Illustrates Jungian symbolism and its relevance to Jungian therapy.
There was once a rich man who had a very beautiful wife and a beautiful daughter known as Nourie Hadig (tiny piece of pomegranate). Every month when the moon appeared in the sky, the wife asked: ‘New moon, am I the most beautiful or are you?’ And every month the moon replied, ‘You are the most beautiful.’
But when Nourie Hadig came to be fourteen years of age, she was so much more beautiful than her mother that the moon was forced to change her answer. One day when the mother asked the moon her constant question, the moon answered: ‘I am not the most beautiful, nor are you. The father’s and mother’s only child, Nourie Hadig, is the most beautiful of all.’ Nourie Hadig was ideally named because her skin was perfectly white and she had rosy cheeks. And if you have ever seen a pomegranate, you know that it has red pulpy seeds with a red skin which has a pure white lining.
The mother was jealous--so jealous in fact, that she fell sick and went to bed. When Nourie Hadig returned from school that day, her mother refused to see her or speak to her. ‘My mother is very sick today,’ Nourie Hadig said to herself. When her father returned home, she told him that her mother was sick and refused to speak to her. The father went to see his wife and asked kindly, ‘What is the matter wife? What ails you?’
‘Something has happened which is so important that I must tell you immediately. Who is more necessary to you, your child or myself? You cannot have both of us.’
‘How can you speak in this way?’ he asked her. ‘You are not a stepmother. How can you say such things about your own flesh and blood? How can I get rid of my own child?’
‘I don’t care what you do,’ the woman said. ‘You must get rid of her so that I will never see her again. Kill her and bring me her bloody shirt.’
‘She is your child as much as she is mine. But if you say I must kill her, then she will be killed,’ the father sadly answered. Then he went to his daughter and said, ‘Come, Nourie Hadig, we are going for a visit. Take some of your clothes and come with me.’
The two of them went far away until finally it began to get dark. ‘You wait here while I go down to the brook to get some water for us to drink with our lunch,’ the father told his daughter.
Nourie Hadig waited and waited for her father to return, but he did not return. Not knowing what to do, she cried and walked through the woods trying to find a shelter. At last she saw a light in the distance, and approaching it, she came upon a large house. ‘Perhaps these people will take me in tonight,’ she said to herself. But as she put her hand on the door, it opened by itself, and as she passed inside, the door closed behind her immediately. She tried opening it again, but it would not open.
She walked through the house and saw many treasures. One room was full of gold; another was full of silver; one was full of fur; one was full of chicken feathers; one was full of pearls; and one was full of rugs. She opened the door to another room and found a handsome youth sleeping. She called out to him, but he did not answer.
Suddenly she heard a voice tell her that she must look after this boy and prepare his food. She must place the food by his bedside and then leave; when she returned, the food would be gone. She was to do this for seven years, for the youth was under a spell for that length of time. So, every day she cooked and took care of the boy. At the first new moon after Nourie Hadig had left home, her mother asked, ‘New Moon, am I the most beautiful or are you?’
‘I am not the most beautiful and neither are you,’ the new moon replied. ‘The father’s and mother’s only child, Nourie Hadig, is the most beautiful of all.’
‘Oh, that means that my husband has not killed her after all,’ the wicked woman said to herself. She was so angry that she went to bed again and pretended to be sick. ‘What did you do to our beautiful child?’ she asked her husband. ‘Whatever did you do to her?’
‘You told me to get rid of her. So I got rid of her. You asked me to bring you her bloody shirt, and I did,’ her husband answered.
‘When I told you that, I was ill. I didn’t know what I was saying,’ his wife said. ‘Now I am sorry about it and plan to turn you over to the authorities as the murderer of your own child.’
‘Wife, what are you saying? You were the one who told me what to do, and now you want to hand me over to the authorities?’
‘You must tell me what you did with our child!’ the wife cried. Although the husband did not want to tell his wife that he had not killed their daughter, he was compelled to do so to save himself. ‘I did not kill her, wife. I killed a bird instead and dipped Nourie Hadig’s shirt in its blood.’
‘You must bring her back, or you know what will happen to you,’ the wife threatened.
‘I left her in the forest, but I don’t know what happened to her after that.’
