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XIII

VASHISTA AND THE FOUR QUEENS

ONCE upon a time there was a town called Atpat. In it there ruled a king who had four wives. They were always quarrelling over the housework; so, in order to get some peace at home, the king himself divided the work between them. To the first queen he gave all the dairy work, to the second queen he gave all the cooking, to the third he gave the nursery, and he ordered the fourth to look after the royal wardrobe. At first all went well. But in a little while the first queen said to the third queen, "Why should you have charge of the nursery? Why should you not work in the dairy?" The second queen said to the fourth queen, "Why should I have to do all the cooking?" The third queen asked, "Why should I have always to look after the children?"

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