The Islamic mystical system known as Sufism enjoys, in common with other mystical systems of both East and West, a treasury of parables and fables -- some of them very ancient -- illustrating the teachings of the Sufi masters. Tales of the Dervishes is a collection, of such stories, selected from the Sufi classics, from oral tradition and from unpublished manuscripts. Each of the more than eighty tales has appended to it a brief, and sometimes superfluous, explanation, by Indries Shah, of its moral. The range of the tales is wide, both geographically and qualitatively. Drawn from the literatures of Turkey, Persia and the Arabic countries, they include stories which equal, and sometimes surpass, in relevance, piquancy, and humor, the best of the spiritual and ethical teachers of the West. At other times, the parables selected are as essentially and foolishly artifical as anything conceived by Alphonsus Ligouri. On the whole, however, the book has considerable value as a source-book of authentic teaching-stories for students of Sufism.