Once upon a time there was a wealthy sultan who received a gift from his friend the emir that looked a lot like an onion. “It’s a tulip bulb,” said the emir. “Put it in the ground and it will grow into a magnificent flower. I have brought a couple of thousand with me,” he explained. The sultan was not impressed by the ‘tulip-thingimibobs’, but his trusty gardener decided to plant one anyway.
After the emir had left, the sultan became seriously ill. Even the doctor was unable to cure him. Then one day, a vagabond came up to the gardener with his flute and the gardener gave him something to eat and drink whilst he played him a tune. The gardener was mesmerised by his playing and all of a sudden, a red flower started to appear from where the tulip bulb had been planted; and it grew quickly too.
“I am a fakir,” said the vagabond. “It is his riches that make the sultan so ill,” he said, “and he will only recover once he has appreciated the beauty of a single tulip flower.” So the gardener put the tulip by the sultan’s bed and he started to get better straight away. The doctor prescribed him a garden full of those ‘tulip-thingimibobs’ and the next day the sultan was well enough to go out onto the balcony. Down below, the fakir was still playing his magic flute. Hundreds of red flowers started to rise out of the soil and tears of joy ran down the sultan’s cheeks. It was an amazing sight.
Would the sultan ever fully recover?
The fakir has been flying around the Fairytale Forest on his flying carpet since 1958.
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