The Arabian Nights Entertainments - online book

Children's Classic Fairy Tales From The East, Edited By Andrew Lang

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' I have come,' he said, ' to tell you some news which I think you will like to hear. I have a daughter who knows magic. Yesterday, when I was leading back the calf which you refused to sacrifice, I noticed that she smiled, and then directly afterwards began to cry. I asked her why she did so.'
' Father,' she answered, ' this calf is the son of our master. I smile with joy at seeing him still alive, and I weep to think of his mother, who was sacrificed yester­day as a cow. These changes have been wrought by our master's wife, who hated the mother and son.'
' At these words, O genius,' continued the old man, 'I leave you to imagine my astonishment. I went imme­diately with the steward to speak with his daughter myself. First of all I went to the stable to see my son, and he replied in his dumb way to all my caresses. When the steward's daughter came I asked her if she could change my son back to his proper shape.'
'Yes, I can,' she replied, ' on two conditions. One is that you will give him me for a husband, and the other that you will let me punish the woman who changed him into a calf.'
' To the first condition,' I answered, 'I agree with all my heart, and I will give you an ample dowry. To the second I also agree, only I beg you to spare her life.'
' That will I do,' she replied ; 'I will treat her as she treated your son.'
Then she took a vessel of water and pronounced over it some words I did not understand; then, on throwing the water over him, he became immediately a young man once more.
' My son, my dear son,' I exclaimed, kissing him in a transport of joy. ' This kind maiden has rescued you from a terrible enchantment, and I am sure that out of gratitude you will marry her.'
He consented joyfully, but before they were married the young girl changed my wife into a hind, and it is
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