Once upon a time, there was a pretty little girl called Gul Pari. She lived with her parents in a big white house near the woods. There were many trees, bushes and flowers, in Gul Pari's garden, and she loved to play there with her shiny, red ball.

One day, while Gul Pari played her mother plucked some flowers to arrange in vases. Later, when her mother was going in, she said,

"Gul Pari, be careful. Play in the garden and don't go near the woods. You may go too far and get lost.

"Gul Pari was a good little girl and always listened to her mother. She played happily with her ball, kicking it here and there, until she heard someone calling her name,

"Gul Pari! Gul Pari!" and then louder, "GUL PARI!"

Gul Pari thought her mother was calling her, so she ran to pick up her shiny red ball before going in. As she was about to pick up the ball, it bounced away. The ball was Gul Pari's favourite toy and she did not want to lose it. She ran after the ball, but just as she was about to pick it up, the ball rolled away again. Again and again and again, the ball kept rolling away just as she was about to pick it up. Gul Pari became very tired, and angry.

"Mama must be very angry with me by now," she thought, "I must go in and get the ball later."

When Gul Pari turned to go home, she found that she was deep in the middle of the woods. She ran here and there, but could not see her house. She could not even see the path by which she had come to the woods. It was getting dark, and Gul Pari was frightened. Then she saw a light in the distance and ran towards it thinking it must be coming from her house.

Gul Pari ran and ran and ran, but could not get close to the lights; and she still could not see her house. It was getting darker and darker. Gul Pari was very scared and started to cry. She was tired and thirsty and could not walk any further, so she sat under a tree and cried. Soon she heard someone say,

"What is the matter, little girl? Why are you crying?

"Gul Pari jumped, looking up she saw that a little brown deer was standing near the tree. Gul Pari sobbed and said:

"I am lost. I don't know what to do. I am tired and very, very thirsty. Please, Little Brown Deer, please help me find my way home!"

The little brown deer looked at Gul Pari sadly and said:

"I am sorry I cannot help you as I don't know where you live; but I do know where you can get some water to drink."

"Oh, Thank-you! Little Brown Deer. Do please tell me where I can get a drink of water. Do please tell me!" begged Gul Pari.

"Come with me," said the Little Brown Deer. The little brown deer and Gul Pari went further and further into the woods until they came to a well, deep in the woods.

"See this bucket tied to the end of the rope?" said the Little Brown Deer, "throw the bucket into the well. When it is full of water you can pull it up and drink all the water you want."

"Thank-you, Little Brown Deer," said Gul Pari throwing the bucket into the well. When it was full, Gul Pari started to pull the bucket up. It was very, very heavy. Gul Pari pulled and pulled. At last, when the bucket came up to the top of the well, Gul Pari tried to lift it. It was too heavy and fell back into the well, and Gul Pari fell into the well with it!

Down, down, down she fell. Splash into the water. Gul Pari wanted to scream, but the water filled her mouth and she could not make a sound. She fell deeper and deeper into the water. Then Gul Pari saw a little blue door, right at the bottom of the well. She swam to the door and opened it.

Imagine her surprise when she found herself in a beautiful garden! There were flowers and trees in the garden, and beautiful blue, red and green birds.

"What kind of a garden is this? " she thought, "It is right at the bottom of the well!"

Gul Pari was very puzzled, but she was also very glad to be out of the well. As she stood there looking around her, Gul Pari heard the clip-clop, clippity-clop of a horse. A handsome young man riding a beautiful white horse was coming towards her. Gul Pari waved and called out,

"Please, Sir, will you help me?" she said.

The handsome young man on the beautiful white horse was surprised to see her. _"Who are you? and how did you get here?" he asked.

"I am Gul Pari. I fell down a well in the woods. Will you please help me to go home?" said Gul Pari.

"I am Ahmad. I, too, fell down the well. A wicked magician built the well in the woods to catch people and lock them up in this magic garden. There is no way out of this garden. This is the wicked magician's prison," said the handsome young man sadly.When Gul Pari heard this she started to cry again.

"Oh! Oh! Oh! What am I to do? My mother and my father must be so worried! Please, Ahmad, please, please, please find a way out of this prison!"

"I told you, there is no way out of this prison," said Ahmad.

"Maybe if we find the magician and beg him, he may set us free!" said Gul Pari.

"No, I don't think the magician will set us free, even if we beg him, but I do have a plan to get out," said Ahmad.

Gul Pari clapped her hands with joy. "Tell me, Please tell me," she said.

"Well, one morning I heard two little red birds talking. This is a magic garden, you see, so you can understand the birds when they speak to each other," said Ahmad.

"Yes, yes. Please tell me. What did you hear the little red birds say?" said Gul Pari.

"He said that he had just come from visiting the green parrot." Said Ahmad, "And that the wicked magician had put his heart in the parrot's chest. Now no one can harm the magician; unless they first take his heart out of the parrot's chest." "Where can we find the parrot?" asked Gul Pari.

"The parrot is in a golden cage, and the cage is on top of the Glass Mountain. The Glass Mountain is magical. The closer you get to it the further away it goes." said Ahmad.

"Hurry up then, let us start looking for the Glass Mountain," said Gul Pari.

