returned from all sides, each to his tree of life ; and
when the rich youth was missed, and they saw that
his tree of life was withered, they sought him up
the source of the river which he had followed, but
found him not. Hereupon the reckoner discovered,
by his calculations, that the rich youth was lying
dead under a piece of the rock ; but as they could
by no means remove the stone, the smith took his
hammer, smote the stone, and drew out the body.
Then the physician mixed a life-inspiring draught,
gave the same to the dead youth, and so restored
him to life.
"They now demanded of him whom they had
recalled to life, ' In what manner wert thou slain 1 '
56 ORIENTAL FOLKLORE TALES.
He accordingly related unto them the circumstances;
and they communed one with another, saying, ' Let
us snatch this extraordinary beautiful woman from
the Chan ! ' Thereupon the mechanic constructed a
wooden gerudin, or wonderful bird, which, when
moved upwards from within, ascended into the air ;
when moved downwards, descended into the earth ;
when moved sideways, flew sideways accordingly.
When this was done, they painted it with different
colours, so that it was pleasant to behold.
" Then the rich youth seated himself within the
wooden bird, flew through the air, and hovered over
the roof of the royal mansion ; and the Chan and
his servants were astonished at the form of the bird,
and said, ' A bird like unto this we never before saw
or heard of.' And to his wife the Chan said, ' Go
ye to the roof of the palace, and offer food of
different kinds unto this strange bird.' When she
went up to offer food, the bird descended, and the
rich youth opened the door which was in the bird.
Then said the wife of the Chan, full of joy, ' I had
never hoped or thought to have seen thee again, yet
now have I found thee once more. This has been
accomplished by this wonderful bird.' After the
youth had related to her all that had happened, he
said unto her, ' Thou art now the wife of the Chan
but if your heart now yearns unto me, step thou into
this wooden gerudin, and we will fly hence through
the air, and for the future know care no more.'
THE RELATIONS OF SSIDI KUR. 57
"After these words the wife said, 'To the first
husband to whom destiny united me am I inclined
more than ever.' Having thus spoken they entered
into the wooden gerudin, and ascended into the sky.
The Chan beheld this, and said, ' Because I sent
thee up that thou mightest feed this beautiful bird,
thou hast betaken thyself to the skies.' Thus spake
he full of anger, and threw himself weeping on the
" The rich youth now turned the peg in the bird
downwards, and descended upon the earth close to
his companions. And when he stepped forth out of
the bird, his companions asked him, ' Hast thou
thoroughly accomplished all that thou didst desire ? '
Thereupon his wife also stepped forth, and all who
beheld her became in love with her. 'You, my
companions,' said the rich youth, ' have brought help
unto me ; you have awakened me from death ; you
have afforded me the means of once more finding
my wife. Do not, I beseech you, rob me of my
charmer once again.'
" Thus spake he ; and the calculator began with
these words : ' Had I not discovered by my calcula-
tion where thou wert lying, thou wouldst never
have recovered thy wife.'
" ' In vain,' said the smith, ' would the calculations
have been, had I not drawn thee out of the rock.
By means of the shattered rock it was that you
obtained your wife. Then your wife belongs to me.'
58 ORIENTAL FOLKLORE TALES.
" ' A body,' said the physician, ' was drawn from
out of the shattered rock That this body was
restored to life, and recovered his former wife, it
was my skill accomplished it. I, therefore, should
take the wife.'
" 'But for the wooden bird," said the mechanic, ' no
one would ever have reached the wife. A numerous
host attend upon the Chan ; no one can approach the
house wherein he resides. Through my wooden bird
alone was the wife recovered. Let me, then, take her."
" ' The wife,' said the painter, ' never would have
carried food to a wooden bird ; therefore it was
only through my skill in painting that she was
recovered ; I, therefore, claim her.'
"And when they had thus spoken, they drew
their knives and slew one another."
" Alas ! poor woman ! " exclaimed the son of the
Chan ; and Ssidi said, " Ruler of Destiny, thou hast
spoken words : Ssarwala missbrod jackzang !" Thus
spake he, and burst from the sack through the air.
Thus Ssidi's first tale treated of the adventures of
the rich youth.
THE ADVENTURES OF THE BEGGAR'S SON.
When the Son of the Chan arrived as before at
the cold Forest of Death, he exclaimed with threat-
ening gestures at the foot of the amiri-tree, " Thou
dead one, descend, or I will hew down the tree."
