Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/210

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1 96 Collectanea.

changed himself into an ox, which they sold. The ox wandered up and down the world for seven years ; then they slaughtered and ate it, and threw away the bones. But the bones laughed at them, and joining together became a man again.

XV. Beast-fables are plentiful, as among all peoples who have been tyrannically ruled, and who have found in them a con- venient way of satirising their governors. The moral of the following is obvious :

One day the lion was ill. As he is their sultan, all the animals came to say how sorry they were, and to hope he would get better, with the exception of the fox (abi'il-husen). Then the hysena approached the lion, and said : " All the animals have come to say how sorry they are for your excellency except the fox; he has stayed away." So the lion sent for the fox, and asked him why he had not come. The fox answered : " I was so vexed to hear of your majesty's illness that I went about seeking some medicine to cure it : that is why I did not come. But at last I have heard of a medicine which is an infallible cure, and that is the fat of a hyaena's tail." Then he retired from the presence of the lion, for he said that he was not honourable enough to remain at court. No sooner was he gone than the lion bit off the hyaena's tail. As the hysena came out without his tail, the fox regarded him from a safe place and cried : "Praised be God that the hyaena should sacrifice himself for the sake of his majesty ! "

XVL Here are two more :

The crow said to his son : " When you see a man stooping down (to pick up a stone), get up and fly away." "But," said his son, "perhaps he already has something in his hand." "Ah," said the crow, " I see that you are (indeed) my son."

XVII. One day the crow stole a piece of bread; but it was hard. The kite said : " Moisten it." He did so, and the water carried it away. Another day he stole again a piece of bread which was hard. So the kite said : " Moisten it." But the crow answered : " Never again ! " {baldsh).

I now pass to folk-lore of a more general character.

In my last paper I mentioned that it is considered unlucky to be married in the Mohammedan month Moharrem. This