Once upon a time, there was a king, who had a great many rupees and soldiers and horses. He also had an only son called Prince Majnun, who was a handsome boy with white teeth, red lips, blue eyes, red cheeks, red hair, and white skin. This boy was very fond of playing with the Wazir’s son, Husain Mahamat, in King Dantal’s garden, which was very large and full of delicious fruits, and flowers, and trees.They used to take their little knives there and cut the fruits and eat them. King Dantal had a teacher for them to teach them to read and write.
One day, when they were grown two Fine young men, Prince Majnun said to his father, “Husain Mahamat and I should like to go and hunt.” His father said they might go, so they got ready their horses and all else they wanted for their hunting, and went to the Phalana country, hunting all the way, but they only found jackals and birds.
The Raja of the Phalana country was called Munsuk Raja, and he had a daughter named Laili, who was very beautiful; she had brown eyes and black hair.
One night, some time before Prince Majnun came to her father’s kingdom, as she slept, Khuda sent to her an angel in the form of a man who told her that she should marry Prince Majnun and no one else, and that this was Khuda’s command to her. When Laili woke she told her father of the angel’s visit to her as she slept; but her father paid no attention to her story. From that time she began repeating, “Majnun, Majnun; I want Majnun,” and would say nothing else. Even as she sat and ate her food she kept saying, “Majnun, Majnun; I want Majnun.”
Her father used to get quite vexed with her.
“Who is this Majnun? Who ever heard of this Majnun?” he would say.
“He is the man I am to marry,” said Laili.
“Khuda has ordered me to marry no one but Majnun.” And she was half mad.
Meanwhile, Majnun and Husain Mahamat came to hunt in the Phalana country; and as they were riding about, Laili came out on her horse to eat the air, and rode behind them.
All the time she kept saying, “Majnun, Majnun; I want Majnun.” The prince heard her, and turned round. “Who is calling me?” he asked. At this Laili looked at him, and the moment she saw him she fell deeply in love with him, and she said to herself, “I am sure that is the Prince Majnun that Khuda says I am to marry.” And she went home to her father and said, “Father, I wish to marry the prince who has come to your kingdom; for I know he is the Prince Majnun I am to marry.”
“Very well, you shall have him for your husband,” said Munsuk Raja. “We will ask him tomorrow.”
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