Once, there was a tree, great and strong. This tree was on the property of a wise man. The tree was mature and large. But, as trees sometimes do, after a long and powerful storm, the tree came down. It lay on its side, with the roots upended.
The three daughter's of the wise man were picnicking by the tree, one day. As the three were mid meal, the tree gave a crack and a snap. Part of the trunk had fallen away. From the middle of that trunk, a piece of metal glinted in the sunlight. The three young ladies ran over to the tree trunk to see what it was.
"Look!" said the eldest. "It's a bronze medallion. How on earth did that get there?"
"It's so beautiful," said the middle sister. "It is inlaid with lapis lazuli."
"It would go very well with my favorite dress," said the youngest.
"Oh no," said the middle girl. "I saw it first. It's mine!"
"Don't be ridiculous," said the eldest. "We must share it. Otherwise, father will see us fighting over it and take it away. He will give it to some one else or sell it." The other two went quiet for a moment.
The middle girl looked to the youngest. "She is right. We must not fight over the medallion. We must chose who will take it and when before we go back home."
"I want it first, though." said the youngest.
"I want it first," said the middle.
The youngest started to whine and throw a tantrum. The eldest looked to the second sister. "If you do not agree to let her have it first, she will whine and cry for it at home. Then, father will ask questions. Just let her have it. Then, you can have it. I am the eldest child. I am expected to be last to have it. This is how it has been since you and she were born."
The second sister pouted. "Fine! Let her have it."
The youngest sister stopped pouting. The eldest sister looked to the youngest and said, "Swear to us you will have it only one month. Then, you must give it to second sister. Second sister can have it for one month. Then, she must give it to me." Each sister agreed and made an oath to keep it.
The three sisters pried the medallion from the trunk. The youngest sister took possession of it and they went home.
The next day, the youngest sister was all smiles. Her demeanor had changed. Her way of speaking changed. Everyday, she dressed as if waiting for someone. She was behaving in a very odd manner. Her sisters questioned her but she said nothing. Her parents questioned her but she said nothing. The youngest sister said nothing more than, "Wait and see."
Just before the sister's time was up, there came a stranger to the door. He claimed to be a prince. He said he was in love with the youngest and asked for her hand in marriage.
This surprised everyone. It took much whining from the youngest but the father finally agreed. The prince was married to the youngest. He took is bride and her dowry away. But before she left, she gave the medallion to the second sister and said, "Clean it with your fingers before you put it on."
A week after all the excitement was over. The second sister changed. The second sister did the same things as youngest sister. Her parents became suspicious and questioned her. Second sister said the same, "Wait and see." Eldest sister questioned her but second sister only said "Wait and see."
At the end of the month, right before it was time for second sister to hand over the medallion, a sad message came to the father. One of his great aunts had died of natural causes. The family mourned the loss of the great lady. But after the funeral, her last will was read. It was her final wish that the second sister was to inherit her home and fortune. Everyone was surprised. The great lady owned many businesses in a far away city. The second sister would have to move away from home. The second sister was happy to do it. Before the sister left, she handed the eldest the medallion and said, "Clean it your fingers before you put it on." Then, she went away to the city.
The eldest sister remained at home with her parents. She took the medallion to her room, put it in her jewelry box, and left it there. She was suspicious of it.
It wasn't long that her father received a letter from his youngest daughter. It was letter pleading for help. The prince that had taken her away was a prince but he was a prince only in title. He had no money, no kingdom, and his isolated keep was in horrible ruin. The prince took her dowry and squandered it. He had not been faithful at all. He kept her isolated in his ruined keep, alone with no one to help her. The father made a plan to go save his youngest daughter.
A short while later, a message came from second sister. She was in trouble too. The great aunt had many businesses and those businesses had many debts, too many debts. There was not enough money to cover the debts and keep the businesses afloat. The grand estate the she had inherited was going to be taken away. Father and mother of the sisters were shocked. "Something is amiss here. Something is not right." They looked to their eldest daughter. "Do you know what this is about?"
The eldest lied. "No. I know nothing," she said.
The eldest sister went to her room. She took out the medallion. She turned it over in her hands and studied it. The front was as it was the day they found it. Engraved and inlaid with lapis lazuli. On the back, there was another engraving in words she could not understand. She flipped it back over and ran her fingers along the edge.
A great warm mist began to emanate from the medallion. The mist flicked a gentle blue light. Then a voice came from it. "Who awakens me?" It asked.
"The eldest of three sisters," she said. "Three sisters who found a medallion in the trunk of a fallen tree. I know what you are. You are a Jinn. Our father used to tell us stories of our great uncle in Egypt, with his Jinn companion. We thought they were false tales to amuse us as children."
"So your sisters have told me before," said the Jinn. He took a mist form and hovered in the room. "The tales may or not be true."
"The tales said you grant wishes and you protect the one you serve. My sisters made wishes, didn't they?"
"You also told them that they could not speak of the wishes they made, or they would not come true. Is this so?"
The eldest sister thought for a moment. "The tales of my Uncle include that Jinn are not be entirely trusted."
"This may be so," replied the Jinn. "The wishes of humans are not mine to control. Jinns only provide the means."
The sister narrowed her eyes. "What does it say on the back of this medallion?"
The Jinn's blue light flickered. "A question not asked by your sisters," he said. "The words translate as "Treasure does not often shine."
"The exact translation may be that, but the meaning is, all that glitters is not gold?"
The Jinn flickered again. "That could be a translation."
"I see," she said. "That is why their wishes have not for filled expectations."
"What humans expect and what is provided can be in opposition," he said. The sister went into silent thought. The Jinn continued. "I can provide three wishes to you. I cannot interfere with human hearts. I cannot grant wishes for more wishes. I cannot..."
The sister held up her hand. "I am familiar with your code."
"If this is so, make your wishes that I may return to the medallion. When you are finished, you must put my medallion in a place so as I may not be disturbed for many years." The Jinn's light flickered as if it were sad.
"I imagine that you are sad because too many have abused you. Do you want to be free?"
"You are looking for something," she said. "No, more like waiting for something."
"Interesting and curious," she said. "What are you..."
"My lady, please just make your wishes. Don't you want to be rich? Don't you want to be married to a king? Do you want to be famous? I can give..."
"No. I do not want any of that," she said flatly.
"Then you want to save your sisters? Save them from..."
"No. Their choices are their own," she said. "It would be folly to help them. They must learn what I already know and the purpose you serve."
"Tell me, lady, what that would be?"
"Treasure does not often shine."
The Jinn's light flickered brighter. "So, then, what will your wishes be?"
"If I could make three wishes, it would be these. To learn, know, and understand my own heart. To learn, know, and understand wisdom. And to learn these two things in proper time and course, while being as safe as possible, without debilitating and malicious interference, while taking that path."
"You are very much like your great uncle," said the Jinn. "You are not like others."
"Can you grant those wishes?"
"I will grant those wishes. And I will go with you on that path, if you so will it," said the Jinn. "I offer my service to you."
"Lift the curses," said the sister. "Lift them and I will take you with me."
"Done," he said. The Jinn went back into the medallion.
The two sisters came home. They had lost what they had gained. But in time, it was replaced by better, more sustainable, things. They lived the rest of their lives as most people do, and were happy. The eldest sister, on the other hand, left home in search of adventure. She lived an adventurous life, full and happy.