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The Folktale Project

Apr 25, 2018

In olden times, when the camel was a horse-dealer, the mouse a barber, the cuckoo a tailor, the tortoise a baker, and the ass still a servant, there was a miller who had a black cat. Besides this miller, there was a Padishah who had three daughters, aged respectively forty, thirty, and twenty years. The eldest went to the youngest and made her write a letter to her father in these terms:
“Dear father, one of my sisters is forty, the other thirty, and they have not yet married. Take notice that I will not wait so long before I get a husband.”
The Padishah on reading the letter sent for his daughters and thus addressed them: “Here are a bow and arrow for each of you; go and shoot, and wherever your arrows fall, there you will find your future husbands.”
Taking the weapons from their father, the three maidens went forth. The eldest shot first, and her arrow fell in the palace of the Vezir’s son; she was accordingly united to him. The second daughter’s arrow fell in the palace of the son of the Sheikh-ul-Islam, and him she got for a husband. When the youngest shot, however, her arrow fell into the hut of a wood-cutter. “That doesn’t count,” cried everybody; and she shot again. The second time the arrow fell in the same spot; and a third attempt met no better success.