THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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142
' MOTI'
had been disturbed, and putting his hand under his pillow found to his horror that his bag of money had been stolen. He jumped up quietly and began to prowl around to see whether anyone seemed to be awake, but, though he managed to arouse a few men and beasts by falling over them, he walked in the shadow of the archways round the whole serai without coming across a likely thief. He was just about to give it up when he overheard two men whispering, and one laughed softly, and, peering behind a pillar, he saw two Afghan horsedealers counting out his bag of money ! Then Moti went back to bed !
In the morning Moti followed the two Afghans outside the city to the horsemarket in which their horses were offered for sale. Choosing the best-looking horse amongst them he went up to it and said :
' Is this horse for sale ? may I try it ? ' and, the merchants assenting, he scrambled up on its back, dug in his heels, and off they flew. Now Moti had never been on a horse in his life, and had so much ado to hold on with both hands as well as with both legs that the animal went just where it liked, and very soon broke into a break-neck gallop and made straight back to the serai where it had spent the last few nights.
' This will do very well,' thought Moti as they whirled in at the entrance. As soon as the horse had arrived at its stable it stopped of its own accord and Moti immediately rolled off ; but he jumped up at once, tied the beast up, and called for some breakfast. Presently the Afghans appeared, out of breath and furious, and claimed the horse.
' What do you mean ? ' cried Moti, with his mouth full of rice, ' it's my horse ; I paid you fifty pieces of silver for it—quite a bargain, I'm sure ! '
' Nonsense ! it is cur horse,' answered one of the Afghans, beginning to untie the bridle.
' Leave off,' shouted Moti, seizing his staff; ' if you
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