80 JACKAL OR TIGER ?
round her ankle, she heard the starling say to the parrot:
' Oh, Tote ' (that was the parrot's name), ' how do you think the princess looks in her new jewel?'
' Think ?' snapped the parrot, who was cross because they hadn't given him his bath that morning, ' I think she looks like a washerwoman's daughter, with one shoe on and the other off! Why doesn't she wear two of them, instead of going about with one leg adorned and the other bare ?'
When the princess heard this she burst into tears ; and sending for her father she declared that he must get her another such an anklet to wear on the other leg, or she would die of shame. So the king sent for Ameer Ali and told him that he must get a second anklet exactly like the first within a month, or he should be hanged, for the princess would certainly die of disappointment.
Poor Ameer Ali was greatly troubled at the king's command, but he thought to himself that he had, at any rate, a month in which to lay his plans. He left the palace at once, and inquired of everyone where the finest jewels were to be got; but though he sought night and day he never found one to compare with the anklet. At last only a week remained, and he was in sore difficulty, when he remembered the Fairy of the forest, and determined to go without loss of time and seek her. Therefore away he went, and after a day's travelling he reached the cottage in the forest, and, standing where he had stood when the old woman called to him, he cried:
' Fairy of the forest! Fairy of the forest! Help me ! help me!'
Then there appeared in the doorway the beautiful girl he had seen before, whom in all his wanderings he had never forgotten.
' What is the matter ?' she asked, in a voice so soft that he listened like one struck dumb, and she had to repeat the question before he could answer. Then he