The Seven Trials of Rostam: 4

Rostam's magical feast

Rostam stumbles upon a magic feast. Sorcerers have got a delicious dinner of wine and and bread and chicken; they've scarpered at Rostam's approach. Rakhsh is off scene, busy doing something or other. So you know something will happen when Rostam sits down at the feast and starts singing a song about himself:

This is the song of Rostam, who's been given

Few days of happiness by Fate or heaven.

He fights in every war, in every land;

His bed's a hillside, or the desert sand.

Demons or dragons are his daily prey,

Devils and deserts block his weary way.

Fate sees to it that perfumed flowers, and wine,

And pleasant vistas, are but rarely mine -

I'm always grappling with an enemy,

Some ghoul or leopard's always fighting me.

(on page 156 from the Kindle edition of Abolsaqem Ferdowsi's Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings, translated by Dick Davis)

And the misogyny begins. A reverse siren effect, as a beautiful witch appears and is entranced by  Rostam's song (the song about himself). The beautiful witch and Rostam have chats and are getting along very well. Until Rostam mentions God:

Rostam and the witch

The witch immediately turns from a beautiful girl to a hideous witch, and Rostam kills her. The lesson, hopefully, being that God strips away worldly illusions. Not that women are really hideous witches.