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The Frog and the Condor

She was nothing but a slave, tending to the condor's every demand, while fearing every moment for her very life. With each beat of her clothes she burst out with another wail.

"Please don't cry," said a small voice. Collyur looked down to see a little frog on a rock, looking at her with sympathy. "What is the matter?" And the girl poured out her troubles to the frog while the creature listened and sighed.

"I can help you," said the frog finally.

"I'm afraid there is nothing on earth that can help me." Collyur turned away, still careful to hit her clothes against the rocks with a regular beat.

"But I can," said the frog. "I have a bit of magic. For a few minutes, I can change myself into any creature. If I change myself into you and keep beating your clothes, the condor will think you're still here and you can escape."

"Do you think it would work?" Collyur brightened and looked with wonder at this little frog, who seemed at that moment to be the most beautiful creature on earth. She leaned over and kissed the frog on the forehead.

"We cannot wait a second more," said the frog, and in an instant changed into the image of Collyur. The new Collyur picked up the girl's clothes and resumed beating them against the rocks.

"Now go!"

At once, Collyur ran as fast as she could down the mountain to the valley and the shepherd's home. The little frog, as the image of Collyur, kept beating the clothes with the same motion.

"What's keeping that foolish girl?" the condor hissed after many minutes had passed. "She'll make me wait here all day!" The condor flew to the stream where he saw the image of Collyur kneeling over the rocks, beating her clothes. Landing on a high rock, he shook his beak, a hook powerful enough to pierce the hide of a llama, and shrieked, "Stop it at once, you silly girl! Come back with me now!

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Category: Arabic folktales
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