THE STORY OF A GAZELLE 143
'Very good, my son; and if he should ask me what is the matter, what am I to say ?'
' Tell Mm all my body aches badly; I have no single part without pain.'
The old woman went upstairs, and she found the mistress and master sitting on a couch of marble spread with soft cushions, and they asked her, ' Well, old woman, what do you want? '
' To tell the master the gazelle is ill,' said she.
' What is the matter ?' asked the wife.
' All its body pains; there is no part without pain.'
'Well, what can I do? Make some gruel of red millet, and give to it.'
But his wife stared and said : ' Oh, master, do you tell her to make the gazelle gruel out of red millet, which a horse would not eat? Eh, master, that is not well'
But he answered, 'Oh, you are mad! Rice is only kept for people.'
' Eh, master, this is not like a gazelle. It is the apple of your eye. If sand got into that, it would trouble you.'
' My wife, your tongue is long,' and he left the room.
The old woman saw she had spoken vainly, and went back weeping to the gazelle. And when the gazelle saw her it said, ' Mother, what is it, and why do you cry? If it be good, give me the answer; and if it be bad, give me the answer.'
But still the old woman would not speak, and the gazelle prayed her to let it know the words of the master. At last she said: ' I went upstairs and found the mistress and the master sitting on a couch, and he asked me what I wanted, and I told him that you, his slave, were ill. And his wife asked what was the matter, and I told her that there was not a part of your body without pain. And the master told me to take some red millet and make you gruel, but the mistress said, " Eh, master, the gazelle is the apple of your eye; you have no child, this