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HARPENDORE


Many moons ago a great king sentenced his innocent wife to death, but every night she tells the king a story, leaving the tale unfinished until the next night so that the king would spare her life to hear the ending. This lasted for one thousand and one Arabian nights, until the king finally released her. This is just one of those tales ‌


Look out for more

The Adventures of Prince Camar and Princess Badoura Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp Gulnare of the Sea Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor The Enchanted Horse The Talking Bird, the Singing Tree and the Golden Water The Merchant and the Jinni The Tale of Zubaidah and the Three Qalandars The Adventures of Harun al-Rashid, Caliph of Baghdad The Three Princes, the Princess and the Jinni Pari Banou The Fisherman and the Jinni The King’s Jester


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Published in Great Britain in 2017 by Harpendore Publishing Ltd 34 Priory Road, Richmond TW9 3DF, United Kingdom The name Harpendore® is a registered trade mark of Harpendore Publishing Ltd Text by Kelley Townley copyright © Harpendore Publishing Ltd 2017 Illustrations and cover illustration by Anja Gram copyright © Harpendore Publishing Ltd 2017 Arabian Nights Adventures™, names, characters and related indicia are copyright and trademark Harpendore Publishing Ltd, 2017™ All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Harpendore Publishing or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organisation. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to Harpendore Publishing at the address above. You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover and you must impose the same condition on any acquirer. A Catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN 978-1-911030-06-5 (paperback)

Designed by Anne-Lise Jacobsen www.behance.net/annelisejacobsen

www.harpendore.co.uk


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nce upon a time there reigned over Persia a great sultan who had a son called Kosrou. The little prince loved to disguise himself and seek out adventures that a person of royal blood would not normally be allowed to have. This way he learned far more about the world and the people he would one day govern than from any book or tutor. Prince Kosrou made friends with all sorts of people, from beggars to bakers to bankers, and through all these different people he learned that the world was made up of many varied

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and wonderful elements. His education ranged from how to organise a nation and give speeches to riding a horse bareback across muddy fields. Even though he was a prince he knew how it felt to be told off by your friend’s mum for eating a warm pie meant for tea while still covered in mud. And as the young prince grew, his adventures grew with him so that he became truly blessed with a wide understanding of the world, seeing the best in everyone. Sadly the day came when Kosrou’s father passed away. This meant that the young prince would now become sultan and it would be his job to look after the people and the land. Although Kosrou took his responsibilities very seriously, it wasn’t even an hour after becoming

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sultan before the young man threw off his kingly robes and stole out into the streets of the city, wearing the simple dress of a private citizen to see what the people were saying. Everyone seemed happy and delighted with their new sultan and pleased with all the fine entertainments that had been put on to celebrate. King Kosrou was in high spirits and began to make his way back to the palace when he heard loud voices and laughter coming from a house nearby. Such fun and merriment, thought the sultan, and he casually leaned against the wall as if taking a rest so that he could peek through an open window. Inside he saw three girls sitting upon a sofa. They ranged in age from eldest to

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youngest and so Kosrou guessed them to be sisters. There was a tall, thin one who seemed to be the eldest; she was called Hawwa. The middle sister was more rounded but had fierce eyes and her name was Nailah. The youngest sister was called Ghayda and she seemed thoughtful and full of dreams. Kosrou found her most intriguing. As Kosrou listened he discovered they were playing a game in a very lively manner, talking about who they would most like to marry from the palace. ‘I would ask for nothing more than the sultan’s own baker for a husband,’ said the eldest sister, Hawwa. ‘Think of being able to eat as much of that delicious bread as I want! Now, let us see if your future husbands are as good

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as mine,’ she laughed. ‘The bread would be good I’m sure,’ replied the middle sister Nailah. ‘But I would rather marry the sultan’s head cook! I’d probably get the bread as well as all the fabulous meats, delicate stews and fragrant rice! You see, my dear sister, my taste is as good as yours – just bigger!’ They all laughed heartily and Kosrou had to admit it did sound like a very good idea. ‘Your turn,’ Hawwa said to Ghayda. ‘Who would you marry?’ The youngest sister was quiet for a moment. ‘It seems to me,’ she finally said, ‘that if I could pick any man from the palace to be my husband then the

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only possible answer would be the sultan himself.’ Oh how the other two girls hooted with laughter at their sister’s daring, but Kosrou was impressed by her ambition. And so it was that when Kosrou returned to the palace he sent a messenger back to the house to summon the three sisters.


