Then the girl brought up the calf and said: "Yellow calf, from one ear ash and pulau and from the other rose-water." And they spread out a handkerchief and a sheet, which were immediately covered with food, and the sisters ate till they could eat no more.
At nightfall they set out together and returned to the camp. The mother asked Four Eyes: "Daughter, what did you see?" "Nothing, mother," replied she, "the wretched creature just ate that barley bran of hers." "Bad cess to you! You're a wicked creature," cried the mother. Next day she said: "Four Stumps, my daughter, do you go with your sister." So Four Stumps got up and went off.
They wandered about together till after mid-day, and Fatima at last began to get desperate with hunger and said: "O Sister, if I tell you something, will you not tell it to your mother?" - "No, may my father die! I will not tell my mother." Then Fatima brought up the calf, and they spread out a sheet, and as usual the calf poured out ash and they ate till they could eat no more.
Now Four Stumps filled a leather bag with it and hid it, and at nightfall she came back, and when she was near the camp she called out: "Mother, spread out a horse-cloth and a saddle-cover while I come to you." The mother spread out a horse-cloth and saddle-cover, and when Four Stumps came and emptied the bag she saw that sugar and candy, ash and meat were poured out. "Daughter," said she, "didn't I say that she must be eating something good with that fine complexion of hers!"
The Stepmother then went and pretended to be ill, and said: "I am just going to die." She then dried two pieces of bread l and put them on the front and back of her chest as if they were poultices, and cried: "Oh dear, oh dear, I've got fever!" Her husband came in and said: "What's the matter with you?" and she said: "I've got fever; I'm just going to die."
But the day before the old woman had gone to the Akhund and had given him a bribe of five qrans and said: "My husband will come to you and get my horoscope. When he does, say: 'The flesh of a yellow calf will be good for her.'" The Akhund said: "Very good," and this arrangement was made between them, and so the matter stood.
Now the old woman kept on saying: "I have no one who takes care of me, I shall die of neglect." "What can I do?" inquired her husband. "Go," said she, "to the Akhund, and have prayers said for me." So the man went off to the Akhund and said: "O Akhund, I'll give you whatever you want, only don't let my wife die. Take the cover off your Quran 2 and offer up prayers for her." The Akhund uncovered his Qur'an and offered up prayers, and said: "Friend, the flesh of a yellow calf is indicated for her. Now go and decide for yourself what to do."
1 Remember that the bread was in thin soft flaps. The old lady probably only heated them.
2 Muhammadans consider the Qur'an very sacred, and think it irreverent to let any.
The husband returned home and said to Fatima: "Daughter, give me your calf that I may kill it for my wife. I can't let her die." "O Father," said the girl, "you've had your beard cut off,1 they're only fooling you. Indeed and indeed the old woman is lying. It is only from the malice she bears me that she wants to kill my calf, otherwise she isn't ill at all."
When she said this her father grew very angry, and took a stick and beat her. Then he went and brought the calf and stretched it out to cut off its head. But Fatima said: "Edge of knife like back of knife!" and for all he could do he couldn't make the knife cut. He rushed at his daughter with the stick and beat her till she cried: "Cut!" and then at last the knife cut.
Then the father skinned the calf and put it in a pot and set it on the fire, but Fatima said: "Don't cook!" and it remained on the fire for two days without getting cooked. Again her father went for her with a stick and beat her till she said: "Cook!" Then it cooked. They all ate the meat, but gave none to Fatima. She, however, collected the calf's bones and went to her mother's grave and said: "O Mother, it is I, and I've lost the yellow calf too, what am I to do now?"
Then she came back and lay down to sleep. In her sleep she saw her mother come and say: "Daughter, throw ordinary thing touch it, so they keep it in a cloth cover. They also think it very wrong to put down anything on the top of it down some cotton-wool on the road so that the wind may blow it away, and follow wherever the cotton leads you, till you come to the door of Alla Zingi the Div's house. When you get there, take his head on your knee, and he will say: 'Comb my hair for me!' Then he will ask you: 'Is my comb better or your mother's?' and you must answer: 'May evil befall her! Yours is the better.'
1 It is a great disgrace for a man to have his beard cut off, and it is sometimes done as a punishment. Fatima means that her father has been as much fooled and taken in as though his beard had been cut off without his even noticing it.
"Next he will ask: 'Is the string of my waterskin 1 or your mother's the better?' and you must say: 'Yours is the better.' Whatever he says, always praise his things." Fatima rose from sleep, and, throwing some cotton-wool to the wind, followed it up until she came to the door of Alla Zingi's house. She said: "Salam" to him, and he replied: "O born-of-man, what do you want? Come and sit down." She went to him and he put his head on her knee, and in answer to everything he asked she said: "Yours is the better." The Div was very much pleased, and said: "O born-of-man, I am going to sleep. While I am asleep a black cloud will come up and you won't wake me, but afterwards a white cloud will come, and then you must wake me up." "Very good," said she, and he went to sleep. A black cloud came and passed, and she didn't waken him, then a white cloud came up and she burst into tears, and the tears fell from her eyes on to Alla Zingi's face.