The Head and the Tea-seller

 Part Three

"Head!" he called out. "Listen to this! The camel greeted the king and spoke to him in his own language! Now the king wants to give you his daughter! You must go to the palace tomorrow. Oh, what shall we do?"

"What shall we do?" answered the head. "We will go to the palace, of course, and I will marry the princess."

"But - " said the tea-seller.

"Everything will be all right," said the head. "I promise."

So the next day, the tea-seller took the head to the palace in a bag. The king and queen and all their guests were waiting for them.

"Where is the young man?" asked the king.

The poor tea-seller could not look at the king. His knees were shaking.

"He is here, sir," he said, and he opened the bag.

"Yes, I am here," said the head. "And I have come to marry your daughter."

"Oh, oh! How terrible!" said everyone.

The king was angry and sad.

"My poor daughter, what have I done?" he thought.

But it was too late now.

"I made a promise," he said, "and I will keep my promise. My daughter is yours."

So the head and the princess were married. The feast went on for a long time. At last it was finished. The king and the queen took the princess and the head to the bedroom, and shut the door. The princess was crying loudly.

At once, the head became a handsome young man! He had arms and legs and a body! The princess stopped crying, and looked at him. She fell in love with him at once.

The king and queen did not sleep that night.

"Oh, my poor daughter," the queen said again and again. "Husband, what have you done?"

Early the next morning, the king and queen went to the bedroom door. They were very worried.

"How is our girl?" they said to each other. "Is she all right?"

Suddenly, the door opened and the princess came out. She was laughing. She was happy.

"My husband and I are hungry," she said. "Please give us some breakfast."

The head, who was now a young man, came out after her.

"Yes," he said, "we are hungry." And he smiled at the king and queen.

Everyone was very happy. After a year, the princess gave birth to a son. The king gave his kingdom to his son-in-law. The tea-seller became the richest merchant in the country.

But the new king's old father was not happy. He and his wife had no more children, and they were very poor.

"He was cruel to his first wife because she had no children," everyone said. "And then he threw away his only child. For these things, God has punished him."


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