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The next day the girls nervously arrived at the palace in their best dresses wondering what on earth the great sultan could want with them. They stood before him as he sat on his magnificent throne and bowed deeply. ‘Welcome, ladies,’ Kosrou greeted them. ‘I


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would like to ask you a question and I require that you answer it truthfully. Fear nothing, but answer me how you truly feel.’ The sisters looked at each other with concern. To Hawwa he then said, ‘If you could marry anyone from my palace, who would you pick?’ Hawwa went quite red with embarrassment. She couldn’t believe the sultan was asking her the same silly game that they had been playing the night before. ‘Do not fear,’ smiled Kosrou. ‘But tell me truthfully, who would you choose?’ ‘Sire, I would wish to marry your baker,’ she admitted. ‘Well, here is my baker,’ said Kosrou

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as a jolly man in an apron stepped forward. ‘Why don’t you and he take a stroll around the gardens together.’ Hawwa blushed even more and giggled terribly as she and the palace baker headed outside. Next Kosrou looked at the middle sister, Nailah. ‘And you? Who would you pick?’ he asked. Nailah bowed deeply in order to hide her own blushing cheeks. ‘I would wish to marry your head chef, my liege,’ she said. ‘Well, here is my head chef,’ smiled Kosrou as a tall, dark man swept over to take her arm. ‘Maybe you would also like to take a stroll together?’ Nailah looked back at her youngest sister with wonderment as she and the

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head chef departed, leaving Ghayda sweating in a bundle of nerves as she guessed what was coming next. ‘And you?’ Kosrou said with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. ‘Who would you wish to marry?’ Poor Ghayda paled as much as the other two had coloured. ‘You must speak the truth, remember,’ he said. ‘Oh, sire,’ she said apologetically. ‘If I could truly choose I would pick you, the sultan, to marry. But please forgive my foolish words. I am unworthy of the honour of being your wife and can only ask your pardon for my boldness.’ ‘But I like your boldness,’ Kosrou said with a deeper smile. And so it was that within a moon’s

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cycle all three couples had fallen in love and were to be married. The three sisters were all delighted with their good fortune and very excited to be able to plan their weddings together. But soon the mood began to change. As Hawwa and Nailah picked dresses made of cotton, Ghayda got a gown of pure silk; as Hawwa and Nailah counted how many guests they could afford, Ghayda got to invite the entire kingdom; and whereas Hawwa and Nailah’s weddings would last a day or two, Ghayda’s would be celebrated for a whole month! ‘Why is it Ghayda gets all the best things?’ frowned Nailah. ‘She is no better than us.’ ‘Indeed,’ said Hawwa. ‘Why didn’t you

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or I say we wanted to marry the sultan first?’ In reality the two sisters were very fortunate to have found such fine men from the palace to marry, but they could only see that Ghayda had done better and they let their jealousy seep deep into their souls and spoil their own happiness. And it only got worse. ‘She doesn’t have to get up at dawn to help her husband cook the bread!’ snapped Hawwa. ‘And she doesn’t have to scrub her husband’s dirty aprons until her fingers blister!’ scowled Nailah. ‘What does the sultan see in her anyway? You are far prettier.’ ‘And you far cleverer,’ said Hawwa.

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‘Either one of us would have made a better sultana.’ And so it went on. In Ghayda’s presence her sisters would pretend to be all loving and kind, but behind her back they would insult her and curse her. Ghayda was blissfully unaware of all this, however, so madly in love with her sultan was she, just as much as he was with her. The kingdom was delighted with the match and it wasn’t long before the new sultana became pregnant. When asked who she would like to assist her at the birth, Ghayda of course replied that she just wanted her two loving sisters. But rather than being flattered or honoured about this, the

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jealous sisters moaned about that too! ‘I’ll be up all night and still be expected to help bake the bread at dawn,’ said Hawwa. ‘And I’ll just get dirty and have even more washing to do!’ said Nailah. The day came when Ghayda went into labour and with the begrudging help of her two sisters she delivered a perfectly healthy baby boy. As Ghayda lay down to rest the two sisters looked at the beautiful beaming baby with spite. ‘Now her precious child will grow up with every need catered for and every wish granted,’ said Hawwa. ‘It makes me sick!’ ‘I wish the baby had been born ugly or broken!’ snarled Nailah. And then a wicked idea passed

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between the two women, an idea they soon put into action, quickly nipping down to the stables to find what they needed. ‘Where is he?’ called Ghayda from her bed. ‘My baby boy! I can’t wait to see him!’ ‘Oh dear, I’m so sorry,’ said Hawwa, coming over to her sister. ‘I don’t know how to tell you this.’ ‘Tell me what!’ cried Ghayda in alarm. ‘Is he okay?’ ‘Well,’ said Nailah, appearing at her side with something wrapped in blankets. ‘It’s healthy enough. It’s just that …’ ‘It’s not a baby,’ said Hawwa. ‘It’s a puppy!’ declared Nailah, revealing a saluki pup with black and

