praying to God, and in reading in a holy book; and though she was so young, she was very wise and good.

One day, as the prince was roaming about in his fakír’s rags, not knowing where to find food or shelter, he remembered his wife, and thought he would go and see her. She ordered her servants to give him good food, a bath, and good clothes; “for,” she said, “we were married when we were children, though he never fetched me to his palace.” The servants did as she bade them. The prince bathed and dressed, and ate food, and he wished to stay with his wife. But she said, “No; before you stay with me you must see four sights. Go out in the jungle and walk for a whole week. Then you will come to a plain where you will see them.” So the next day he set out for the plain, and reached it in one week.

There he saw a large tank. At one corner of the tank he saw a man and a woman who had good clothes, good food, good beds, and servants to wait on them, and seemed very happy. At the second corner he saw a wretchedly poor man and his wife, who did nothing but cry and sob because they had no food to eat, no water to drink, no bed to lie on, no one to take care of them. At the third corner he saw two little fishes that were always going up and down in the air. They would shoot down close to the water, but they could not go into it or stay in it; then they would make a salaam to God, and would shoot up again into the air, but before they got very high, they had to drop down again. At the fourth corner he saw a huge demon who was heating sand in an enormous iron pot, under which he kept up a big fire.