This is an ancient Pakistani story
called "The Ruby Prince,"
it tells the story of a love born from
a magical red gemstone.
“One day a poor Brahmin
priest whilst walking down a dusty road,
stumbled on a fine-looking red stone.
He presented the stone to a King, who
knowing the gems value, paid the Brahmin
generously for the shining red gem.
The King locked the
Ruby away in a chest where he forgot about
it until years had passed. One day, remembering
the gemstone he opened the chest, and
to his great surprise out stepped a handsome
young man: however, to the Kings dismay
the Ruby had vanished
The King demanded
to know what had become of his jewel,
but the young man simply starred at him
and said, "I am the Ruby Prince."
The king asked him again, now thinking
the man stupid, but he refused to give
any other answer. Then the irate king,
thinking the young man both insolent as
well as stupid, threw him out of his palace.
However, a palace guard who had witnessed
the scene took pity on the young man,
and gave him some food, a horse and some
The Ruby Prince rode
off, and wasn’t heard of again until one
day the king’s counsel recounted a brave
tale of a young man going by the name
of the ‘Ruby Prince’. Apparently the people
of a nearby town had lived for many years
in fear of a murderous flesh-eating monster,
which had eaten many of the town’s inhabitants.
Then one day a young man going by the
name of ‘The Ruby Prince’ came to the
town’s rescue, and in an act of unselfish
bravery had slain the monster.
The grateful King
offered his daughter's hand in marriage
to the ‘Ruby Prince’, and they lived very
happily as man and wife. But one day the
Princess became overwhelmed with curiosity
about her husband's origins, and asked
him where he had come from, to which he
replied, “Please don’t ask me. I cannot
tell”. Her curiosity became insatiable,
and every day she asked him the same question,
and every day he gave the same reply.
Then, one day as they stood by a river
she asked the question again, and suddenly
the ‘Ruby Prince’ was gone into the water.
A second later a
large green water snake appeared, the
scales on its back covered with gems with
a Ruby in the center of its forehead.
It stopped near the princess and gave
her a mournful look and then it, too,
was gone. The young Princess became instantly
repentant at her questioning, becoming
stricken with grief and desperation as
months passed without any sign of her
After a year had
passed a humble woman came forward telling
the Princess to go to the forest, where
every night a tiny king and his tiny entourage
emerged from a hole in the ground. The
princess arrived at the spot where the
woman had told her to go and waited, hours
passed and the princess began to fear
that she had become subject to a practical
joke. Then suddenly the princess heard
sweet music coming from a minute burrow
in the earth, looking down she spotted
a retinue of musicians and dancers making
merry for their king. But the princesses’
attention was turned to a tiny figure
next to the king, who wore a Ruby in the
center of his forehead, and sat and stared
morosely into the distance.
Spying on this magical
scene from behind a tree, the Princess
became certain that the tiny dejected
man was her ‘Ruby Prince’. As her curiosity
got the better of her she leaned forward,
but in doing so was noticed by one of
the group of dancers who called the alarm.
The king, in no way intimidated by the
giant princess, demanded to know what
she was doing spying on the royal court.
She explained her great sadness, and how
her heart leapt with joy when she saw
the unhappy prince.
On hearing her story
the king immediately recognized the truth,
as all her details matched those of his
son’s. However, not wanting to see his
son suffer again, he told the princess
that she must prove the sincerity of her
love by dancing for him. The king said
that if his son’s temperament changed
while she danced, he would grant her one
wish and she could have anything in the
world she desired.
The princess thought,
and then whispered the name of her and
her beloved’s favorite piece of music.
As they started to play, she danced concentrating
her every gesture and movement before
his sad and vacant stare. As the dance
proceeded she entered a trance, blocking
everything out of her mind apart from
the memories of her happiness with the
Ruby Prince. She whirled and twirled,
faster and faster until she saw nothing
but his face in her mind, then suddenly
there was nothing.
She awoke sprawled
out on the ground at her audience’s feet
to cheers and clapping. As she apprehensively
focused her eyes she realized that there
standing next to her face was the king
and her ‘Ruby Prince’: and he was smiling.
The king congratulated her on the dance
and said, “Now you can have anything you
wish for in the world…what is it to be?”
Without hesitation she exclaimed, “ I
wish for my Ruby Prince to come back to
me as I remember our happiest days”. Then
suddenly he stood their towering over
her smiling down with his arms outstretched,
“Take my hand.”
And from that day
to this, they live as husband and wife
having many children blessed with the
happiest of loves. Needless to say the
Princess has never asked her husband about
his origins again.”
The ancient story of
the ‘Ruby Prince’ reflects the symbolism
of many European classical ‘Frog/Prince’
fables, of a woman proving her true love
to win back her man. However, in this
case it's not her husband's animal nature
that must not be questioned, but his gemstone nature, which every bit as magical a transformation,
symbolizes both the Ruby and the emotion
of love as truly magical gifts of the
Divine, never to be questioned!