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Page:Deccan Nursery Tales.djvu/122

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And the fourth queen stamped her foot and said, "I won't look after the king's clothes." And all day long they quarrelled and screamed at each other, and the poor king was more uncomfortable than ever. His face grew sad and careworn, and, from the time he got up to the time he went to bed, he could think of nothing but the way that his four queens were squabbling with each other.

One day the rishi, or sage, Vasishta [1] paid the king a visit. The king prostrated himself before the great sage and gave him a throne to sit upon. Vasishta looked at the king's face and saw how sad and careworn it was. He asked the cause, and the king told him. Then the rishi rose, and the king went with him to the palace of the four queens. When they reached it, they called to the queens to come out. The rishi then asked them why they quarrelled. The first queen cried out, "Why should I have to do the dairy work?" And the second queen cried out, "Why should I be only a cook-woman?" And the third cried

  1. 1 Vasishta was the family priest of King Dasaratha, father of Ramchandra. After death he became one of the stars in the constellation of the Great Bear.