After this the stepmother, who had before treated her "And on you be peace!" 83 cruelly and half-starved her, giving her only a little barley and millet bread to take out into the desert for her whole day's food, now began to pet her and be kind to her.
One day she made a big loaf of wheat flour, with dates and butter and eggs in it, as if for a journey, and said to Little Fatima: "This nice loaf is for you; now take your sister out into the desert with you and show her where your well is, and let her go down to the kind Div." And Little Fatima said: "All right."
Off they went together into the desert till they came to the top of the well. There Little Fatima threw in a wisp of cotton that they had brought on purpose, and said to her sister: "Go you down into the well and salam to the Div, and whatever she tells you to do you must do it exactly. Then get your cotton and come back."
So the stepsister went down and saw the Div sitting at the bottom of the well and salamed to her. The Div answered and said: "It is well for you that you salamed politely, otherwise I should have made just one mouthful of you." Then she said: "Come along and break my head." The stepsister looked round and found a large stone. She lifted it and dashed it down on the Div's head till it broke. Then said the Div: "Go and smash those water-jars," and the girl promptly threw them on the ground and smashed them to pieces. Next she said: "Pull down my house." Immediately the girl took a pick and started knocking down the house.
After this the Div asked: "What are you doing here?" "I came to fetch my lost cotton," answered she. "Very well, go into my Treasury, and you will find your cotton lying on top of the precious stones; take it, and take also as many of the jewels as your heart desires." So the stepsister went and took her cotton and as many of the jewels as ever she could carry in her pockets and in her clothes and in her hands, and started to climb up out of the well. When she had got about half-way up the Div called out:
"White Wind, come and shake her!" and when she reached the top she called:
"Black Wind, come and shake her!"
And the winds came and blew and buffeted her about, and all the jewels and gold coins and precious stones she had taken went rattling down every one of them into the well.
Then the Div called out: "Go away in safety, little girl, and may God make a donkey's ears grow on your forehead and a donkey's tail sprout from your chin!" And so it happened.
When she came home and her mother saw her, she beat her breast and cried: "Good heavens, child, what is this?" And she brought a pair of scissors and cut off the donkey's ears and tail and sprinkled salt on the places where they had been growing. But when morning came, there they were again.
Now it happened that the King's daughter was going to be married, and every one had been invited to the wedding. The stepmother came to Little Fatima and gave her some beans and lentils that she had mixed together, and said: "You must separate these out before I come back," and she gave her an empty jar and said: "You must cry and cry until you have filled this jar with your tears." Then she and her daughter went off to the royal wedding.
Poor Little Fatima sat down in despair and began to cry for grief and disappointment. Then the cow came out and shook its head, and from its horns fell a cock and a hen, who separated out the beans and lentils like lightning. Then it shook its head again, and salt water poured from one of its horns and filled the empty jar.
Again the cow shook its head, and from the other horn fell a set of beautiful fine silk clothes. Then the cow spoke to her daughter and said: "Put on these beautiful clothes and go to the wedding-party." And Little Fatima gladly did so.
As she approached the palace her clothes looked so beautiful and costly that every one thought she must be one of the greatest ladies in the land, and they stood up as she passed and showed her to one of the best seats. And all the while her stepmother and her stepsister had only found a seat with the servants in the outer hall where people took off their shoes. After a while the other Fatima poked her mother in the ribs and said: "Look, Mummy, I believe that's Little Fatima." But her mother said: "Nonsense, child, she's sitting blubbering at home, bad luck to her!"
When the party broke up Little Fatima rose quickly before any one else and hurried home. As she was going the King's Son saw her and fell in love with her, and followed her till she came to the edge of a stream. She ran to jump it, and one of her slippers fell into the water. The King's Son said to one of his servants: "Pick up that slipper." When he looked at it he saw that it was a lovely little slipper, most beautifully cut.
Then he gave it to his attendants and said: "You will take this to every house in the Kingdom till you find the owner." They went round all the countryside till at last they came to Little Fatima's home. Quickly the stepmother shoved the child into the upright oven, and put a sack of millet over the mouth of it and a five-mann weight on top of that again.
When the Prince's men came in she brought her own daughter forward, and they tried the slipper on her, but it wouldn't fit. Now there was a cock in the house, and he flew up on to the oven and began to crow. The stepmother kept hitting at him and saying: "Shoo! get out of that, get off!" But the messengers said: "Mother, why do you hit him? Leave him alone and let us see what he has to say." Then they listened carefully, and heard him cry:
You seek the owner of that fine shoe?
The oven is covered up, I fear,
And that's the reason you can't see 'er,
But Little Fatima's very near, Under me in the oven here, She is the owner of that fine shoe, Cock-a-doodle-doodle-doodle, COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!"
They went to the oven and lifted the little girl out and tried on the slipper, and when they found that it fitted, they carried her off to be the bride of the King's Son, and her stepmother and stepsister died of annoyance.
And now my story has come to an end, but the sparrow never got home.