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Main > Arabic folktales > Fairy tale "V.The History of Sunshine and his Brother"

V.The History of Sunshine and his Brother

The time of my flight is come.’ Then said Moonshine with a troubled heart, ‘Alone I will not remain, but I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.’

“Because the following day was appointed for the murder, the two brothers took a sack with baling-cakes from the altar, crept out at night, for it was the night of the full moon, from the palace, and journeyed on day and night through the mountainous country, until they at length arrived at the course of a dried-up river. Because their provender was finished, and the river afforded no water, Moonshine fell to the earth utterly exhausted. Then spake the elder brother, full of affliction, ‘I will go and seek water; but do you watch an instant until I come down from the high places.’

“After some vain attempts Sunshine returned, and found that his brother had departed this life. After he had with great tenderness covered the body of his brother with stones, he wandered over high mountains, and then arrived at the entrance of a cave. Within the cave sat an aged Arschi. ‘Whence comest thou?’ inquired the old man, ‘thy countenance betokeneth deep affliction.’ And when the youth had related all that had passed, the old man, taking with him the means of awakening the dead, went with the youth to the grave, and called Moonshine back to life. ‘Will ye be unto me as sons?’ Thus spake the old man, and the two young men became as sons unto him.

“Not far from this place there reigned a mighty Chan of fearful power; and the time was approaching in this country when the fields were watered, but the crocodiles prevented this. The crocodiles frequented a marsh at the source of the river, and would not allow the water to stream forth until such times as a Son of the Tiger-year[2] had been offered to them as food. After a time it happened that when search had been made in vain for a Son of the Tiger-year, certain people drew nigh unto the Chan, and said, ‘Near unto the source of the river dwelleth the old Arschi, and with him a Son of the Tiger-year.

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