Which is Better?

Which is Better? :

There was once a man who had three sons and all of them loved the same girl. Each of them asked the girl the same question, "Will you marry me?"

All of them were clever, handsome and strong. The girl liked each of the three young men very much and could not decide which of them was the best.

One day the father of the three brothers said, "Here is some money for you. You will go on a long travel. While you are travelling, you must look for a very, very useful thing. When you find it, you will buy it and bring it home."

The three brothers travelled for a long time and they bought three very useful things.

The first young man bought a magic carpet. On it he could fly to any place in no time. The second brother bought a magic looking-glass. When he looked into it, he could see anyone and everything that he wanted to see. The third bought a magic lemon. The juice of the lemon could make a dying man or a woman well again. The three brothers came together and showed their things to one another.

Then one of them said, "We are far from our home and from our dear girl. Let us look into the looking-glass and see her."

The second brother took out his looking-glass, and they all looked into it. They saw that the girl was very ill. Then the first brother asked the other brothers to sit down on his carpet. All of them were at the girl's house in no time. The third brother cut his lemon and gave the juice to the girl. The girl drank it and she was well again.

The young men were very happy.

"Now which of us will you marry? Which is better?" they asked the girl.

"I thank you all, my dear friends," answered the girl. "One of the brothers saw me in his looking-glass and that helped to save my life. His looking-glass is a very useful thing and he will have it forever. Another brother brought all three of you here on his carpet and that helped to save me, too. It is also a very useful thing and he will have it forever. And one of you gave me the lemon juice and now I am well again. But he has no lemon now.

He gave all he had to save me. I will be his wife."

And the other two brothers said, "Yes, the girl is right."

African Folk Tales Index

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