The Maiden Wiser Than The Tsar from World Tales

Once upon a time – in 1979 to be exact – Idries Shah published a remarkable volume of 65 stories, entitled World Tales. He had collected them from around the world – some from ancient sources, others from contemporary ones. Yet they all shared one common factor: in each case, the tale could be found in similar forms in disparate cultures that appeared to have no connection with one another. One story, for example, was popular in Scotland and also pre-Columbian America simultaneously. ‘One feels a truly living element in them which is startlingly evident when one isolates the “basic” stories; the ones which tend to have travelled farthest,’ wrote Shah. Today’s story is drawn from this timeless collection. Read it, pass it on – and become a part of its journey. Who knows where it will travel next?