We were told many facts and stories whilst on our big red tour bus, but one of them stuck with me more than most.
This is the story of Queen Scheherazade.
There once was an Iranian King called King Shahryar who was happily married to his beautiful wife. One day, he discovers his wife has betrayed him and under the influence of a lot of aggressive emotions he vows to marry a different woman every day and then kill them by having them violently beheaded.
Even though he does regret his vow, it was a vow he made to god and he did not feel like he could break such a promise. So, true to his word, he married a new woman every day and then had them beheaded in the morning.
After a number of days pass, his servant tasked with bringing him the new women confesses he is struggling to find any women for him to marry. The king demands the servant brings him one of his 2 daughters. However much he doesn’t want to do this, he also knows he will get beheaded himself if he does not give in to the kings demand.
His 2 daughters named Scheherazade and Dinazade also do not want to give into the demands of the king, but the eldest daughter Scheherazade promises her father that she will be okay and to let her go. She left to go and see the king with her youngest sister by her side.
Before entering, she gave her younger sister strict instructions that during the night she must beg her to tell a story. Her sister does this and true to her word, Scheherazade starts to tell a story. A story of intensity, emotion and mystery. Just before the sun rose she left the story on a cliff hanger, the king was so desperate to hear how her story ended that he spared her life for another night to hear how it ended.
Scheherazade managed to keep this up for 1000 nights. on the 1001 night she decided to end the story, no cliff hanger this time. It genuinely was the end. The king cried as he realised he had fallen in love with her. Instead of killing her he married her and her life was saved, along with another women still left in the town.
These series of tales make up what is now referred to as the Arabian Nights stories which also include the classic tale of Aladdin.
Now, after writing this, I’m off to watch Aladdin myself!