The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales |
This collection of "classics" certainly is a departure from the Disney versions. The tales are mostly very dark and pessimistic, as originally recorded by the Brothers. For the more "colourful" children's stories it is better to buy the specific tales from the bookstore instead of a collective book.
This story is available in the following languages
PRINCE OMAR AND PRINCESS SHEHERAZADE
Once upon a time, on the island of Kaledan, lived a king who was famous all
over the East, well-loved by his subjects and respected even by his enemies.
In spite of having a good and beautiful wife, his life was not always happy.
After years of marriage, they had no children and were afraid they would never
know the joy of a family.
However, at long last, one splendid spring morning, a handsome baby boy was
born and his delighted parents called him Omar. In the language of Kaledan,
this means "shining light". The years went by and Omar grew into a
fine-looking youth, brave, intelligent and kind-hearted.
On his eighteenth birthday, the king sent for his son.
"Omar, now that you've come of age, you must find a wife. Choose one of the
many princesses you've met and whose only dream is of marrying you."
"Father," said Omar respectfully, "I've no intention of getting married.
I'm still young and I'd rather wait till the time is ripe. I want to think
about it for at least another year." The king agreed and Omar spent the year
studying with the wisest and cleverest teachers in the kingdom. And though he
got to know a number of girls, he did not fall in love. When twelve months had
passed, the young prince was again summoned to his father.
"Well, son," said the king anxiously, "when am I to announce your
"Alas, father, I still haven't met the right girl," was Omar's reply. The
king lost his temper.
"Omar! You must stop wasting time. You're a grown man now and I want to see
your heirs. Think of the future and make up your mind without delay."
"I'm sorry, father, I can't do that just yet. I'm not in love and so I
can't get married." The king, who could not bear to be crossed in such an
important matter, went into a rage. He shouted for the guards and ordered them
to shut the prince in an old castle in the forest.
In the meanwhile, lovely sweet natured Princess Sheherazade was a maiden
whose home was in China. When she became sixteen years old, her father
insisted she marry one of the princes that flocked to court her. But
Sheherazade was waiting to meet a true love. And since nothing the king, her
father, did served to change her mind, he locked the princess up in one of the
"I'd rather be a prisoner," said the princess, "than have a husband I didn't
Meantime, Omar spent lonely sad days in the castle where he was held
prisoner. However, two invisible genies, Abhu and Dhabi were amusing
themselves, unknown to the prince, by secretly watching his movements. One day
Abhu said to his friend:
"Omar is the most handsome person in the whole world."
"Not so!" exclaimed Dhabi. "The most beautiful person in the world is
Sheherazade, the King of China's daughter." The genies started to argue, then
decided to ask Lilibeth, the daughter of the genie king to judge the matter.
Lilibeth's advice was this:
"Go to China, cast a sleeping spell over the princess and bring her to
Omar's castle. When you see them together, then you'll soon see which is the
most beautiful." That very night Abhu and Dhabi flew all the way to China. The
two genies sent the princess to sleep and carried her to Omar's castle.
"They're so lovely, they seem made for each other," remarked the genies,
gazing at the two young people together. "If only they could get to know each
other . . ." And in the hope that they might, the genies hid behind a curtain
and waited . . .
Not long afterwards, Sheherazade opened her eyes and, when she saw Omar at
her side, her heart began to thump. This was the man she would like to marry.
So she took off one of her rings and slipped it on to his finger as a token of
love. Then she went back to sleep. On wakening a little later, Omar set eyes
on Sheherazade and was overwhelmed by her beauty.
"If this girl is as kind as she's beautiful, she would make a wonderful
wife," said Omar to himself as he gazed at her in amazement. Then he took off
a ruby ring and slipped it onto the princess's finger. Drowsy again, he fell
asleep. Abhu and Dhabi crept out from behind the curtain, wide-eyed.
"They've fallen in love," said Dhabi. "What are we to do now?"
"Take Sheherazade home again. But if they have really fallen in love,
they'll move heaven and earth to meet again."
And so, when Omar awoke, Sheherazade had vanished. Confused and upset, the
prince asked his guards and servants if they had seen her. When the king heard
the story, he told Omar:
"My lad, you are losing your head over a girl you dreamed about!"
"No, she wasn't a dream," the prince insisted. "This is the ring she left
me!" Omar was lovesick. The king called doctors and wise men, but there was
nothing they could do, for Omar was losing his will to live.
And far away, Sheherazade was pining in sorrow. The king was certain his
daughter must have dreamt it all. How otherwise could she have met the
mysterious young man? The only person who believed the princess was Marzuan, a
childhood friend, and he offered to search for the missing youth. Sheherazade
handed him Omar's ruby ring. Marzuan set out that same day but, though he
travelled far and wide, no-one could give him a clue as to the young man's
In the meantime, Abhu and Dhabi secretly followed in his tracks. One day, a
merchant told Marzuan that, on the island of Kaledan, there was a lovesick
prince. Feeling that this might be the very person he was seeking, Marzuan
took a passage on a ship bound for Kaledan. After days of sailing, a terrible
storm broke, driving the ship onto a reef, where it sank. Clinging to a
floating spar, Marzuan held on till the storm died away, then headed for the
shore. The beach was deserted, but in the distance he could see the turrets of
a castle. Then, as he was getting his strength back, he saw a horseman
"Where am I?" Marzuan asked the stranger.
"On the island of Kaledan," replied the horseman. "Who are you?" Marzuan
jumped to his feet.
"I'm a doctor, and famous in my own land. I hear that a prince here is
seriously ill, and I'd like to try and cure him."
"Yes," replied the horseman, "Prince Omar is indeed seriously ill, but it
seems his illness is fatal." Disturbed by his words, Marzuan said:
"Take me to him straight away." When admitted to Omar's presence, without
saying a word~ Marzuan showed him the ruby ring. Omar uttered a shriek and
leapt to his feet. The onlookers stared in surprise.
"This is the ring I gave to the girl I want to marry!" the prince exclaimed
"That young lady is Sheherazade. She lives in far off China and is dying to
see you again," Marzuan told him instantly. Omar was delighted. In finding the
girl of his dreams, he would be truly happy.
He presented Marzuan with a jewelled sword and a splendid horse, as fast as
the wind, as a token of thanks. Then he told him to take him as quickly as
could be to the beautiful princess. Overcoming all the difficulties that it
had to face during the long journey, the cheerful procession led by Omar and
Marzuan, many days later, reached distant China. When they reached
Sheherazade's city, Omar announced his arrival by sending a messenger with a
letter for the princess and a diamond ring.
At long last, the couple had met again. They exchanged their first,
affectionate words and found they really were meant for each other. Sure of
their feelings and anxious to start a new life together, Omar and Sheherazade
quickly asked the king's permission to get married as soon as possible.
The invisible genies, Abhu and Dhabi too, were at the wedding, a few days
"Sheherazade really is lovely!" Dhabi exclaimed.
"Yes, but Omar . . ." said Abhu.
"Are you looking for an argument again?" demanded Dhabi. Just then,
Lilibeth, the genie king's daughter appeared.
"We still haven't decided which is the better-looking," said Abhu and Dhabi.
"Well, I'd say they are the best-looking couple in the world," said
Lilibeth. "And I'm certain their children will be even more handsome."
And so the argument finally ended to everybody's satisfaction, and the two
genies hugged each other contentedly.