THE GARDEN OF PARADISE 153
And he kissed his mother so roughly that she almost tumbled over. He was a terribly wild yqung fellow !
Now came the South Wind, with a turban on and a flying Bedouin's cloak.
' It's terribly cold in here !' cried he, and threw some more wood on the fire. ' One can feel that the North Wind came first.'
' It's so hot that one could roast a Polar bear here,' said the North Wind.
' You're a Polar bear yourself,' retorted the South Wind.
' Do you want to be put in the sack ? ' asked the old dame. ' Sit upon the stone yonder and tell me where you have been.'
' In Africa, mother,' he answered. ' I was out hunting the lion with the Hottentots in the land of the Kaffirs. Grass grows there in the plains, green as an olive. There the ostrich ran races with me, but I am swifter than he. I came into the desert where the yellow sand lies : it looks there like the bottom of the sea. I met a caravan. The people were killing their last camel to get water to drink, but it was very little they got. The sun burned above and the sand below. The outspread deserts had no bounds. Then I rolled in the fine loose sand, and whirled it up in great pillars. That was a dance ! You should have seen how dejected the dromedary stood there, and the merchant drew the caftan over his head. He threw himself down before me, as before Allah, his God. Now they are buried— a pyramid of sand covers them all. When I some day blow that away, the sun will bleach the white bones ; then travellers may see that men have been there before them. Otherwise, one would not believe that, in the desert ! '
1 So you have done nothing but evil! ' exclaimed the mother. ' March into the sack ! '
And before he was aware, she had seized the South Wind round the body, and popped him into the bag. He rolled about on the floor ; but she sat down on the sack, and then he had to keep quiet.
* Those are lively boys of yours,' said the Prince.
' Yes,' she replied, ' and I know how to punish them ! Here comes the fourth ! '