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King Karna is fried every morning to provide a fakir’s breakfast, but finds that there is a more generous ruler than he; Raja Rasalu becomes a jogi just for a glimpse of the fair Queen Sundaran; a rat thinks he drives a good bargain, but is astonished when his bargaining brings him a bride; and a bulbul pines for green chilies from the garden of a Jinn. These folktales and many others from all over North India were collected by Flora Annie Steel in the nineteenth century. Today, they are an invaluable snapshot of a bygone era; they evoke the timeless India of myth and legend, peopled with talking animals, powerful fakirs and heroic kings, where anything can happen and usually does.
Charmingly illustrated by John Lockwood Kipling, father of Rudyard Kipling, and complete with original verses in Hindi and Punjabi, Shehzadi Mircha: Folktales from the Punjab is a delightful book for adults and young readers alike.