Hamzanama - In troubled waters Mihrdukht has a brain wave
Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna
Inv. No. BI 08770-32r
Full title in the original:
Mihrdukht shoots an arrow and sends the foot soldiers after it; she gets into a boat with an old man and sails away.
… Mihrdukht, the very handsome daughter of Khizranshah, had accompanied her father´s friends on a hunting tour but got lost when she left the party for a ride on her own. Erring through the forest she reached the shore and discovered a rowboat with four young soldiers and an old man. The four young men, attracted by her beauty, got out of the boat and started fighting over her. In order to stop them she resorted to a ruse, telling them that the one who would be the first to bring back the arrow she was shooting may stay with her. And so it happened. Mihrdukht shot the arrow and the men began to run after it. They did not suspect her to be such an extremely good archer. So when the fastest runner eventually returned with the arrow he found no trace of the young girl nor the old man. They had gone …
The illustration shows Mihrdukht sitting with an old man in a boat. The sea looks quite turbulent, with the boat pitching and rolling on high waves. One perceives many further details, such as a fish observing the scene and a turtle swimming in the water, birds sitting on the top of the trees and ibexes hiding behind the rocks. The old man and the animals are watching four soldiers running out of the water right onto the island, all in one direction as if to look for or catch something. In fact they follow the arrow which Mihrdukht had shot.