THE BILLY GOAT AND THE KING 215
' Quite,' answered the queen angrily.
' Because,' said the king, tapping his leg with his riding whip, ' I've made up my mind not to tell you, and moreover, I have made up my mind to stop you mentioning the subject any more.'
' What do you mean? ' asked the queen nervously.
' Well,' replied the king, ' I notice that if that goat is displeased with his wife, he just butts her, and that seems to settle the question-----.'
' Do you mean to say you would beat me ?' cried the queen.
' I should be extremely sorry to have to do so,' replied the king; ' but I have to persuade you to go home quietly, and to ask no more silly questions when I say I cannot answer them. Of course, if you will persist, why-----'
And the queen went home, and so did the king; and it is said that they are both happier and wiser than ever before.
[Punjabi story, Major Campbell, Feroshepore.]