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tan shiny fur and long legs. Poor Ghayda fainted clean away. When Kosrou was presented with the wriggly puppy instead of a baby he blew up in a rage of confusion and disappointment. Poor Ghayda blamed herself and refused to come out of her room. ‘That showed her,’ the jealous sisters giggled. Meanwhile, below the palace walls, a little basket floated down the river. Dalham, one of the palace gardeners, was clearing away some river weeds thinking how sad it was that after all these years he and his wife had never had any children of their own, when he saw the basket. Intrigued, he pulled it closer and peeked inside to see a little


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baby boy. ‘Blessed heavens!’ he cried. ‘Our prayers have been answered!’ And he took the baby straight to his wife. ‘What a bonny baby,’ she said in delight. ‘But wherever has he come from? We can’t just keep him.’ ‘Someone must have abandoned him,’ said Dalham. ‘And he has been sent to us because the good Lord knows that we can care for him.’ And so it was that Ghayda’s baby boy, prince to the whole kingdom of Persia, was taken in by a simple gardener and his loving wife. Back at the palace neither mystics nor physicians could explain the puppy that Ghayda now cared for like her own

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child, much to her sisters’ amusement. Everyone encouraged Kosrou and Ghayda to try again, which they did, resulting in another pregnancy soon after. Again Ghayda requested that her sisters were on hand to help with the birth, and this time the wicked sisters even planned ahead, arriving with a basket that meowed if you knocked it. As Ghayda lay in her bed, exhausted after her labours, Hawwa and Nailah presented her with a grey Persian kitten. Ghayda’s


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face fell and she burst into tears. She hugged the tiny kitten as the saluki dog, who was there too, nuzzled his mistress as she cried hot, white tears. Kosrou was beside himself with worry and anguish. The whole kingdom mourned with him. All except Dalham who somehow had made it his job that morning to be by the river, just in case. Sure enough a basket came floating along. He may not have been a clever man, but he was not too blind to see that a baby arrived each time the sultana apparently lost hers. ‘But they at the palace all have so much,’ he frowned. ‘Whereas my wife and I have so little. And what is more important, wealth or love? For I am sure my wife and I are the richest in

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love and tenderness to give the children a perfect childhood!’ And so once again he took the bouncing baby boy back home to his delighted wife. She cradled the new baby with joy. ‘God has blessed us twice,’ she beamed. ‘Look, Bahman,’ she said to the little boy beside her. ‘You have a little brother now! What shall we name him?’ ‘Purr-thiz,’ babbled the toddler, and so it was that the second son of the sultan of Persia became known as Perviz. Soon Ghayda fell pregnant again, and this time the sisters grew even crueller. As Ghayda sat in bed with her saluki dog on one side and her Persian cat on the other, the sisters presented her

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with a wooden log. Poor Ghayda. She went quite mad with grief and confined herself to her room forever. However, when Dalham returned home that day with a beautiful baby girl in his arms, he and his wife didn’t think life could get any better.


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‘No more though,’ laughed his wife. ‘We are much too old for this!’ As the years passed by the three royal children grew up to be happy and kind and thoughtful peasant folk,


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while at the palace Kosrou and Ghayda grew sad and lonely and angry with each other. The little girl was named Parizade, or ‘Child of the Genies’, as she turned into a spirited little thing who was always getting into mischief. Even so the gardener and his wife and their adopted children had a most blessed life and all were extremely happy. Until Parizade’s eleventh birthday. ‘Happy birthday, my lovely princess!’ said the wife. ‘You mustn’t call her that,’ Dalham snapped, to his wife’s surprise. Time had made him worry. All the children now looked a lot like the sultan and sultana, and of course they were all the correct ages. Surely it would not be

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long before someone found out the truth. ‘I think we need to move house,’ he told his wife. ‘Somewhere quieter, away from people.’ ‘Why ever would we do that?’ his wife said. ‘We have lived here all our lives. All our friends are here.’ And so Dalham told her his thoughts about where the babies had come from and she was horrified. Not only because if they were caught they would be executed straight away for keeping the children, but also because she could not bear the idea that she was partly to blame for the sultana’s grief. I am sorry to say that the worry and the pain quickly took her from this world so that it was only Dalham and the three

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children who moved to the new house out in the woods. Here, without the guiding hand of a mother, the children ran wild. They spent their days building forts and liked to run through the trees and shoot


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bows and arrows rather than follow the lessons of their teachers. But they were clever children and still they accomplished many things. Bahman and Perviz grew into strapping young men and Parizade became a beautiful, regal


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young lady with an adventurous spirit. Dalham couldn’t have been more proud, but I am afraid the stress of secrecy attacked him too and he died before his time, leaving the three young adults alone in the house together. ‘What shall we do?’ asked Bahman one day after the funeral. ‘We don’t have money to pay the servants any more and I don’t want to work as a gardener like father did.’ ‘Me neither,’ said Perviz. ‘Let’s just stay here and look after ourselves. We can go hunting and Parizade can do the cooking and cleaning.’ Parizade was outraged. She didn’t want to stay at home all day while her brothers went on adventures in the woods, but she didn’t have much

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choice as they neglected the vegetable patch and left dirty clothes and dishes everywhere. If she didn’t do it no one would! At the end of each day she was too tired to argue with them and soon she grew miserable. One day, while the brothers were out hunting, a nomadic wise man knocked on the door. ‘Good day to you madam,’ said the dervish to Parizade. ‘I wonder if I might request from you a cup of water and possibly a crust of bread?’ ‘Nonsense,’ said Parizade who was glad of a little distraction. ‘You must come in and have a proper meal.’ The dervish was very grateful and spent a pleasant afternoon with the princess.

