My master is a good man, but a poor man, a beggar. He bought me for a single silver coin and tried to feed me on a few meagre grains of corn. One night I spoke to him, which surprised him. He had never heard a gazelle speak. I asked him to let me find my own food because what we were getting from the scrap heap was not feeding us.
He trusted that I would come back, and of course I intended to. I found a shady place with sweet grass, fresh water and a soft breeze. For five days I went back to the place, but on the fifth day the grass was bitter and I did not like it. I scratched the earth with my hoof and uncovered a diamond. Oh ho! I thought. Perhaps now I can do something for my master who bought me with all the money he had.
Then it occurred to me that if I gave him the diamond, people would suspect that he had stolen it. So I came up with a better plan.
With the diamond in my mouth, I ran on and on until I came to a large town. I bounded past the people with the diamond flashing. The people called after me, but I did not stop until I reached the palace where the sultan was sitting, enjoying the cool air. He ordered that I be given refreshment, and after I had rested, he asked me for the news I brought.
I dropped the diamond at his feet and said, “I have come with this diamond, which is a pledge from my master the Sultan Darai. He has heard you have a daughter, and sends you this small token, begging that you will give her to him for his wife.”
Gazelle with a Diamond in The Story of a Gazelle, Violet Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.