Ssidi descended. The son of Chan placed him in
THE RELATIONS OF SSIDI KUR. 59
the sack, bound the sack fast with the rope, ate of
his provender, and journeyed forth with his burden.
Then spake the dead one these words, " Since we
have a long journey before us, do you relate a
pleasant story by the way, or I will do so." But
the Son of the Chan merely shook his head without
speaking a word. Whereupon Ssidi commenced the
following tale :
" A long time ago there was a mighty Chan who
was ruler over a country full of market-places. At
the source of the river which ran through it there
was an immense marsh, and in this marsh there
dwelt two crocodile-frogs, who would not allow the
water to run out of the marsh. And because there
came no water over their fields, every year did both
the good and the bad have cause to mourn, until
suctt'times as a man had been given to the frogs for
the pests to devour. And at length the lot fell
upon the Chan himself to be an offering to them,
and needful as he was to the welfare of the king-
dom, denial availed him not ; therefore father and
son communed sorrowfully together, saying, ' Which
of us two shall go 1 '
" I am an old man," said the father, " and shall
leave no one to lament me. I will go, therefore.
Do you remain here, my son, and reign according as
it is appointed."
" ' Tangari,' exclaimed the son, ' verily this
is not as it should be ! Thou hast brought me up
with care, my father ! If the Chan and the wife
60 ORIENTAL FOLKLORE TALES.
of the Chan remain, what need is there of their son 1
I then will go, and be as a feast for the frogs.'
" Thus spake he, and the people walked sorrow-
fully round about him, and then betook themselves
back again. Now the son of the Chan had for his
companion the son of a poor man, and he went to
him and said, ' Walk ye according to the will of your
parents, and remain at home in peace and safety.
I am going, for the good of the kingdom, to serve
as a sacrifice to the frogs.' At these words the son
of the poor man said, weeping and lamenting, ' From
my youth up, Chan, thou hast carefully fostered
me. I will go with thee, and share thy fate."
" Then they both arose and went unto the frogs ;
and on the verge of the marsh they heard the yellow
frog and the blue frog conversing with one another.
And the frogs said, ' If the son of the Chan and his
companion did but know that if they only smote off
our heads with the sword, and the son of the Chan
consumed me, the yellow frog, and the son of the
poor man consumed thee, the blue frog, they would
both cast out from their mouths gold and brass,
then would the country be no longer compelled to
find food for frogs.'
" Now, because the son of the Chan understood all
sorts of languages, he comprehended the discourse
of the frogs, and he and his companion smote the
heads of the frogs with their swords; and when
they had devoured the frogs, they threw out from
THE EELATIONS OF SSIDI KUR. 61
their mouths gold and brass at their heart's pleasure.
Then said the wanderers, ' The frogs are both slain
the course of the waters will be hemmed in no
more. Let us then turn back unto our own country.'
But the son of the Chan agreed not to this, and
said, 'Let us not turn back into our own country,
lest they say they are become spirits ; therefore it
is better that we journey further.'
" As they thereupon were walking over a moun-
tain, they came to a tavern, in which dwelt two
women, beautiful to behold mother and daughter.
Then said they, ' We would buy strong liquor that
we might drink.' The women replied, ' What have
ye to give in exchange for strong liquor ] ' There-
upon each of them threw forth gold and brass, and
the women found pleasure therein, admitted them
into their dwelling, gave them liquor in abundance,
until they became stupid and slept, took from them
what they had, and then turned them out of doors.'
" Now when they awoke the son of the Chan and
his companion travelled along a river and arrived
in a wood, where they found some children quarrel-
ling one with another. ' Wherefore,' inquired they,
' do you thus dispute ? '
" ' We have,' said the children, ' found a cap in
this wood, and every one desires to possess it.'
" ' Of what use is the cap ? '
"'The cap has this wonderful property, that
whosoever places it on his head can be seen neither
62 ORIENTAL FOLKLORE TALES.
by the Tangari, nor by men, nor by the Tschadkurrs '
" ' Now go all of ye to the end of the forest and
run hither, and I will in the meanwhile keep the
cap, and give it to the first of you who reaches
" Thus spoke the son of the Chan ; and the chil-
dren ran, but they found not the cap, for it was
upon the head of the Chan. ' Even now it was
here,' said they, ' and now it is gone.' And after
they had sought for it, but without finding it, they
went away weeping.
