When the sun sunk into the west and the moon appeared in the east, Khojisteh went to the parrot to ask leave and said, “O thou wise bird, whose counsels are prudent and who acts the part of a friend! If you think it adviseable, delay not today in giving me permission, or else speak plainly to the end that I may be patient and make choice of retirement.”
The parrot answered, “Every night I give you leave, but I know not what kind of luck attends you that it will never befriend you. It is incumbent on you to go quickly today and have an interview with your lover: however, give ear to my counsel that you may act in such a manner that no misfortune may befall you, but advantage or prosperity — like as the brahmin, who, having fallen in love with the daughter of the king of Babylon, got possession not only of his beloved, but also of money and property, without suffering any misfortune.”
Khojisteh asked, “What is the nature of his story?”
The parrot began:
Once on a time, a brahmin, who was both handsome and discreet, having thought proper to quit his city and native soil, went to the city of Babylon. One day as this brahmin was walking in a garden, the daughter of the king of Babylon came also to the same spot, to take an airing and to view the display of flowers. The brahmin and the virgin were mutually enamoured of each other at the first glance.
When she returned home, she became distracted, and the brahmin, on returning to his habitation, fell sick. In short, the brahmin went to a magician and entered into his service.
After some time, the magician was quite confounded how to requite his great attention and faithful services. One day he said to him, “Ask me for anything that you desire, and I will give it; shew and declare what it is that you want.”
The brahmin discovered his situation to the magician, who said, “I thought you would have asked for a gold mine – what mighty business is it to bring man and woman together?”
The magician immediately formed a magic ball and, giving it to the brahmin, said, “If a man puts this ball in his mouth, whoever sees him will suppose him a woman, and if a female uses it in the same manner, she appears a man to all beholders.”
Next day the magician himself personated the brahmin, and the brahmin, putting the ball in his mouth, being transformed into a woman.
The magician went to the king of Babylon and said, “I am a brahmin and have a son, who, having suddenly become insane, has wandered abroad. This is his wife; if you will admit her into your palace for a few days, then I will go in search of him.”
The king granted the brahmin’s request and, moreover, gave him something for his expences, and sent the woman to his own daughter.
By this artifice, the magician introduced the brahmin to the king’s daughter and himself got good money in hand. The princess shewed great tenderness to the woman, alias the brahmin.
In short, one day the brahmin said to the princess. “Why does your complexion fade in this manner, becoming every day more and more pale, whilst your strength seems exhausted?”
The young woman wanted to conceal her secret from the brahmin, but he, pressing her on the subject, said, “I perceive you are in love with somebody – it will be much better to make me your confidante, when I will certainly apply a remedy to the disease.”
The princess related to the brahmin all the particulars of her case.
He said, “If now you were to see that brahmin, do you think you could recollect him?”
She replied, “Yes, I should certainly know him again.”
Immediately the brahmin took the ball out of his mouth, and she knew him, and they embraced each other.
After some days, the young lady advised thus with the brahmin, “It is most adviseable that we depart hence and take up our abode in some other country where we may follow the dictates of our inclinations.”
Then, having agreed together on this point, the king of Babylon’s daughter stole out of her father’s treasury a great quantity of gold and jewels, sufficient to support them as long as they should live, and, at night, accompanied by the brahmin, she left the house.
In one day and night they got beyond the limits of her father’s dominions and fixed their abode in another territory, where, free of all restraints from others, they entered on the enjoyment of their amorous inclinations with boundless pleasure and delight.
The king was greatly astonished at this event but, notwithstanding his most diligent enquiries, could not find out his daughter because she had escaped beyond the boundaries of his territories.
The parrot, having finished the tale, said to Khojisteh, “Now arise, and go to your lover.”
She wanted to have done so, when instantly the cock crowed and, dawn appearing, her departure was deferred.
This story is part of the Tales of a Parrot unit. Story source: The Tooti Nameh or Tales of a Parrot, by Ziya’al-Din Nakhshabi (1801).
Of a Brahmin Falling in Love with the King of Babylon’s Daughter
Accessed on the internet on 2 June 2015
Also available via Google Books: https://books.google.com/books