Apple Garden

There was a king who had three sons named as Malek Mohammad, Malek Ebrahim, and Malek Bahman. Malek Mohammad was the youngest son.
Apple Garden
Apple Garden

Author: Mohammad Gasemzadeh
Translator: Mohammad Ali Asefipoor
Extracted from Rasekhoon

There was a king who had three sons named as Malek Mohammad, Malek Ebrahim, and Malek Bahman. Malek Mohammad was the youngest son.
There was an apple tree in the palace of the king that had three apples that the king wanted to give them to their sons as their wives, because he had heard that those apples when being ripe would become three beautiful girls.
When the apples were ripening, the king ordered that each night one of the sons watch at the tree to take care of the apples not being cut by any one.
At the night which was the shift of Malek Ebrahim, the oldest son, he fell asleep. In the morning, when he woke up, he noticed that one of the apples did not exist. The next night was the shift of Malek Bahman, the middle son. In the night, Malek Bahman fell asleep too. In the morning, when he woke up, the second apple did not exist either. The third night was the shift of Malek Mohammad, the youngest son. He was clever. For not falling asleep, he cut his finger and put salt on the sore. Near the morning he saw that a hand appeared in the air. In the moment that the hand wanted to cut the apple, Malek Mohammad drew his sword and hi it onto the wrist of the hand, but the hand cut the apple and disappeared.
Malek Mohammad followed the trace of the blood of the thief dropped on the ground and went until he reached at the opening of a well, but none was there. He sat there. When the sun rose, the king was informed. He said to his two sons: "The people, when they lose a hen, to find it they search seven houses further, and now that your brother has been lost and you don't follow him!?"
The brothers moved and went. They determined that the oldest brother go into the well to see what is in it. They sent Malek Ebrahim into the well using a rope. When he went down up to several meters depth, he shouted: "I was burned, I was burned!" They pulled him upwards. Malek Mohammad said: "I will go inside, but whatever I'll shout due to being burned you should not pull me upwards."
He tied the rope around his waist and went down. Whatever he shouted due to being burned they did not care. He went down and noticed that blood was on the ground. He traced the dropped blood on the ground up to where a very beautiful girl had sat. Also a male demon had put his head on the knee of the girl. The girl too saw Malek Mohammad. The prince said to the girl: "Who are you?"
The girl answered: "I am the same apple. These demons are three brothers. The two of them have slept in the next room with my sisters. But why have you come here? You should know that you will be killed in this well. Please kill this demon while he is asleep still, otherwise you will be killed when he will get up."
Malek Mohammad said: "I am not a coward and don’t kill anyone while he is asleep." Then he touched the top of his sword to the sole of the foot of the demon. The demone moved slightly and said: "O girl! Distance the mosquitoes." Malek Mohammad said: "It is not mosquito, but the angel of your death."
The demon got up. As he saw Malek Mohammad, he got furious and lifted a millstone above his head and threw it toward Malek Mohammad. Malek Mohammad immediately dodged and the millstone fell down like a mountain. The Malek Mohammad drew immediately his sword and hit it on the head of the demon and made it two halves. When he finished his work and had no worry from this side, he asked the girl the way and without any delay killed the two other brother demons too. Then he took the three girls to the bottom of the well. He sent two of the girls upwards. The third girl, who was the youngest, said: "I won't go up before you. First, you should go." Malek Mohammad asked why. She answered: "If I go first, your brothers will not pull you up."
Malek Mohammad did not agree. The girl said: "Thus listen. I they did not pull you up, know that in this land there is so much jewelry. There is a golden hand mill that if you turn it leftward, pearl will come out of it, and if you turn it rightward, ruby will come out of it. There is also a golden bin that if you open its lid, a rooster will come out that when it began to sing cock-a-doodle-doo, emerald will come out of its beak. If they wanted to marry me I will fuss that I will marry only after they will bring for me the hand mill and the bin. Nobody can make like them. If they will bring the hand mill and the bin, it will be clear that you will have come out of the well. Now if your brothers pull you out of the well It will be good. But if they dropped you in the middle way of pulling you upwards, you will go down seven storis under the ground. There two cows will come on Saturday, one being white and the other being black. The will fight with each other. If you jump on the back of the white cow, you will come onto the ground. But if you ride on the black cow, you will go down seven more stories."
When the girl made her recommendation, Malek Mohammad sent her upwards. When he tied the rope around his waist to being pulled upwards, his brothers pulled him upwards up to the middle of the way. Then they consulted with each other and said that if Malek Mohammad said to their father that the two older brothers were afraid of going into the well, it would be shameful for them. So they decided to drop Malek Mohammad into the well and pull up him no longer. They did so. Malek Mohammad went seven stories under the ground and became unconscious. After a while he came to the intelligence. He concentrated and remembered the speech of the girl and stayed waiting for the day the cows would be to come.
On the other hand, the brothers of Malek Mohammad took the girls to their father and said: "We did not see Malek Mohammad. We killed the demons and saved these girls."
