The Red Book Of Animal Stories - online children's book

Stories of Animals, Fantastic and Mundane, Edited By Andrew Lang

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6O AN EGYPTIAN SNAKE CHARMER
' That is the third,' said Delaporte. ' And now, tell me, where are the rest ?'
' There are three in the kitchen,' replied Abd-el-Kerim, rather sadly.
'Very good,' said the Consul; ' that will just make up the half-dozen. Let us go to the kitchen.'
At the first call a serpent crawled from under the water-butt.
Abd-el-Kerim placed it in the fourth jar, with a deep sigh.
' Come, come, courage ! I want my half-dozen !' said the Consul cheerfully.
' Enta tafessed el senaa !' cried the enraged Arab in reply, which, being translated, means ' Certainly you are a spoil sport.' But it was no use.
The snake charmer had to own himself beaten, and in order to save the last two serpents confessed his tricks.
Then Delaporte took pity on him and gave him fortv francs, which Abd-el-Kerim pocketed greedily, but could not help murmuring: 'Four serpents which danced so well! They were worth more than that! '
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