Moments after twin sisters Pembe and Jamila are born in a Kurdish village, their mother falls into a 40-day silence.
Jamila is recalling images from her past that she would much rather forget.
“There was a piercing cry, then nothing,” says Jamila, large tears welling up in her dark eyes.
When a young Turkish man named Adem arrives in their village, he falls in love with Jamila, but takes Pembe as his wife.
Jamila darted down like a flash of lightning, and saw that it was so.
When the nurse went to fix the cord she saw tears falling from its eyes, and that it was dejected and sorrowful 'O Lady Jamila!
Then Jamila was sure it was a man, and said: 'Be comforted, I will restore you to your own shape.'
Even when he was a deer the prince had much admired Jamila now he thought her a thousand times more lovely than before.
Jamila summoned all her notables, and in their presence her marriage with the prince was solemnised.
Here they halted for a night, and at dawn said good-bye to the king-lion and set out for Jamila's country.