38 THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
The two enchanted birds wandered sadly on through the meadows. In their misery they could not think what to do next. They could not rid themselves of their new forms. There was no use in returning to the town and saying who they were; for who would believe a stork who announced that he was a caliph? and even if they did believe him, would the people of Bagdad consent to let a stork rule over them?
So they lounged about for several days, supporting themselves on fruits, which, however, they found some difficulty in eating with their long bills. They did not much care to eat frogs or lizards. Their one comfort in their sad plight was the power of flying, and accordingly they often flew over the roofs of Bagdad to see what was going on there.
During the first few days they noticed signs of much disturbance and distress in the streets, but about the fourth day, as they sat on the roof of the palace, they perceived a splendid procession passing below them along the street. Drums and trumpets sounded; a man in a scarlet mantle embroidered in gold sat on a splendidly caparisoned horse surrounded by richly dressed slaves; half Bagdad crowded after him and they all shouted: "Hail, Mirza, the Lord of Bagdad!"
The two storks on the palaco roof looked at each other, and Caliph Chasid said; "Ca:: you guess now, grand vizier, why I have been enchanted? This Mirza is the son of my deadly enemy, the mighty magician Kaschnur, who in an evil moment vowed vengeance on me. Still I will not despair! Come with me, my faithful friend. We will go to the grave of the Prophet, and perhaps at that sacred spot the spell may be loosed."
They rose from the palace roof and spread their wings toward Medina.
But flying was not quite an easy matter, for the two storks had had but little practice as yet.
"Oh, my lord!" gasped the vizier after a couple of hours, "I can get on no longer; you really fly too quick for me. Besides, it is nearly evening, and we should do well to find some place in which to spend the night."