The Three Dolls

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The Three Dolls

An Iranian folk tale told by David Heathfield


The Sultan of Persia was a clever man – well read. And there was nothing he loved more than solving problems, puzzles, riddles. One day, he received a parcel; he knew not from whom. He opened that package and found a box. And when he opened the lid of the box, inside were the three most beautifully carved wooden dolls. He picked them up one by one and admired the craftsmanship, and then saw that there was a note in the box as well…
‘Tell these three dolls apart.’
‘Ah, a challenge,’ thought the Sultan. ‘…to tell these three dolls apart!’
He picked up the first doll and examined it. The features of the face were beauti