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The Arabian Nights tales are some of the most enduringly entertaining stories ever written. Compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age, numerous tales depict legends, sorcery and magic intermingled with real people, places and events. Some tales are framed within other tales while others are perfectly self-contained. The result is a superb collection of richly layered narratives; whether adventure, historical, tragic, comic or romantic, they have delighted audiences for centuries. Arabian Nights Adventures is a wonderful collection of children’s books that brings this rich heritage to life. Instead of a vast compendium of stories, each book in the series is devoted to a single tale from The Nights. The best tales have been selected. There are traditional favourites such as Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, and less well-known gems such as Gulnare of the Sea, The Enchanted Horse, The Merchant and the Jinni and more. Kelley Townley provides masterful contemporary renderings of these ancient treasures while Anja Gram’s illustrations are full of the spice, wit and magic of the stories themselves. The series style is


fresh and vibrant and the print inside is clear and beautifully typeset. When placed on bookshelves the distinctive spines reveal a wonderful image that grows as new stories are added: a design made specially for one thousand and one nights’ tales! And with the highest of editorial standards and attention to detail, this series will delight readers everywhere and bring the Islamic Golden Age gloriously to life.

Kelley Townley trained as a teacher and gained her MA in creative writing with distinction from Bath Spa University. She may be found either writing children’s stories – happily losing herself in the dream world of the human imagination – or plotting new ways to engage readers, which are the same things really. Kelley lives near Bath with her family, the writer’s obligatory cats and an ever growing number of woodlice.

Anja Gram has illustrated numerous children’s books and magazines. Her highly distinctive style captivates and endears readers around the world. She lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.


1

The Adventures of Prince Camar and Princess Badoura

2

Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp ISBN 978-1-911030-01-0

3

Gulnare of the Sea

ISBN 978-1-911030-02-7

4

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

ISBN 978-1-911030-03-4

5

The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor

ISBN 978-1-911030-04-1

6

The Enchanted Horse

ISBN 978-1-911030-05-8

7

The Talking Bird, the Singing Tree ISBN 978-1-911030-06-5 and the Golden Water

8

The Merchant and the Jinni

ISBN 978-1-911030-07-2

9

The Tale of Zubaidah and the Three Qalandars

ISBN 978-1-911030-08-9

Adventures of Harun 10 The al-Rashid, Caliph of Baghdad

ISBN 978-1-911030-09-6

Three Princes, the Princess 11 The and the Jinni Pari Banou

ISBN 978-1-911030-10-2

12 The Fisherman and the Jinni

ISBN 978-1-911030-11-9

13 The King’s Jester

ISBN 978-1-911030-12-6

ISBN 978-1-911030-00-3


The complete Arabian Nights Adventures series and individual titles are available from leading bookstores or may be ordered direct from the publisher: Harpendore Publishing Limited 34 Priory Road, Richmond TW9 3DF, United Kingdom Telephone: +44 (0)20 3667 3600 Email: enquiries@harpendore.co.uk Website: www.harpendore.co.uk TO ORDER: Please quote title, author and ISBN, your full name and the address where the order is to be sent. Contact us for the latest prices (including postage and packing) and availability information. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to: ‘Harpendore Publishing Limited’ All our titles may also be purchased online via our website at www.harpendore.co.uk For a complete list of titles and the latest catalogue visit www.harpendore.co.uk


Bahman, Perviz and Parizade are three siblings who spend much of their happy childhood climbing trees, building forts and shooting bows and arrows. One day a travelling dervish visits their humble cottage in the woods and talks about a mysterious bird kept prisoner by an evil sorcerer. The children set off to rescue the bird, but they must first get past the menacing danger that lurks along the steep rocky path to the bird’s hideaway. Only then does the truth about a certain mystery finally emerge ‌ one that has haunted the sultan and his wife for nearly two decades.

Look out for more Arabian Nights Adventures www.harpendore.co.uk

ISBN 978-1-911030-06-5

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The Talking Bird, the Singing Tree and the Golden Water (preview)  

Book 7 from the Arabian Nights Adventures series

The Talking Bird, the Singing Tree and the Golden Water (preview)  

Book 7 from the Arabian Nights Adventures series

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