A few days passed and Malek Mohammad was waiting while he was thirsty and hungry. At last the cows came and began to fight with each other. Malek Mohammad mentioned God and considered the white cow and jumped. But just at that moment the black cow turned toward Malek Mohammad and he wrongly landed on the back of the black cow and so he went down seven stories further under the ground and fell unconscious.
When he came to the intelligence he opened his eyes and saw a very wide desert in front of him. He got up and set off. He saw a cowboy that was plowing his land. Malek Mohammad went ahead and said hello to him and wanted him some food. The cowboy said: "Come on and plow in order that I can go and bring bread for you. But you should be quite silent, otherwise by your voice two lions will come and will eat not only the cows but also you."
The cowboy went and when he was quite far, Malek Mohammad raised his voice to make the cows away. The lions heard his voice and they appeared. Malek Mohammad abandoned the cows and caught the lions and tied them to the plow. When the cowboy returned back and saw that scene, he did not dare to close. Malek Mohammad hold the heads of the lions and hit them together strongly in such a manner that the lions died. Then he said: "Don't be afraid and come." The cowboy closed. He had brought some bread. Malek Mohammad ate the bread and wanted water. The man said: "We have no water." Malek Mohammad said: "Why?"
The cowboy answered: "There is a fountain here in front of which a big dragon has slept. In every Saturday people take a girl and some food to the fountain. Then the dragon moves in order to eat them and then due to its movement a narrow stream of water will flow and the people will take water. Today is Friday and the end of week. The water has finished. Tomorrow is the turn of the daughter of the king who will be taken for the dragon."
Malek Mohammad said: "If I kill the dragon, what will they give me?"
The cowman said: "Do you like to die?"
Malek Mohammad said: "Take me to the king."
The man accepted and took Malek Mohammad with himself to the court. Since the prince was there, he acted to all necessary court customs. The king became glad so much and said: "O young man! What do you want?"
Malek Mohammad said: "I am ready to kill the dragon." The king said: "Don't you worry about your youth?"
Malek Mohammad insisted so much until eventually the king accepted. They gave a room to Malek Mohammad. He fell asleep there at that night with peace of mind.
At the next day when it was Saturday, he accompanied the girl of the king and with a tray of food moved up to the fountain. Malek Mohammad said to the girl: "When I kill the demon, I'll become unconscious due to the smell of blood stink of it. You should return back promptly to the city and want to proclaim to inform the people to be care of the city not being flooded."
They went up to the fountain. Malek Mohammad pushed the girl back and began to eat food. Whatever the dragon waited it noticed no news of food. It moved itself and came out of the fountain a little in order to swallow the prey. At that moment Malek Mohammad did not hesitate and in the name of God took out his sword and hit it strongly on its waist such that the snake became two halves. When the blood flew, he became unconscious himself. The girl ran to the city and said the story to his father in order that the bellman to proclaim publicly that the people should be cautious.
The king sent some persons to bring Malek Mohammad. When Malek Mohammad became conscious, the king gave him a seat near himself and said: "O young man! What do you want in return of this service you gave to us?"
Malek Mohammad told him all his story and requested him help. The king said: "O young man! I cannot do anything for you, but there is a phoenix here which its net is above that tree. Whenever it lays eggs and its chickens are hatched, an unknown animal eats its chickens. If you are able to save its chickens, the phoenix will be probable to be able to help you."
Malek Mohammad took the address of the phoenix and set off. By chance, when he got under that tree, he saw a big snake was climbing the tree while the chickens of the phoenix who were frightened were squeaking. Malek Mohammad took out his sword and in the name of God hit it to the waist of the snake and made it into two halves. He threw one half toward the chickens and used the other half as cushion under his head and slept.
When he was sleep the phoenix came and as he saw Malek Mohammad said to itself: "This is the same person who eats every year my children." It flew quickly upward the mountain and took a big stone and came above Malek Mohammad and it was close to drop the stone on the head of Malek Mohammad that its chickens began to squeak. The phoenix asked: "What's the matter?"
They answered: "This snake wanted to swallow us, but this human being saved us."
The phoenix threw away the stone and waited until Malek Mohammad woke up. Then it faced Malek Mohammad and said: "O young man! Who are you?" Malek Mohammad told him all his story. The phoenix said: "You should go and kill seven cows and skin them. You should make the skins full of water. You should bring the cow carcasses in order I can land you."
Malek Mohammad went to the king and caught seven cows from him. He killed the cows and skinned them and made the skins full of water and brought them together with the carcasses of the cows to the phoenix. The phoenix ordered to fasten the meats and waters on its wings. It also helped Malek Mohammad to ride on its back and said: "Whenever I say that I am thirsty you should drop a cow carcass into my mouth, and whenever I say that I am hungry you should pour the water of a waterskin into my mouth."
It said this and moved. They went and went and during their way the phoenix wanted water and meat, and Malek Mohammad gave them to it. When only the last waterskin was remaining, the phoenix said it was thirsty instead of saying that it was hungry. Since there was remained meat no longer, Malek Mohammad took out his knife and cut a part of his thigh and dropped it into the mouth of the phoenix.
