Turkish: The Crow-Peri (cont.)

This story is part of the Turkish Fairy Tales unit. Story source: Forty-four Turkish Fairy Tales by Ignacz Kunos, with illustrations by Willy Pogany (1913).

The Crow-Peri (cont.)

The youth went home and wept most bitterly, but the crow appeared and inquired why he sorrowed. The poor youth told his story.

"That trifle is not worth so many tears," replied the crow. "Go immediately to the King and request a large ship, large enough to accommodate forty maidens, with a garden and also a very beautiful bath on board."

The bird-catcher went to the Padishah and told him what was required for the voyage. The ship was built according to his wish. The youth went aboard, and while he was considering whether he should sail to the right or to the left, the crow once more appeared.

"Sail always to the right," he instructed, "and stop not until you come to a high mountain. At the foot of this mountain dwell the forty peris. When they see your ship, they will all desire to inspect it. However, you must let only the queen come on board, for she is the owner of the little bird. While you are showing her the ship, set sail and stop not again until you have arrived home."

So the youth sailed away in his ship, bore always to the right, and stayed not until he reached the mountain. There on the seashore, the forty peris were taking a walk, and as soon as they spied the ship, they wished to inspect it. The Queen begged the bird-catcher to let them see the interior of the vessel, as they had never seen a ship before. The Queen only, however, was permitted to come aboard, and a canoe was sent to the shore to fetch her. The fairy was delighted with the beautiful ship. She walked the deck, promenaded in the garden, and seeing the bath exclaimed: "As I am here, I will also bathe."

So she went into the bath, and while she was therein, the ship set sail. By the time the Peri had finished her bath, the ship was already far out at sea.

Hurrying on deck, she saw they were almost out of sight of land, and she broke into loud cries of despair. What would happen to her? Where were they taking her? The youth, endeavouring to console her, told her that she was going to good people and to a royal palace.

Soon they reached the town whence the ship had set out, and the Padishah was told of the vessel's safe arrival. The fairy was conducted to the palace, and when she passed the bird's kiosk, it began to sing so ravishingly that everyone hearing it was enraptured.

The fairy was now more at her ease, and she was completely reassured at meeting the Padishah, who admired her so much that he was unable to take his eyes off her. The marriage of the Padishah to the fairy took place soon afterwards, and the King was now the happiest man in the world.

But the lala was bursting with rage.

One day, the Queen was taken very ill. The medicine that would cure her illness was at home in her fairy palace, and the lala promptly advised that the bird-catcher should be sent to fetch it. Accordingly he embarked, but when about to set sail, the crow appeared and inquired whither he was bound. The youth replied that the Queen was ill and that he was going to her fairy palace to fetch the medicine.

"You will find the palace on the other side of the mountain," said the crow. "Two lions guard the door. Take this feather with you, and if you stroke their maws with it, they will do you no harm."

The youth accepted the feather and set sail. Casting anchor before the mountain, he soon saw the palace. He went up to the entrance where stood the two lions, and when he stroked their maws with the feather, they withdrew.

The fairies, seeing the young man, suspected that their Queen was ill, so they gave him the medicine, and he returned home again without delay. As he entered the Peri's apartment with the medicine, the crow alighted on his shoulder, and thus they both stood before the patient.

The Queen had already nearly expired, but the moment she took the medicine, she revived. Opening her eyes, and seeing the bird-catcher with the crow upon his shoulder, she addressed the latter and said: "You hateful bird, have you then no pity for this poor young man that you have caused him so much suffering?"

Then the Queen told her husband that this crow had once been her fairy-servant, whom she had changed into a crow as a punishment for her negligence.

"But now," said she, addressing the bird, "I pardon you, seeing that you still love me."

On this the crow shook itself, and behold a lovely maiden stood before the bird-catcher! In accordance with the Queen's wish, the King gave the crow-peri in marriage to the bird-catcher. The false lala was dismissed from his post and the young bird-catcher was made Vezir.

Thus they all lived happily ever after.

(800 words)

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