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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/536

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Balochi Tales.

wife and her handmaidens to carry the boy out into the wilderness and make a dwelling-place for him there. So they went into the wilderness and dug out a hollow place underground, and there they made his home. The father having arranged for their maintenance, left them there and came home.

Some years passed, and one day it so happened that two men had a dispute. One of them said that God could only do to each man what was written upon his forehead on the day of his birth, and the other said that God was bound by no writing, but could act according as He thought best. At last they said : "Come, let us go before King Shah-Jehan, and get a decision on this point." They came before the king, and cried out: "O King, judge between us." The king said : "State your case," and they told him all about their dispute. King Shah-Jehan said to them : "Wait here, while I go and wash my face and hands, and say my prayers ; I will then come back and decide your case." The king took up a basin of water and went out. He put down the basin, and then he saw a most beautiful bird perched close by. The king thought to himself, "Before I wash I must catch that bird and look at it." He caught the bird by the leg, and it immediately soared into the air and carried Shah-Jehan with it up to the sky, and at last descended at a place in the midst of a barren wilderness. The bird flew off, and left the king there bewildered. The king began to walk about, and spied the tracks of men, and, following these tracks, he came upon a place hollowed out under the ground, and he saw a man sitting there. The place was fitted up as a dwelling-place, with a bedstead and other furniture. The man hailed him with "Welcome, King Shah-Jehan !" The king was astonished, and wondered how this man, whom he did not know, could recognise him. The man again called out, "King ! come in here." The king went in, and said : "How did you know me ?" The man replied, "You are my death-angel, and have come here to slay me." The