Dorani of the Punjab #DealMeIn2018

I dealt myself a diamond for this week’s Deal Me In story.

Diamonds is the suit for a story from Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books of Many Colors. The book I chose this week is The Olive Fairy Book, and the story I chose is “Dorani,” which the book says is a Punjabi tale.


Dorani is the daughter of a scent-seller, so it isn’t surprising that her hair smells of roses. It is a bit surprising that her hair is golden, but those Vikings did get around, so….

ANYWAY, she cuts off one of her heavy locks of hair and tosses it in the river, the Prince finds it and assumes it belongs to a woman and swears he must marry that woman or die. Of course, this is arranged.

Dorani, though, tells her father that he needs to tell the Prince that she must return home every night. This is where I start to like the story.

The old man listened to her with amazement, but answered nothing, as he knew she was wiser than he.

So every day, Dorani sits and doesn’t look at or speak to her husband, and every evening, she goes home. Not much of a marriage, but the Prince lets it be. I am all about this guy.

Still, he wants to know what’s what, and who can blame him? The gardener just happens to have a few packets of invisibility powder lying around his hut (I love fairy tales!!), and gives some to the Prince.

Turns out that Dorani’s bestie is a fairy. Every night they hop on a flying stool and go sing and dance for Indra all night. Indra, in case you don’t know, is the king of the Hindu gods, although my book translates this into “the king of fairyland.”

By pretending he dreamed what he saw at Indra’s and repeating it all to Dorani, the Prince coaxes her to speak. After a few days, she speaks first, asking if he really dreamed these things. He confesses to following her because he loves her.

She, clever girl, tricks Indra into banishing her from dancing and singing for him every night and she and the Prince live happily ever after.

Naturally, I love this story. Although it’s told from the Prince’s point of view, Dorani is the main character, the Sherlock Holmes to his Watson, as it were. Even so, the Prince is no dummy and no tyrant. It’s a very loving story, and possibly an allegory for people who don’t really know one another (and how well do we ever know one another?) reaching an understanding by sharing one another’s experiences and learning one another’s secrets. It’s about both pushing and respecting boundaries in order to reach a spiritual coupling. Very nice.


If YOU need a short story to read, I have free ones here on my Free Reads page. I also have four collections for 99 cents each linked from my Short Stories page.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about a marriage that’s unhappy through nobody’s fault.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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