MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 183
But he answered, ' I am not feeling very wrell. Mohammed, you go and get them for me.'
' Of course I will,' replied the little boy, and ran at once to the cask.
' No, no,' his mother called after him; ' come here directly! Let your uncle fetch them himself!'
But the boy would not listen, and crying out to her, ' I would rather get them,' thrust his hand into the date cask.
Instead of the fruit, it struck against something cold and slimy, and he whispered softly, 'Keep still; it is I, your son ! '
Then he picked up his dates and went away to his uncle.
' Here they are, dear uncle ; eat as many as you want.'
And his uncle ate them.
When he saw that the uncle did not mean to come near the cask, the serpent crawled out and regained his proper shape.
' I am thankful I did not kill him,' he said to his wife; ' for, after all, he is my brother-in-law, and it would have been a great sin ! '
' Either you kill him or I leave you,' said she.
'Well, well!' sighed the man, ' to-morrow I will do it'
The woman let that night go by without doing anything further, but at daybreak she said to her brother, 'Get up, brother; it is time to take the goats to pasture!'
' All right,' cried he.
' I will come with you, uncle,' called out the little boy.
'Yes, come along,' replied he.
But the mother ran up, saying, ' The child must not go out in this cold or he will be ill; ' to which he only answered, 'Nonsense! I am going, so it is no use your talking ! I am going ! lam! lam!'
' Then go!' she said.