"I have been looking for the Glass Mountain for a month and a day, said Ahmad sadly, "but I still haven't found it."

"I will help you," said Gul Pari. "You go east and I will go west. If you see the Magic Glass Mountain, cup your hands around your mouth like this, and call out COOOEEE, COOOEEE. If I see it first I will call out COOOEEE, COOOEEE."

Ahmad agreed to do as Gul Pari had said. So Gul Pari went west and Ahmad went east. After a long, long time, Ahmad heard "coooeee, coooeee". He quickly rode in the direction that he had heard the sound. He saw Gul Pari sitting in the shade of a big tree.

"Why did you call out? I do not see the Glass Mountain!" he said. Gul Pari held out a mirror and said,

"Look in this mirror and you will soon see the Glass Mountain. You must not look up, or then it will disappear."

Ahmad looked into the mirror and saw the Glass Mountain.

"How clever of you!" he said, "Let us go. Quick, climb up on my horse."

Gul Pari and Ahmad rode all day and all night; and all the other day and all the other night. On the third day they reached the Glass Mountain. Ahmad jumped off the horse and ran to it. He tried to climb the Glass Mountain, but slipped down.

"The Glass Mountain is made of glass!" he said.

"Of course, it is, silly" laughed Gul Pari. "It is the Glass Mountain, isn't it!"

Ahmad laughed, "You're right," he said.

Then he picked up a big rock and tried to smash the mountain; but he could not break it, because it was a magic mountain!

"We can't climb the mountain, we can't smash the mountain, so we must think of another way to get into the mountain," said Gul Pari.

"I have an idea," said Ahmad. "Let us dig a tunnel and get into the mountain from under it."

"Good idea, Ahmad. Let us start digging."

So Gul Pari and Ahmad started digging, and digging, and digging. They dug a big tunnel under the Glass Mountain. Deep down they saw a glass stair-case. They climbed the glass stair-case, and right at the top they saw a golden cage, with the green parrot in it. The green parrot was fast asleep but woke up with the noise. He opened one yellow eye and looked at them.

"Who are you? and how did you get here?" asked the green parrot.

"I am Ahmad and this is my friend Gul Pari," said Ahmad.

"What do you want?" said the green parrot.

"We want YOU," said Ahmad, and he picked up the cage with both hands.

"Master, Master, Help! Master, help!" cried the green parrot.

The sky grew dark and there was such a loud thunder-clap that the glass mountain shook with the noise. Quick as a wink Ahmad put his hand in the cage and caught hold of the parrot's neck. Just then the wicked magician appeared on top of the mountain.

"LET GO OF MY GREEN PARROT, AT ONCE!" shouted the wicked magician.

"I will not!" said Ahmad. "I will not let your green parrot go until you set us free."

"I WILL TURN YOU INTO A FROG, YOU STUPID BOY," screamed the wicked magician, jumping up and down angrily.

"And I will wring the green parrot's neck," said Ahmad, as he slowly squeezed the parrot's neck.

Ahmad was a clever boy. He knew that the wicked magician would feel whatever the green parrot felt, because his heart was in the parrot.

"OH! OH! OH! STOP THAT! STOP IT AT ONCE!" said the wicked magician, hopping around, holding his throat.

"First promise to let us go," said Ahmad, giving the parrot another squeeze.

"I WILL DO AS YOU SAY, NOW GIVE ME MY GREEN PARROT," said the wicked magician; and held out his hands for the green parrot.

"Oh, no. You will first have to set us free. Only then I will give you the green parrot!" said Ahmad.

The wicked magician pulled out his magic wand and said,



There was a loud bang, and Gul Pari and Ahmad found themselves in Gul Pari's garden.

"Now give me my parrot," said the wicked magician.

"Here, catch," said Ahmad, and threw the parrot up in the air.

"STOP, PARROT STOP," cried the wicked magician.

"Oh! no, I will not," said the parrot, "you will put me back in the golden cage. I am having such fun flying around in the sunshine. I will not come back to you!" and the parrot flew up, up, up in the air.

The wicked magician hopped and jumped and ran after the green parrot. Ahmad and Gul Pari laughed and laughed when they saw the wicked magician fall into a big patch of mud.

"Serves him right for being so wicked and mean," said Gul Pari. "Come, let us go to my house, my mother and my father will be so happy to meet you."

When Gul Pari's mother saw them come in through the door she ran towards them and said,

"Where have you been, Gul Pari? We were so worried. We thought you were lost in the woods, and your father has been looking all over for you!"

"Mother, meet my friend Ahmad. I was lost in the woods. Then a wicked magician locked me up in his magic garden. Ahmad helped me get out," said Gul Pari.

"Thank-you Ahmad," said Gul Pari's mother. "Come in and rest while I prepare some dinner for you. I am sure you are both very hungry and tired."

"Thank-you," said Ahmad, "but I must be on my way. I am sure my parents and my brothers are also very worried. They must be looking for me."

"Good-bye, Ahmad. Come again, and bring your family too." said Gul Pari as she waved to Ahmad.

"Good-bye, Gul Pari," said Ahmad as he rode off on his white horse.

Children, if you see a man chasing a green parrot, his clothes muddy, tattered and torn; you will know it is the wicked magician. He is still trying to catch his parrot.

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