‘Very well, then, I will find her,’ the wife said. She traveled to distant places but could not find Nourie Hadig. Every new moon she asked her question and was assured that Nourie Hadig was the most beautiful of all. So on she went, searching for her daughter.
One day when Nourie Hadig had been at the bewitched house for four years, she looked out the window and saw a group of gypsies camping nearby. ‘I am lonely up here. Can you send up a pretty girl of about my own age?’ she called to them. When they agreed to do so, she ran to the golden room and took a handful of gold pieces. These she threw down to the gypsies who, in turn, threw up the end of a rope to her. Then a girl started climbing at the other end of the rope and quickly reached her new mistress.
Nourie Hadig and the gypsy soon became good friends and decided to share the burden of taking care of the sleeping boy. One day, one would serve him; and the next day, the other would serve him. They continued in this way for three years. One warm summer day the gypsy was fanning the youth when he suddenly awoke. As he thought that the gypsy had served him for the entire seven years, he said to her: ‘I am a prince, and you are to be my princess for having cared for me such a long time.’ The gypsy said, ‘If you say it, so shall it be.’
Nourie Hadig, who had heard what was said by the two, felt very bitter. She had been in the house alone for four years before the gypsy came and had served three years with her friend, and yet the other girl was to marry the handsome prince. Neither girl told the prince the truth about the arrangement.
Everything was being prepared for the wedding, and the prince was making arrangements to go to town and buy the bridal dress. Before he left, however, he told Nourie Hadig: ‘You must have served me a little while at least. Tell me what you would like me to bring back for you.’
‘Being me a Stone of Patience,’ Nourie Hadig answered.
‘What else do you want?’ he asked, surprised at the modest request.
The prince went into town and purchased the bridal gown, then went to the stone cutter and asked for a Stone of Patience.
‘Who is this for?’ the stonecutter asked.
‘For my servant,’ the prince replied.
‘This is a Stone of Patience,’ the stonecutter said. ‘If one has great troubles and tells it to the Stone of Patience, certain changes will occur. If one’s troubles are great, so great that the Stone of Patience cannot bear the sorrow, it will swell and burst. If, on the other hand, one makes much of only slight grievances, the Stone of Patience will not swell, but the speaker will. And if there is no one there to save this person, he will burst. So listen outside your servant’s door. Not everyone knows of the Stone of Patience, and your servant, who is a very unusual person, must have a valuable story to tell. Be ready to run in and save her from bursting if she is in danger of doing so.’
When the prince reached home, he gave his betrothed the dress and gave Nourie Hadig the Stone of Patience. That night the prince listened outside Nourie Hadig’s door. The beautiful girl placed the Stone of Patience before her and started telling her story:
‘Stone of Patience,’ she said, ‘I was the only child of a well-to-do family. My mother was very beautiful, but it was my misfortune to be even more beautiful than she. At every new moon my mother asked who was the most beautiful one in the world. And the new moon always answered that my mother was the most beautiful. One day my mother asked again, and the moon told her that Nourie Hadig was the most beautiful one in the whole world. My mother became very jealous and told my mother to take me somewhere, to kill me and bring her my bloody shirt. My father could not do this, so he permitted me to go free,’ Nourie Hadig said. ‘Tell me, Stone of Patience, am I more patient or are you?’
The Stone of Patience began to swell.
The girl continued, ‘When my father left me, I walked until I saw this house in the distance. I walked toward it, and when I touched the door, it opened magically by itself. Once I was inside, the door closed behind me and never opened again until seven years later. Inside I found a handsome youth. A voice told me to prepare his food and take care of him. I did this for four years, day after day, night after night, living alone in a strange place, with no one to hear my voice. Stone of Patience tell me, am I more patient or are you?’
The Stone of Patience swelled a little more.
‘One day a group of gypsies camped right beneath my window. As I had been lonely all these years, I bought a gypsy girl and pulled her up on a rope to the place where I was confined. Now, she and I took turns in serving the young boy who was under a magic spell. One day she cooked for him and the next day I cooked for him. One day, three years later, while the gypsy was fanning him, the youth awoke and saw her. He thought that she had served him through all those year and took her as his betrothed. And the gypsy, whom I had bought and considered my friend, did not say one word to him about me. Stone of Patience, tell me, am I more patient or are you?’
The Stone of Patience swelled and swelled and swelled. The prince, meanwhile, had heard this most unusual story and rushed in to keep the girl from bursting. But just as he stepped into the room, it was the Stone of Patience which burst.
