The Clockmaker’s Bride

There was a family of Persian clockmakers whose work was patronised by the rich, and whose expertise reached the attention of the sultan himself.

Obsessed with mechanical devices, the ruler ordered for the artisan to be brought before him.

The clockmaker was brought to the rose garden in which the sultan was reclining on a spacious divan.

‘I shall make for you a clock with many faces, Your Imperialness,’ he said obsequiously.

‘I will design it to show the time in every realm, with the hemispheres and the planets as well – each of them revolving around Your Excellency’s own shadow.’

The sultan touched a hand to his chin. He liked people grovelling, and so did not speak until he was sure there was no more fawning to come.

Then he said:

‘I have an entire wing of the palace filled with clocks! I have big clocks and small clocks, clocks fashioned from gold and silver, from ivory and the rarest of wood. I have clocks that chime, and others that play dainty tunes. I have clocks that open up to reveal yet more clocks, and have clocks that tell the time in ways you yourself have never imagined to be possible!’