This Tajik fairytale is from Sergei Palastrov’s 1986 collection of retellings Folk Tales from the Soviet Union, and begins with that commonest of themes, the royal father who’s desperate to get his daughter married off. She is equally determined not to marry until she’s good and ready. An old fortune teller tells the padishah’s that his daughter will marry a slave.  The padishah isn’t happy about that and sends the slave off on a fool’s quest into the world, never to come back. It’s a story where a pair of fairytale characters, princess and the young slave, steadily refute tradition and do what they truly want to do.

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