JACKAL OR TIGER ? 85
the tiger who is king of beasts hunts only in the forest, whilst jackals hunt in every place where there is something to be picked up.'
' What is all this ? what is all this ? ' asked the king. ' The man must be mad!'
' No, your majesty,' answered the farmer ; ' I would only remind your majesty that there are plenty of jackals gathered to-day to try and claim your daughter and kingdom : every city has sent them, and they wait hungry and eager; but do not, 0 king, mistake or pretend again to mistake the howl of a jackal for the hunting cry of a tiger.'
The king turned first red and then pale.
' There is,' continued the farmer, ' a royal tiger bred in the forest who has the first and only true claim to your throne.'
' Where ? what do you mean ? ' stammered the king, growing pale as' he listened.
' In prison,' replied the farmer; 'if your majesty will clear this court of the jackals I will explain.'
' Clear the court! ' commanded the king; and, very unwillingly, the visitors left the palace.
' Now tell me what riddle this is,' said he.
Then the farmer told the king and his ministers how he had rescued the queen and brought up Ameer Ali; and he fetched the old queen herself, whom he had left outside. At the sight of her the king was filled with shame and self-reproach, and wished he could have lived his life over again, and not have married the mother of the proud princess, who caused him endless trouble until her death.
' My day is past,' said he. And he gave up his crown to his son Ameer Ali, who went once more and called to the forest fairy to provide him with a queen to share his throne.
' There is only one person I will marry,' said he. And this time the maiden did not run away, but agreed to be