III.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 follows:—
“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.’
“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 be rewarded.’
“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?’ inquired 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?’ inquired they. ‘I was born of the grass,’ replied the green man, ‘and will bear thee company.’
“Thereupon they all three journeyed forth together, until they came to a sedgy marsh, and there they found a white man. ‘Who art thou?’ inquired they. ‘I was born of the sedges,’ replied the white man, ‘and will bear thee company.’
“Thereupon they all four journeyed forth together, 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 day three of them went out hunting, and left the fourth in charge of the hut.