Stories & Tales
The Secret of the Black Dress

Once upon a time, there was a governor who had an only son. The son"s name was Ibrahim. When the governor reached a ripe old age, he called his son and said: "I am an old man, my son, and I can"t reign over the country anymore. You have to prepare yourself to take my place one day. But first, you should marry an intelligent girl who can share with you all the responsibilities of being a ruler."

And so the prince Ibrahim rode his horse and traveled across the country, looking for the right girl to marry. On his way, he encountered many suitable girls, but he didn"t fall in love with any of them.

One day, he saw a beautiful peasant girl picking apples from a tree in an orchard garden. He immediately fell in love with her pretty and sad face, so he approached and asked her: "Who are you?"


The girl answered: "I am a peasant. This is my house and I take care of our garden.


Then she added: "And who are you?"


"I am a traveler looking for a girl to marry, and you look like the perfect girl. Will you marry me?" said the prince. The girl was shy and kept silent for a while, and then she said: "What do you do for a living? Do you have a profession? Can you build something with your hands?"


The prince replied: "I"ve never thought about this before."


The girl was surprised and said: "I cannot marry a man who doesn"t work and has no talents."


The prince thought for a while, and then he rode his horse back to the castle and told his father about this girl.

"I want to learn a useful profession, Father, so that this beautiful and intelligent peasant girl will accept to marry me," the prince said.


His father the governor thought it a good idea that his son learn a trade, and so he brought the greatest weaver in the country to teach his son to weave beautiful cloth, and the prince soon was able to make a dress from the cloth in a short period of time.


The prince took the dress to the peasant girl. She was surprised to see him return, and even more surprised that he remembered how important it was to her that the man she would marry be capable of work. She wore the dress, and when the prince asked her again, she accepted to marry him.

A great wedding ceremony was held in the castle and all the people of the land were invited. After the wedding the girl asked the prince to go out and talk to the people of his country, and learn from them what their lives were like. This way he would be able to help them in their time of need.

The prince agreed. He wore the clothes of a weaver and walked among the people, and talked to them and learned from them. He was happy that he got to know them.

As he was journeying back to the castle one night, a gang of robbers appeared out of the darkness. They demanded money. He asked them to allow him time to weave a dress. He said they could take it to the princess, who would give them the money they wanted in exchange for the dress.

In less than five days, the prince made a long black dress, which he gave to the gang leader who sent it with his deputy to the princess in the castle. When the princess saw the black dress, she immediately knew that it was from her husband, and that the black color meant that he was in danger. She took the dress and gave the robber some money. As soon as he left, she called her soldiers and ordered them to follow the man, who was surely going to lead them to her prince.

The robber went straight to his gang, and the soldiers followed, and soon they had caught all the robbers, and the prince helped them march the gang all the way to the town jail. The prince went back to the castle where his wife welcomed him. He loved her more than before, and they lived happily ever after.