Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Three Lovers

A Folk Tale from Libya
Translated by: Ali Taha Alnobani
© 2011 by THE BIRD(

There was a Governor who punished guilty people by imprisonment in a well for three months. They were given only water but no food, and then after the expiry of the period if they survive he releases them.
 Once, he imprisoned three lovers. Every one of them decided to tell his two companions the story of his love. One of them had a love story in summer and the second in spring and the third in winter.
 Someone told the Governor the stories of passion. So the Governor asked each of them to send to his sweetheart a letter to ask her to send him a proof of her love.
The first one received a letter from his sweetheart.
The second received the ring of his hers.
The sweetheart of the third man welcomed the messenger of the Governor and put henna* on her hand, then she wrote a letter to the Governor. She begged him to forgive her lover. Then she cut her hand and sent it to him.
The Governor forgave the three lovers.
*Henna is a green powder used to dye the hair, hands or the feet of women. A sort of ancient cosmetics in the Middle East.


  1. Yes...I think I could understand....It's very moving, very touching, and symbolic parable... that green colour... Thank you I could read it... Wiola, Poland

  2. It would never cross my mind to cut my hand and send it, as a proof of my love. Love transcends world, so even if he would have been not released and punished, he would know in his heart that he IS loved and therefore, he could take the pain of the trial...

  3. Thank you for the story. It touched something within me.x