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Main > Arabic folktales > Fairy tale "VII.The Bird-man"

VII.The Bird-man

’ And the wife replied, ‘I have burnt it.’ And he said, ‘Barama, that is a pretty business—that birdhouse was my soul.’

“And his wife was troubled, and said, ‘What is now to be done?’ To these words the bird replied, ‘There is nothing can be done now, except you seat yourself behind the door, and there by day and night keep clattering a sword. But if the clattering sword ceases, the Tschadkurrs will carry me away. Seven days and seven nights must ye thus defend me from the Tschadkurrs and from the Tângâri.’

“At these words the wife took the sword, propped open her eyelids with little sticks, and watched for the space of six nights. On the seventh night her eyelids closed for an instant, but in that instant the Tschadkurrs and Tângâri suddenly snatched her husband away.

“Weeping bitterly, and despising all nourishment, the distracted wife ran about everywhere, crying unceasingly, ‘Alas, my bird-husband! Alas, my bird-husband!’

“When she had sought for him day and night without finding him, she heard from the top of a mountain the voice of her husband. Following the sound, she discovered that the voice proceeded from the river. She ran to the river, and then discovered her husband with a load of tattered boots upon his back. ‘Oh! my heart is greatly rejoiced,’ said the husband, ‘at seeing thee once more. I am forced to draw water for the Tschadkurrs and the Tângâri, and have worn out all these boots in doing so. If thou wishest to have me once again, build me a new birdhouse, and dedicate it to my soul; then I shall come back again.’

“With these words he vanished into the air. But the woman betook herself home to the house again, made a new birdhouse, and dedicated it to the soul of her husband. At length the bird-man appeared and perched himself on the roof of the house.”

“Truly, his wife was an excellent wife!” exclaimed the Son of the Chan.

“Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken words! Ssarwala missdood jakzang!” Thus spake Ssidi, and burst from the sack through the air.

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