The phoenix felt that the meat was sweet and understood that it was from a human being. So it did not eat it and kept it in its mouth until they landed. The phoenix put Malek Mohammad on the ground and said to him: "Stand up and go."
Malek Mohammad felt pain in his leg but he did not want the phoenix to get to know that. So he said: "Go you, I will come later."
The phoenix replied: "You should go first otherwise I won't go."
Malek Mohammad stood up, but he could not walk. The phoenix brought out the meat from under its tongue and glued it to the thigh of Malek Mohammad. Immediately he was well. Then the phoenix gave a few feathers of its body to Malek Mohammad and said to him: "Whenever you need my help you can fire one of these feathers. Then I will appear at once."
It said this and went. Malek Mohammad set off and went and went until he reached his city. There he heard that the wedding of his brothers was close and since Malek Mohammad had not come it was to give the youngest girl to the king.
Malek Mohammad went to a goldsmith and became his pupil. He slept at nights in the shop of the goldsmith.
One day the slaves of the king came and said to the goldsmith to make such a chest for them that when its lid would become open a golden rooster would come out of it and would begin to sing, while during its song, jewelry was being dropped from its beak.
The goldsmith said: "I am not able to do such a work." Malek Mohammad said: "O master! I can make that." The goldsmith said: "O boy! Great goldsmiths have not been able to make such a chest. How do you want to make it?" Malek Mohammad said: "Accept that order. Don't worry."
The goldsmith accepted the order. They opened the treasury of the king and brought much gold and jewelry and gave them to the goldsmith. Malek Mohammad faced the goldsmith and said: "O master! These gold and jewelry be for you. I will make the golden rooster without these gold and jewelry."
At night, Malek Mohammad went outside of the city and fired a feather of the phoenix. The feather was not burnt completely that the sky became black. The phoenix landed and said: "O Malek Mohammad! What is your need?"
Malek Mohammad said: "Go and bring the hand mill and the chest from that underground."
The phoenix flight and went and soon returned back and put both of them in front of Malek Mohammad.
Malek Mohammad concealed the hand mill and took up the chest and came to the shop and slept. In the early morning the goldsmith master, who had not been able to sleep at the last night due to his worry, came. Malek Mohammad showed him the chest. He also showed the jewelry that was dropping from the beak of the rooster to the master.
The sun had not risen completely that the slaves of the king came to take the chest. The master took up the chest and went with the slaves to the court and handed it over.
As the girl saw the chest, she understood that Malek Mohammad had returned back. So she sent her bondwoman to the shop of the goldsmith and informed Malek Mohammad all the story and what his brothers had said to his father. Malek Mohammad said to the bondwoman: "Say to her that when they are coming out of the bathroom, I'll be worn in black and riding on a black horse and I'll grab take her."
When the king came again at the girl in order to take her permission for wedding, the girl said: "Whenever you bring for me a hand mill which pearl comes out of it if turning it leftwards and ruby comes out of it if turning it rightwards, then I will permit for wedding."
The king again sent someone to tell the goldsmith that she wanted such a hand mill. Malek Mohammad took out nightly the hand mill from where he had concealed it. In the morning his master took it to the court and handed it over. Now the gir had no excuse and agreed to wed.
Malek Mohammad said to the goldsmith master: "in return of all this jewelry I gave you I request you to find a black horse and a black suit of clothing for me."
The goldsmith master got ready a black horse and a black suit of clothing for Malek Mohammad. He took the clothing and remained waiting.
On the day that they took the bride to the bathroom, he wore the clothing and rode the hore and hid near the bathroom waiting the exit of the girl from the bathroom. When the bride appeared, Malek Mohammad who was ready in black clothing on a black horse galloped into the crowd and reached himself to the girl and grabbed her and seated her on the back of the horse behind him and swiftly got away.
When they were away, they stopped, and Malek Mohammad fired a feather of the phoenix. The phoenix appeared and Malek Mohammad ordered it get ready a court and an army for him. The phoenix got ready them for him at once.
After a few days, Malek Mohammad sent a message to his father announcing that either he should get ready to fight against him or give up his country to him.
The king got ready for war. He made ready soldiers and weapons. The war began. Malek Mohammad rode the black horse and wore the black clothing and attacked everywhere, but he never killed anyone until when he reached his brothers. He captured both of them.
At night, when they desist from fighting, the king noticed that both of his sons had been captured and he was not able to continue fighting against Malek Mohammad. So he sent peace message to Malek mohammad.
Malek Mohammad entered the city with triumph and directly went to the palace of his father. When he reached just in front of the throne of his father he picked up his mask. The king recognized his son and embraced him and caressed him and asked him about his story. Malek Mohammad told him his story.
The king said: "Why did you not come from the first, and why did you fight?" Malek Mohammad answered: "If I didn't do so, my brothers would tell that I was lying, but now that they are captured, they have to tell the truth."
In return to these braveries of Malek Mohammad, the king stopped from his kingdom and seat Malek Mohammad on the throne instead of himself. They hold seven days and nights celebration. At the seven night Malek Mohammad and the girl married together.


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Sunday, May 6, 2018
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author: علی اکبر مظاهری