Here is the author note from my picture book, slightly updated.—Aaron
This is a retelling of “Story of Wali Dâd the Simple-hearted,” found in Andrew Lang’s Brown Fairy Book (1904). The tale was given to Lang by a Major Campbell—a British army officer stationed in India’s Punjab—who heard it from “an Indian.” Since the Punjab was later split between India and Pakistan, I have thought it best to attribute the tale to both countries. The dominant influences of the story are Islamic and Zoroastrian rather than Hindu.
The paisa is the smallest Indian coin. Peris are an import from Persian mythology. Originally considered evil, their image changed gradually to benevolent beings akin to fairies or angels. It is said they feed only on the odor of perfume.