"And the son of the Chan and his companion
travelled onwards, and at last they came to a forest
in which they found a body of Tschadkurrs quar-
relling one with another, and they said, ' Wherefore
do ye thus quarrel one with another 1 '
" ' I,' exclaimed each of them, ' have made my-
self master of these boots.'
" ' Of what use are these boots ] ' inquired the
son of the Chan.
" ' He who wears these boots,' replied the Tschad-
kurrs, ' is conveyed to any country wherein he wishes
" ' Now,' answered the son of the Chan, ' go all of
you that way, and he who first runs hither shall
obtain the boots.'
" And the Tschadkurrs, when they heard these
words, ran as they were told ; but the son of the Chan
THE RELATIONS OF SSIDI KUR. 63
had concealed the boots in the bosom of his com-
panion, who had the cap upon his head. And the
Tschadkurrs saw the boots no more ; they sought
them in vain, and went their way.
" And when they were gone, the prince and his
companion drew on each of them one of the boots,
and they wished themselves near the place of election
in a Chan's kingdom. They wished their journey,
laid themselves down to sleep, and on their awak-
ing in the morning they found themselves in the
hollow of a tree, right in the centre of the imperial
place of election. It was, moreover, a day for the
assembling of the people, to throw a Baling (a
sacred figure of dough or paste) under the guidance
of the Tangari. ' Upon whose head even the Baling
falls, he shall be our Chan.' Thus spake they as
they threw it up ; but the tree caught the Baling of
Destiny. ' What means this 1 ' exclaimed they all
with one accord. ' Shall we have a tree for our
Chan 1 '
" ( Let us examine,' cried they one to another,
' whether the tree concealeth any stranger.' And when
they approached the tree the son of the Chan and
his companion stepped forth. But the people stood
yet in doubt, and said one to another thus, ' Whoso-
ever ruleth over the people of this land, this shall be
decided to-morrow morning by what proceedeth
from their mouths.' And when they had thus
spoken, they all took their departure.
64 ORIENTAL FOLKLORE TALES.
"On the following morning some drank water,
and what they threw from their mouths was white ;
others ate grass, and what they threw from their
mouths was green. In short, one threw one thing,
and another another thing. But because the son
of the Chan and his companion cast out from their
mouths gold and brass, the people cried, ' Let the
one be Chan of this people let the other be his
minister.' Thus were they nominated Chan and
minister ! And the daughter of the former Chan
was appointed the wife of the new Chan.
" Now in the neighbourhood of the palace wherein
the Chan dwelt was a lofty building, whither the
wife of the Chan betook herself every day. ' Where-
fore,' thought the minister, 'does the wife of the
Chan betake herself to this spot every day ? ' Thus
thinking, he placed the wonderful cap upon his head,
and followed the Chan's wife through the open
doors, up one step after another, up to the roof.
Here the wife of the Chan gathered together silken
coverlets and pillows, made ready various drinks and
delicate meats, and burnt for their perfume tapers
and frankincense. The minister being concealed by
his cap, which made him invisible, seated himself
by the side of the Chan's wife, and looked around
on every side.
" Shortly after wards a beautiful bird swept through
the sky. The wife of the Chan received it with
fragrance-giving tapers. The bird seated itself
THE RELATIONS OF SSIDI KUR. 65
upon the roof and twittered with a pleasing voice ;
but out of the bird came Solangdu, the Son of the
Tangari, whose beauty was incomparable, and he
laid himself on the silken coverlets and fed of the
dainties prepared for him. Then spake the son of
the Tangari, ' Thou hast passed this morning with
the husband whom thy fate has allotted to thee.
What thinkest thou of him 1 ' The wife of the Chan
answered, ' I know too little of the prince to speak
of his good qualities or his defects.' Thus passed
the day, and the wife of the Chan returned home
" On the following day the minister followed the
wife of the Chan as he had done before, and heard
the son of the Tangari say unto her, * To-morrow I
will come like a bird of Paradise to see thine
husband.' And the wife of the Chan said, 'Be
" The day passed over, and the minister said to
the Chan, 'In yonder palace lives Solangdu, the
beauteous son of the Tangari.' The minister then
related all that he had witnessed, and said, ' To-
morrow early the son of the Tangari will seek thee,
disguised like a bird of Paradise. I will seize the
bird by the tail, and cast him into the fire ; but you
must smite him in pieces with the sword.'
" On the following morning, the Chan and the
wife of the Chan were seated together, when the
son of the Tangari, transformed into a bird of
66 ORIENTAL FOLKLORE TALES.
Paradise, appeared before them 011 the steps that
led to the palace. The wife of the Chan greeted
the bird with looks expressive of pleasure, but the
minister, who had on his invisible-making cap,
seized the bird suddenly by the tail, and cast him
into the tire. And the Chan smote at him violently
with his sword ; but the wife of the Chan seized
the hand of her husband, so that only the wings of
the bird were scorched. ' Alas, poor bird ! ' ex-
claimed the wife of the Chan, as, half dead, it made
its way, as well as it could, through the air.
"On the next morning the wife of the Chan
went as usual to the lofty building, and this time,
too, did the minister follow her. She collected to-
gether, as usual, the silken pillows, but waited
longer than she was wont, and sat watching with
staring eyes. At length the bird approached with
a very slow flight, and came down from the bird-
house covered with blood and wounds, and the wife
of the Chan wept at the sight. ' Weep not,' said
the son of the Tangari ; ' thine husband has a heavy
hand. The fire has so scorched me that I can
never come more.'
"Thus spoke he, and the wife of the Chan re-
plied, ' Do not say so, but come as you are wont to
do, at least come on the day of the full moon.'
Then the son of the Tangari flew up to the sky
again, and the wife of the Chan began from that
time to love her husband with her whole heart.
THE RELATIONS OF SSIDI KUR. 67
" Then the minister placed his wonderful cap
upon his head, and, drawing near to a pagoda, he
saw, through the crevice of the door, a man, who
spread out a figure of an ass, rolled himself over
and over upon the figure, thereupon took upon him-
self the form of an ass, and ran up and down bray-
ing like one. Then he began rolling afresh, and
appeared in his human form. At last he folded up
the paper, and placed it in the hand of a burchan
(a Calmuc idol). And when the man came out the
minister went in, procured the paper, and remem-
bering the ill-treatment which he had formerly re-
ceived, he went to the mother and daughter who
had sold him the strong liquor, and said, with
crafty words, ' I am come to you to reward you for
your good deeds.' With these words he gave the
women three pieces of gold ; and the women asked
him, saying, ' Thou art, indeed, an honest man, but
where did you procure so much gold ? ' Then the
minister answered, 'By merely rolling backwards
and forwards over this paper did I procure this
gold.' On hearing these words, the women said,
' Grant us that we too may roll upon it.' And
they did so, and were changed into asses. And the
minister brought the asses to the Chan, and the
Chan said, 'Let them be employed in carrying
stones and earth.'
" Thus spake he, and for three years were these
two asses compelled to carry stones and earth ; and
68 ORIENTAL FOLKLORE TALES.
their backs were sore wounded, and covered with
bruises. Then saw the Chan their eyes filled with
tears, and he said to the minister, ' Torment the
poor brutes no longer.'
"Thereupon they rolled upon the paper, and
after they had done so they were changed to two
" Poor creatures !" exclaimed the Son of the Chan.
Ssidi replied, " Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken
words : Ssarwala missdood jakzank ! " Thus spoke
he, and flew out of the sack through the air.
And Ssidi's second relation treats of the adven-
tures of the Poor Man's Son.
THE ADVENTURES OF MASSANG.
When the Son of the Chan arrived at the foot of
the amiri-tree, and spoke as he had formerly done,
Ssidi approached him, suffered himself to be placed
in the sack, fastened with the rope, and carried
away. Ssidi spoke as before, but the Son of the
Chan shook his head, whereupon Ssidi began as
" A long time ago there lived in a certain country
a poor man, who had nothing in the world but one
cow ; and because there was no chance of the cow's
calving, he was sore grieved, and said, ' If my cow
does not have a calf, I shall have no more milk, and
I must then die of hunger and thirst.'
THE KELATIONS OF SSIDI KUE. 69
"But when a certain number of moons had
passed, instead of the calf the poor man had looked
for he found a man with horns, and with a long
tail like a cow. And at the sight of this monster
the owner of the beast was filled with vexation, and
he lifted up his staff to kill him ; but the horned
man said, ' Kill me not, father, and your mercy shall
"And with these words he retreated into the
depth of a forest, and there he found among the
trees a man of sable hue. ' Who art thou 1 ' in-
quired Massang the horned. ' I was born of the
forest,' was the reply, ' and am called Iddar. I will
follow thee whithersoever thou goest.'
" And they journeyed forth together, and at last
they reached a thickly-covered grassy plain, and
there they beheld a green man. ' Who art thou 1 '
inquired they. ' I was born of the grass,' replied
the green man, ' and will bear thee company.'
"Thereupon they all three journeyed forth to-
gether, until they came to a sedgy marsh, and there
they found a white man. ' Who art thou ? ' in-
quired they. ' I was born of the sedges,' replied the
white man, ' and will bear thee company.'
"Thereupon they all four journeyed forth to-
gether, until they reached a desert country, where,
in the very depths of the mountain, they found a
hut; and because they found plenty both to eat
and to drink in the hut, they abode there. Every
70 ORIENTAL FOLKLORE TALES.
day three of them went out hunting, and left the
fourth in charge of the hut. On the first day,
Iddar, the Son of the Forest, remained in the hut,
and was busied preparing milk, and cooking meat
for his companions, when a little old woman put up
the ladder and came in at the door. ' Who 's
there 1 ' exclaimed Iddar, and, upon looking round,
he beheld an old woman about a span high, who
carried on her back a little sack. ' Oh, what, there
is somebody sitting there 1 ' said the old woman,
' and you are cooking meat ; let me, I beseech you,
taste a little milk and a little meat.'
" And though she merely tasted a little of each,
the whole of the food disappeared. When the old
woman thereupon took her departure, the Son of
the Forest was ashamed that the food had disap-
peared, and he arose and looked out of the hut.
And as he chanced to perceive two hoofs of a horse,
he made with them a number of horse's footmarks
around the dwelling, and shot an arrow into the
court ; and when the hunters returned home and
inquired of him, ' Where is the milk and the fatted
meat 1 ' he answered them, saying, ' There came a
hundred horsemen, who pressed their way into the
house, and took the milk and the flesh, and they
have beaten me almost to death. Go ye out, and
look around.' And his companions went out when
they heard these words, looked around, saw the
prints of the horses' feet and the arrow which he
THE RELATIONS OF SSIDI KUR. 71
himself had shot, and said, ' The words which he
spoke are true.'
" On the following day the Son of the Grass
remained at home in the hut, and it befell him as it
had befallen his companion on the previous day.
But because he perceived the feet of two bullocks,
he made with them the marks of the feet of many
bullocks around the dwelling, and said to his com-
panions, ' There came a hundred people with laden
bullocks, and robbed me of the food I had prepared
" Thus spake he falsely. On the third day the
Son of the Sedges remained at home in the hut, and
because he met with no better fortune, he made,
with a couple of the feet of a mule, a number of
prints of mules' feet around the dwelling, and said
to his companions, ' A hundred men with laden
mules surrounded the house, and robbed me of the
food I had prepared for you.'
" Thus spake he falsely. On the following day
Massang remained at home in the hut, and as he was
sitting preparing milk and flesh for his companions,
the h'ttle old woman stepped in as before and said,
* Oh, so there is somebody here this time ? Let me,
I pray you, taste a little of the milk and a little of
the meat.' At these words Massang considered,
' Of a certainty this old woman has been here before.
If I do what she requires of me, how do I know
that there will be any left 1 ?' And having thus
72 ORIENTAL FOLKLORE TALES.
considered, he said to the old woman, ' Old woman,
before thou tastest food, fetch me some water.' Thus
spoke he, giving her a bucket, of which the bottom
was drilled full of holes, to fetch water in. When
the old woman was gone, Massang looked after her,
and found that the span-high old woman, reaching
now up to the skies, drew the bucket full of water
again and again, but that none of the water remained
in it. While she was thus occupied, Massang peeped
into the little sack which she carried on her
shoulders, and took out of it a coil of rope, an iron
hammer, and a pair of iron pincers, and put in
their place some very rotten cords, a wooden
hammer, and wooden pincers.
" He had scarcely done so before the old woman
returned, saying, ' I cannot draw water in your
bucket. If you will not give me a little of your
food to taste, let us try our strength against each
other.' Then the old woman drew forth the coil of
rotten cords, and bound Massang with them, but
Massang put forth his strength and burst the cords
asunder. But when Massang had bound the old
woman with her own coil, and deprived her of all
power of motion, she said unto him, ' Herein thou
hast gotten the victory ; now let us pinch each other
with the pincers.'
" Whereupon Massang nipped hold of a piece of
the old woman's flesh as big as one's head, and tore
it forcibly from her. ' Indeed, youth,' cried the old
THE RELATIONS OF SSIDI KUK. 73
woman, sighing, 'but thou hast gotten a hand of
stone ; now let us hammer away at each other ! '