Madschun, a Turkish Fairy Tale
Fairy Tales From Around The World
Last year, I finished a children’s alphabet book using fairy tales and folk tales from around the world as the theme. It was so much fun for me to illustrate using my collage method that I couldn’t wait to get it published and distributed. So I went to Lulu and got my first alphabet book published: The FairyTale Alphabet Book, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales from Around the World, available only on Lulu.
After I danced the happy dance at my success, I noticed that there were a lot more fairy tales out there that I didn’t use, enough to make a whole series using global fairy tales and folk tales. Thus the conception of my second alphabet book began. I have only been working on it since February and so I haven’t finished very many of the illustrations. Here is the thirteenth letter in the new book for the letter M.
Madschun, a Turkish Fairy Tale
There once was a young lad who had a strange disorder that kept him from growing any hair. One day this lad happened to see the daughter of the Sultan and decided he was going to marry her. He sent his mother to tell the Sultan that he was in love with his daughter and wanted to marry her. The Sultan then told the mother to have her son come and see him, but when he saw the boy he made up his mind he should not marry his daughter. He devised an impossible task for the boy to do to get rid of him. He told the boy he needed to gather all the birds in the world and bring them to the palace gardens. The boy worked every day and only had gathered a few dozen birds when he became discouraged. He wondered how he could ever gather all the birds for the Sultan when he happened to met a dervish, a holy man, so he asked for his help. The dervish told him to go to a certain tree at almost sundown and wait in the shadow of the tree. At sundown, all the birds in the world would gather there and roost for the night. He was to wait till they were all sitting and say, “madschun” which would cause them to freeze in place. He would then be able to gather them safely and take them to the Sultan’s gardens.
The next day the Sultan could not believe his eyes. The boy had accomplished the impossible. He had to think quickly. When the boy came to him, he said the first thing that popped into him mind. “You may marry my daughter when you have grown a full head of hair.” The boy went away upset and discouraged. When he got home, he heard the news that the Sultan had announced his daughter, the princess, was to marry a wazir’s son. That is when he knew that the Sultan had never intended to let him marry the princess even though he had accomplished the first task. He went back to the palace and hid until the princess, the wazir, and his son, as well as the Sultan’s wife, were all in one room, and he said “madschun.” They froze where they were and could not be moved.
The Sultan was at a loss as to what to do. He sent for all the wise men and magicians in the kingdom but no one could undo the spell. Finally, a wise man told him that he had wronged someone and must make it right before his daughter could be released from the spell. The Sultan then new if was the boy he had wronged, so he sent for him. When the Sultan’s ministers arrived at his home, the boy hid. He had told his mother to tell them that the boy had left and she didn’t know where he had gone. The ministers of the Sultan begged the boy’s mother to help find him but she told them she was poor and didn’t have money for travel. The ministers gave her a bag of gold and left. The boy then went to the palace and told the Sultan he could free everyone if the Sultan promised to let him marry his daughter. When the Sultan finally agreed, the boy freed everyone and married the princess.
“O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults, but beneath the costume is the child we always are, whose needs are simple, whose daily life is still best described by fairy tales.”— Leo Rosten
Have you ever heard of a magic word that freezes everyone?
I looked through several photo references for boys and birds. In the end, I used a good stock photo I had found in Pixabay of a boy and if the wax-wing birds. I hope you enjoy seeing my progress on the collage. Sometimes after finishing the collage, I need to make a background layer using Photoshop. I decided this one needs a little blue sky color.
Will Be Published with Lulu
This fairy tale has been shortened to fit into my book along with all the other letters of the alphabet. If you would like to read the full version, you can Google the title and find the story as Madschun. I expect to be finished with the whole book and ready to publish by early next year.
The most beautiful things in the world must be felt with the heart.— Antoine de Saint-Exupery
In my collages, I use paper from magazines, old wall calendars, catalogs, and circulars. Often I will add things into a collage you can't see unless you are looking for it like hidden pictures. This collage contains a class photo of children holding their favorite things, a bucking bronco, a Greek temple, bluefish, 3 goldfish, and a little blue fairy with butterfly wings.
“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.”— Albert Einstein
Did you like this story’s ending? I thought the boy although not really disabled, was certainly visually challenged and many should be able to relate. He was judged on his looks, which isn’t really fair. The Sultan was certainly in the wrong by going back on his word.
I hope you like my story and my fairy tale alphabet book idea. If you are interested you can purchase the first one on Lulu but not on Amazon. I’d love to read your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.