Zal woos Princess Rudabeh

Zal had heard fascinating tales of Rudabeh, daughter of the King of Karbol. According to these tales, Rudabeh had eyelashes like raven's wings, and a face as fair as the moon. Zal instantly fell in love with the description. Rudabeh had heard equal praise of Zal, and was intrigued by stories of his amazing strength. Finally the two were able to meet, but Rudabeh's friends teased her about falling for a man with white hair - a man who had been brought up in a bird's nest! Zal was equally worried, for Rudabeh was an ancestor of the evil serpent King Zahhak - Zahhak grew a serpent on each of his shoulders which needed to be fed with human brains!

Despite these obstacles Zal and Rudabeh vowed to meet. Rudabeh offered to let her hair down Rapunzal-like from her tower, so that Zal could climb up and see her. Zal didn't wish to hurt her and so they used a rope instead. (This is the subject of many paintings.) Once together, they promised each other their hearts, and to love no other. All the families agreed to their marriage, which overcame the negative feelings of the past. Their wedding lasted 30 days.