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Main > Arabic folktales > Fairy tale "Little Muck"

Little Muck

“There at length will Klein-Muck find his fortune,” said he to himself, and in spite of his fatigue bounded in the air; “there or nowhere!” He collected all his strength, and walked towards the city. But although the latter seemed quite near, he could not reach it until mid-day, for his little limbs almost entirely refused him their assistance, and he was obliged to sit down to rest in the shade of a palm-tree. At last he reached the gate; he fixed the mantle jauntily, wound the turban still more tastily around his head, made the girdle broader, and arranged the dagger so as to fall still more obliquely: then, wiping the dust from his shoes, and seizing his cane, he marched bravely through the gate.

He had already wandered through a few streets, but nowhere did any door open to him, nowhere did any one exclaim, as he had anticipated: “Little Muck, come in and eat and drink, and rest thy little feet.”

He was looking very wistfully straight at a large fine house, when a window opened, and an old woman, putting out her head, exclaimed in a singing tone—

“Hither, come hither! The porridge is here; The table I’ve spread, Come taste of my cheer. Hither, come hither! The porridge is hot; Your neighbors bring with you, To dip in the pot!”

The door opened, and Muck saw many dogs and cats walking in. For a moment he stood in doubt whether he should accept the invitation; at last, however, he took heart and entered the mansion. Before him proceeded a couple of genteel kittens, and he resolved to follow them, since they, perhaps, knew the way to the kitchen better than himself.

When Muck had ascended the steps, he met the same old woman who had looked forth from the window. With frowning air she asked what he wanted.

“Thou hast invited every one to thy porridge,” answered Little Muck, “and as I was very hungry, I came too.”

The old woman laughed, saying, “Whence come you then, strange fellow? The whole city knows that I cook for no one but my dear cats, and now and then, as you see, I invite their companions from the neighborhood.

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