THE STORY OF A GAZELLE 145
gazelle, blood flowing from its nostrils. And she took it in her arms and said, ' My son, the good you did is lost; there remains only patience.'
And it said, ' Mother, I shall die, for my soul is full of anger and bitterness. My face is ashamed, that I should have done good to my master, and that he should repay me with evil.' It paused for a moment, and then went on, ' Mother, of the goods that are in this house, what do I eat? I might have every day half a basinful, and would my master be any the poorer? But did not the elders say, "He that does good like a mother!"'
And it said, ' Go and tell my master that the gazelle is nearer death than life.'
So she went, and spoke as the gazelle had bidden her; but he answered, ' I have told you to trouble me no more.'
But his wife's heart was sore, and she said to him: ' Ah, master, what has the gazelle done to you? How has he failed you ? The things you do to him are not good, and you will draw on yourself the hatred of the people. For this gazelle is loved by all, by small and great, by women and men. Ah, my husband! I thought you had great wisdom, and you have not even a little! '
But he answered, ' You are mad, my wife.'
The old woman stayed no longer, and went back to the gazelle, followed secretly by the mistress, who called a maidservant and bade her take some milk and rice and cook it for the gazelle.
' Take also this cloth,' she said, ' to cover it with, and this pillow for its head. And if the gazelle wants more, let it ask me, and not its master. And if it will, I will send it in a litter to my father, and he will nurse it till it is well.'
And the maidservant did as her mistress bade her, and said what her mistress had told her to say, but the gazelle made no answer, but turned over on its side and died quietly.