‘Nourie Hadig,’ the prince said, ‘it is not my fault that I chose the gypsy for my wife instead of you. I didn’t know the whole story. You are to be my wife, and the gypsy will be our servant.’
‘No, since you are betrothed to her and all the preparations for the wedding are made, you must marry the gypsy,’ Nourie Hadig said.
‘That will not do. You must be my wife and her mistress.’ So Nourie Hadig and the prince were married.
Nourie Hadig’s mother, in the meanwhile, had never stopped searching for her daughter. One day she again asked the new moon, ‘New moon, am I the most beautiful or are you?’
‘I am not the most beautiful, nor are you. The princess of Adana is the most beautiful of all,’ the new moon said. The mother knew immediately that Nourie Hadig was now married and lived in Adana. So she had a very beautiful ring made, so beautiful and brilliant that no one could resist it. But she put a potion in the ring that would make the wearer sleep. When she had finished her work, she called an old witch who traveled on a broomstick. ‘Witch, if you will take this ring and give it to the princess of Adana as a gift from her devoted mother, I will grant you your heart’s desire.’
So the mother gave the ring to the witch, who set out for Adana immediately. The prince was not at home when the witch arrived, and she was able to talk to Nourie Hadig and the gypsy alone. Said the witch, ‘Princess, this beautiful ring is a gift from your devoted mother. She was ill at the time you left home and said some angry words, but your father should not have paid attention to her since she was suffering from such pain.’ So she left the ring with Nourie Hadig and departed.
‘My mother does not want me to be happy. Why should she send me such a beautiful ring?’ Nourie Hadig asked the gypsy.
‘What harm can a ring do?’ the gypsy asked.
So Nourie Hadig slipped the ring on her finger. No sooner was it on her finger than she became unconscious. The gypsy put her in bed but could do nothing further.
Soon the prince came home and found his wife in a deep sleep. No matter how much they shook her, she would not awaken; yet she had a pleasant smile on her face, and anyone who looked at her could not believe that she was in a trance. She was breathing, yet she did not open her eyes. No one was successful in awakening her.
‘Nourie Hadig, you took care of me all those long years,’ the prince said. ‘Now I will look after you. I will not let them bury you. You are always to lie here, and the gypsy will guard you by night while I guard you by day,’ he said. So the prince stayed with her by day, and the gypsy guarded her by night. Nourie Hadig did not open her eyes once in three years. Healer after healer came and went, but none could help the beautiful girl.
One day the prince brought another healer to see Nourie Hadig, and although he could not help her in the least, he did not want to say so. When he was alone with the enchanted girl, he noticed her beautiful ring. ‘She is wearing so many rings and necklaces that no one will notice if I take this ring to my wife,’ he said to himself. As he slipped the ring off her finger, she opened her eyes and sat up. The healer immediately returned the ring to her finger. ‘Aha! I have discovered the secret!’
The next day he exacted many promises of wealth from the prince for his wife’s cure. ‘I will give you anything you want if you can cure my wife,’ the prince said.
The healer, the prince and the gypsy went to the side of Nourie Hadig. ‘What are all those necklaces and ornaments? Is it fitting that a sick woman should wear such finery? Quick,’ he said to the gypsy, ‘remove them!’ The gypsy removed all the jewelry except the ring, ‘Take that ring off, too,’ the healer ordered.
‘But that ring was sent to her by her mother, and it is a dear remembrance,’ the gypsy said.
‘What do you say? When did her mother send her a ring?’ asked the prince. Before the gypsy could answer him, the healer took the ring off Nourie Hadig’s finger. The princess immediately sat up and began to talk. They were all very happy: the healer, the prince, the princess and the gypsy, who was now a real friend of Nourie Hadig.
Meanwhile, during all those years, whenever the mother had asked the moon her eternal question, it had replied, ‘You are the most beautiful!’ But when Nourie Hadig was well again, the moon said, ‘I am not the most beautiful, neither are you. The father’s and mother’s only daughter, Nourie Hadig, the princess of Adana, is the most beautiful of all.’ The mother was so surprised and so angry that her daughter was alive that she died of rage there and then.
From the sky fell three apples: one to me, one to the storyteller and one to the person who has entertained you.