Ali-Banu was not just rich, he was very rich. To all other virtues, he was Sheikh of Alexandria, and that already means something. But for all that, he was still the most unhappy man in the whole world. His beloved son Kairam was taken away by the Franks, and the Sheikh did not receive any news from him. His wife died without experiencing disparate grief. For a long time, the very day when they were taken from the house of Kairam, the gentleman ordered to clean the house, convoke guests: he was preparing for the holiday, because the dervish promised that his son would return on the same day. The gathered guests told the sheikh of the fairy tale – they tried to somehow console the poor and unhappy father who was waiting for his son.
Where in Germany lived Frederick with his wife Hannah and son Jacob. He himself was a simple shoemaker, and his wife and son successfully traded vegetables in the market.
One day an unpleasant old woman came up to the
tray where at that moment Jakob was trading, and the young man, unable to withstand her finickyness, became angry, without forgetting to express her displeasure. In response, the old woman promised that one day he would become like her. Jakob helped to bring to the bag this unpleasant old woman and she, in gratitude, fed him a delicious soup. In her house, squirrels danced as servants. Suddenly the boy fell asleep and in a dream saw that he had served this old sorceress for seven years, and was in the guise of a squirrel. He even could become an excellent chef. Waking up, the boy hurried to the market, but it turned out that in fact these seven years had already passed and, among other things, to top it off, he became a small, ugly dwarf. Parents refused to recognize their son and drove him away.
Jakob settled himself as an assistant to the chief in the kitchen of the Gourmet Duke, and when he entered this service he was forced to cook a magnificent soup with dumplings. The Duke really liked the way Jakob cooked.
One day, having gone to the market, Jacob buys a goose, and she turns out to be an enchanted girl,
called Mimi. It was this girl – the goose helped Jakob prepare for the prince, who was staying with the duke and his master himself, “queen’s pie”. To make this unusual soup, a special herb was needed, which was called “sneeze on health.” The geese girl helped to find her, and when Jakob sniffed this magical grass in his room, he again became the same. After that, Jakob goes with the goose to her father, who was a wizard named Vatterbroke. The happy father thanked the young man and he returned home with the money.
Again we will return to the palace of the unfortunate sheik. Here we see four young men who are discussing the cause of beauty and charm of fairy tales. They assume, perhaps the whole secret is that the fairy tale and its world are much more attractive than the surrounding reality? However, the old man who led the young men to the sheikh, recalls novels in which there is no supernatural – they, conveying the image of the hero and the features of his character, suggest art itself, it is paramount.
The next narrator begins his narrative with a description of the small town of Grunwiesle, in which a stranger unexpectedly appears, leading a secretive way of life and because of this, rumors and fables have been born among the inhabitants. One day a circus came to the town, and when, after finishing the performance, the circus continued on its way further. But it was after this that the stranger brought his nephew – a foreigner, having taught his dances and having taught to speak the language of the inhabitants of the town, he did not hesitate to present it to the society.
The manners of the young man left much to be desired, but everyone recognized him as very sweet, and young townspeople began to copy some of his habits and manners.
At one of the concerts that ended the winter evenings, the nephew of the stranger had to sing in a duet with the daughter of the burgomaster. The young man started the performance, but the song sounded very fake, then, once the stranger advised, they decided to relax the knot of the scarf on his neck, although, for the sake of fairness, we note that he himself usually in such cases pulled him up. However, the nephew completely disbanded, and when he was caught, which, however, was given with difficulty, all the townspeople noticed that under the clothes was hidden orangutan from the left wandering circus.
Arriving at the stranger’s house, the residents found a letter in which he explained that he did not really want to disappear and get dirty in local customs, and therefore, he left a deputy for himself.
The captured orangutan was given to a local scientist.
On the same day – the day when the sheikh was waiting for his son, he usually released his slaves. The poor ruler and father hoped that Allah would become condescending to him, seeing his mercy. The old man who brought the four young men to the sheikh turned out to be a dervish named Mustafa. It was Mustafa who introduced the guys brought with him to the sheikh, and the lord promised to fulfill all their wishes. So, he allowed the first to manage his priceless books, the second – he gave the opportunity to manage entertainment, the third – condescended to entertain himself through musicians and dancers of His Holiness Majesty, and the fourth – allocated the necessary means for travel.
THE HISTORY OF ALMANSOR
The last slave, from among those who were to be released, began the story of his story. He told me that on the ship of the pirates, along with the narrator himself, there was a certain youth who was clearly not born to wear the clothes of a slave. He himself told that comes from a very noble family and taken away from his home by the Franks.
All the listeners expressed a protest at that moment, and a wave of indignation swept the room. They unanimously declared that it was cruel to their master to tell such stories. However, the sheikh asked to continue and the narrator began his narrative further.
The Franks promised that they would certainly send Almansor – that was the name of the youth, to his homeland, but they brought him to distant Franconia, where they showed him as a pledge of peace with Egypt.
Almansor began to live in the healer’s house and he taught him all the local customs. Among other things, yearning for his homeland, the young man became a frequenter of the local orientalist and conducted extensive conversations with him.
The day came and the Franks chose a new king.
This commander was friends with young Almanzor since the time when he was taken to Franconia. One day the young man met his old friend and, not knowing that he had become a king, asked to be reduced to a nobleman who could have said a word to the ruler for him. They went to the palace, and when they entered the hall, the young man guessed who his friend was, in fact, as only he alone remained in the hat when they appeared.
The great king sent him to his homeland – to distant Egypt, but on the way they were captured by the British, and after the Tunisian pirates. Finally, Almansor was sold into slavery, from where his father freed him.
So, the happy sheikh found a son, and Kairam, who was Almansor, was reunited with his beloved father.
The four guests brought by the old man, the sheikh introduced to Kairam and asked to visit him, entertaining with his talents. The young guests thought that they would not talk to Mustafa, then, undoubtedly, they would not be able to get such a chance in life.