MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 189
abominably this man is treating me! ' However, at last she managed to catch the seven birds, and brought them to Mohammed, saying, ' Here they are!'
' Then now we will go back to the house,' said he.
When they had gone some way he turned to her sharply:
' Be quick and drive the sheep home, for I do not know where their fold is.' And she drove them before her. By-and-by the young man spoke :
' Look here, old hag; if you say anything to your son about my having struck you, or about my not being the old shepherd, I '11 kill you ! '
' Oh, no, of course I won't say anything! '
When they got back, the son said to his mother: ' That is a good shepherd I 've got, is n't he ? '
' Oh, a splendid shepherd ! ' answered she. ' Why, look how fat the sheep are, and how much milk they give!'
; Yes, indeed !' replied the son, as he rose to get supper for his mother and the shepherd.
In the time of Mohammed's uncle, the shepherd had had nothing to eat but the scraps left by the old woman; but the new shepherd was not going to be content with that.
k You will not touch the food till I have had as much as I want,' whispered he.
' Very good!' replied she. And when he had had enough, he said:
' Now, eat! ' But she wept, and cried: ' That was not written in your contract. You were only to have what I left! '
' If you say a word more, I will kill you!' said he.
The next day he took the old woman on his back, and drove the sheep in front of him till he was some distance from the house, when he let her fall, and said: ' Quick! go and mind the sheep! '
Then he took a ram, and killed it. He lit a fire and broiled some of its flesh, and called to the old woman: