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Main > Arabic folktales > Fairy tale "Little Muck"

Little Muck

After the second portion of figs, it struck him that if his ears could find room beneath his large turban, he would not look so ridiculous, and, on trying it, he found that his ears had vanished. He ran straight back to the stream, in order to convince himself thereof; it was actually so; his ears had resumed their original figure, his long misshapen nose was no more! He soon perceived how all this had happened; from the first fig-tree he had received the long nose and ears, the second had relieved him of them: he saw with joy that kind destiny yet again placed in his hands the means of becoming fortunate. He plucked, therefore, from each tree as many figs as he could carry, and went back to the land which shortly before he had left. There, in the first town, he disguised himself by means of different garments; then, turning again to the city inhabited by the king, he soon arrived at it.

For about a year ripe fruit had been quite scarce; Little Muck, therefore, placed himself before the gate of the palace, for from his former residence there, it was well known to him, that here such rareties would be purchased by the kitchen-master for the royal table. Muck had not long been seated, when he saw that dignitary walking across the court-yard. He examined the articles of the traders who had placed themselves at the palace-gate; at length his eye fell upon Muck’s little basket.

“Ah! a dainty morsel!” said he, “which will certainly please his majesty: what wish you for the whole basket?” Muck set a high price upon them, and the bargain was soon struck. The kitchen-master gave the basket to his slave, and went his way: meantime Little Muck stole away, for he feared, when the change should show itself on the heads of the court, that he, as the one who sold them, would be sought for punishment.

At table the king was well pleased, and praised his kitchen-master more than ever, on account of his good kitchen, and the care with which he always sought the rarest morsels for his table; the officer, however, who well knew what dainties he had in the back-ground, smiled pleasantly, and let fall but few words: “The day is not all past till evening,” or “End good, all good;” so that the princesses were very curious to know what he would still bring on.

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