Flora Annie Steel was an English writer who married a member of the Indian Civil Service, and spent twenty-two years in India, mostly in the Punjab region. She learned the language, served as school inspector, encouraged the production of local handicrafts, and collected folk tales. "Tales of the Punjab" is a collection of folk tales from the region. They are stories handed down orally by a people who mostly could not read or write, and Steel tried to preserve the original feel of the tale as closely as possible when translating. As she says in her greeting you young readers: "Would you like to know how these stories are told? Come with me, and you shall see. There! take my hand and do not be afraid, for Prince Hassan's carpet is beneath your feet. So now! -- 'Hey presto! Abracadabra!' Here we are in a Punjabi village."