The Dervish and the Princess


A KING’S daughter was as fair as the moon, and admired by all.
A dervish saw her one day, as he was about to eat a piece of bread. The morsel fell to the ground, for he was so deeply moved that he could not hold it.
As she passed by she smiled upon him. This action sent him into convulsions, his bread in the dust, his senses half bereft. In a state of ecstasy he remained thus for seven years. The dervish spent all that time in the street, where dogs slept.
He was a nuisance to the princess, and her attendants decided to kill him.
But she called him to her and said: ‘There can be no union be¬tween you and me. And my slaves intend to kill you; therefore disappear.’
The miserable man answered: ‘Since I first saw you, life is nothing to me. They will kill me without cause. But please answer me one question, since you are to be the cause of my death. Why did you smile at all?’
‘Foolish man!’ said the princess. ‘When I saw what a fool you were making yourself, I smiled in pity, not for any other reason.’
And she disappeared from his sight.

Tales of the Dervishes

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The Dervish and the Princess


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