Deal Me In is a reading challenge, in which we read a short story a week. We use playing cards to both randomize and structure our choices. I’ve assigned the diamonds to Andrew Lang’s Rainbow Fairy Books, which include folk tales.
This week’s story: “Diamond Cut Diamond,” which the book identifies as Punjabi.
I loved this story! In it, a man leaves home and makes his fortune, converting the fortune into jewels. He wears the jewels in a little box around his neck and dresses as a beggar. Nearly home, he falls in with a crooked merchant who convinces him he’ll be robbed on the last leg of his journey. He leaves his treasure with the crooked merchant until he can bring a bodyguard with him. Naturally, when he returns, the crooked merchant pretends he never saw him before.
The unlikely hero of this story is a good-hearted rich boy, who finds the despairing man and cooks up a scheme. He pretends to be in the same predicament as the main character, shows the crooked merchant a bigger box of jewels and asks him to keep it. The robbed man comes up and asks the crooked merchant for his box back. The crooked merchant, wanting to impress this richer person with his trustworthiness, returns the stolen jewels.
The main character dances for joy. The rich boy snatches back his treasure and dances for pleasure at having tricked the crooked merchant.
What I love most about this story is that the crooked merchant starts dancing for joy, because he’s just learned another trick!
Although not a fairy tale (and, no, I don’t count a good-hearted rich man as a fairy tale — I’ve known some), I found this tale delightful. A happy ending for everyone involved — so how could I not love it?
A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: Come up with a compelling story with a happy ending for everybody. A compelling one, not a boring one.