The Noble Prince
Narrated by Abdul Rahman Abdulahi
Once a long time ago in Harar there lived a blind king. He had a very generous and wise son. The king had tried every medicine he could to restore his sight.
So one day a fortune teller came to the king and said, “The king’s sight will be restored if, and only if, he can find the king of the seas, ie the whale. It is only your son that can catch the king of the seas, but no one else can do it.”
So the king was very happy and told his son to catch and bring the king of the seas. So the prince, because he was generous and brave, obeyed his father and went with two assistants to catch the king of the seas. So they began to look for the king of the seas, and after a very exhausting and tiring struggle he managed to catch the king of the seas. The king of the seas was covered with gold.
He said to the prince, “Your father lost his sight in a natural way, through nature, so I can’t help him. You don’t have to kill me because I am the king of the seas.”
So the prince decided to let him go.
The king of the seas said, “Since you have spared my life, anytime you want some help, come to the shore and call out for me and I will help you.”
So the prince went back to his father and told him he couldn’t catch the king of the seas. But the soldiers secretly told the king that the prince had captured the king of the seas and had let him go.
The king became very angry and said, “From now on he is not my son. Take him and kill him.”
So the soldiers took him to his execution place.
But before they killed him they said, “Because you are so good-hearted and generous, we will not kill you. We will let you go and you must disappear, and we’ll tell your father that we have killed you.”
So the prince began his journey. On his way he saw an antelope being chased by hunters. The antelope came up to the prince and begged him to save him from the hunters. So he grabbed the horn of the antelope and waited for the hunters to come.
When they arrived he said, “This antelope is mine. Yours has gone that way.”
The hunters believed him and went in the direction he had pointed out. So the antelope promised to return the favour and went away.
Then the prince went on his journey. On his way he found children trying to kill a small animal that lives in the ground (a mouse?). So the children were chasing the mouse, and the prince took off his cloak and threw it over the mouse to hide it.
When the boys came to him, he said, “Listen, boys, the mouse has already gone underground.”
So the boys went away. Then the mouse came up and said she would one day return his favour.
Then the prince continued his journey. After a very long journey, the prince came to a house made of gold. He approached the gate and asked the guard whose house it was.
The guard said, “It’s owned by a very dangerous woman,” and showed him so many dead bodies and said, “The lady likes playing hide and seek. And all these dead bodies you see died because they agreed to play with her, and when she found them she killed them. So you’d better leave.”
But the prince said he’d like to play hide and seek with this dangerous woman and he went into the house.
The lady said, “I’ll give you three or four days and you will hide. If I find you, I’ll kill you, and if I don’t find you, the house will be yours and I will marry you.”
So the prince agreed to play the game. But before he started he went to the shore and called the king of the seas.
He said, “I want you to hide me from this woman!”
So the king of the seas swallowed the prince to hide him.
The game began. The lady picked up an instrument through which she can see the whole world, and began to hunt for him. But she failed. In the end she found him in the belly of the whale.
So when the days had passed, the prince came out from his hiding place and went to the woman.
She said, “I have tried very hard to find you but in the end I saw you in the belly of the whale.”
The prince was shocked since he thought she was going to kill him. But the woman told him she wanted to give him another chance.
So this time he went to the antelope and begged him to hide him from the woman. So the antelope took him to a very big cave in a very remote area and hid him. So the lady again looked in her instrument and after a long tiring search found the prince under a big mountain.
When the given days were finished, the prince went to her and she said she had tried very hard to find him and in the end she had found him in a mountain.
The prince was shocked and thought she was going to kill him, but the woman said she wanted to give him one more chance.
So he went to the mouse who lives underground and said, “I want you to hide me from this woman.”
So she took him underground and after a long journey she hid him under the throne of the king of the jinns.
The woman searched and searched through her instrument but this time she couldn’t find him.
When the days were past, the prince came out and went to the woman.
She said, “I looked for you everywhere, but I failed.”
So the prince took her house and married her and they lived happily ever after.
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