THE NUNDA, EATER OF PEOPLE
Once upon a time there lived a sultan who loved his garden dearly, and planted it with trees and flowers and fruits from all parts of the world. He went to see them three times every day: first at seven o'clock, when he got up, then at three, and lastly at half-past five. There was no plant and no vegetable which escaped his eye, but he lingered longest of all before his one date tree.
Now the sultan had seven sons. Six of them he was proud of, for they were strong and manly, but the youngest he disliked, for he spent all his time among the women of the house. The sultan had talked to him, and he paid no heed; and he had beaten him, and he paid no heed; and he had tied him up, and he paid no heed, till at last his father grew tired of trying to make him change his ways, and let him alone.
Time passed, and one day the sultan, to his great joy, saw signs of fruit on his date tree. And he told his vizir, ' My date tree is bearing;' and he told the officers, ' My date tree is bearing; ' and he told the judges, ' My date tree is bearing;' and he told all the rich men of the town.
He waited patiently for some days till the dates were nearly ripe, and then he called his six sons, and said : ' One of you must watch the date tree till the dates are ripe, for if it is not watched the slaves will steal them, and I shall not have any for another year.'
And the eldest son answered, 'I will go, father,' and he went.