Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y is for the Yellow Princess, and the importance of talking

Today we finally meet the last one of the Seven Wise Princesses (after Blue, Ebony, Green, Red, Sandalwood, and White). If I had to choose one favorite out of the seven, this story would be it (although the Red Princess comes in a close second). Looks like the alphabet saved the best one for last.
The inhabitant of the Golden Pavilion of the Sun is a golden-haired princess from Byzantium. She tells Bahram Gur a story of a king who did not trust women. The king, to avoid being cheated and betrayed by the wife, spent his time with slave girls, having a new one brought to the palace every day, but he was not happy at all, because while the girls could provide pleasure, they did not provide companionship. One day a merchant passed through the city, and people instantly started talking about one of his slaves, a legendary beauty from somewhere in the East. Instantly taken with her, the king offered to buy her, but the merchant refused to sell. The king offered an unresistable amount of gold, and the merchant agreed; but after the deal was struck he admitted that the reason why he did not want to sell was that whenever he had sold her before, she was always returned to him. He did not know what was wrong with her, and did not want to cheat the king. The king decided to take his chances.
The slave girl, while she was very polite to the king, refused to let him touch her. He spent days and days wooing her, but she resisted, with a sadness on her face. The king finally took her out on a picnic, and told her a story in order to convince her to talk to him and tell him what was wrong. The story itself is also interesting, it is about King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, who had a child that could not walk. An angel told King Solomon in his dream that the child will only be cured if he and his wife talk openly about their deepest secrets. Once they both opened up and confessed what they had been hiding, the child was cured. The king explained to the girl that he wanted to understand what was bothering her. She finally admitted that she liked him, but she had long ago resolved never to be with a man, because every woman in her family dies in childbirth. The king, in turn, told her he would marry her despite that, and be content with her as his wife.
(Now here in the original story she still refuses him, after which he gets a bunch of other slave girls to make her jealous, and she gives in in the end. But I don't think that part is either good or fun to tell, and it has no point to the story at this point, so I usually leave it out.)

I like this story because I believe in the importance of talking in a relationship (and all relationships in general). And I like it how the king learns some respect for women in the end. Sounds similar to the frame of the Arabian Nights, which is probably no coincidence either.

13 comments:

Lila Asnani said...

A Byzantium princess-I can fully imagine her. I visited Istanbul 2 years ago and it is as beautiful and exotic as you imagine. Great story. Loved it. :)
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Lila Asnani said...
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Sara C. Snider said...

That is a nice story. And I agree, the part with bringing in all the slaves to make her jealous just kind of weakens the story at that point. Thanks for sharing. :)

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

Talking is always good - lack of communication only causes confusion and mistrust. I'm glad the king didn't just try and take the slave girl by force, at least. I think I like where you usually end it too.
Tasha
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Agnes Ong said...

totally agree with the communication to maintain a relationship. Perhaps the slave was just to inject more old world charm and so called romance into the story. check out my site at www.angiecreativeink.com

Beloo Mehra said...

A good story, and a good lesson about communicating and sharing in a relationship. Though of course, there would always be a power differential between a king and a slave, regardless of the communication :) But given by what we know so far about this king, there may be greater hope here!

Nana Prah said...

Nice story. Good communication is the answer to most problems. I wonder if she ended up dying in childbirth after all.

Shawn Yankey said...

Sounds like you have found another cool story to share with us A to Zers. Very cool!
Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

Carolyn Branch said...

Yellow is my favorite color and this is one of your best princess stories. Love the theme. Talking together is the foundation of a good marriage.

Sophie Duncan said...

I prefer your ending :)
Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
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Mina Burrows said...

I agree. Communication is key. Great story. :)

Michelle Wallace said...

So she succumbs in the end?
I wonder if she had a child and whether she survived the childbirth experience...

Aditi said...

I absolutely love this story for The message it conveys. And for showing that a man can understand and respect a woman's wants/differences. Hope!