Then Mahmad went off and tore some bark from the tree and tied it round his feet, and he cut a wand and held it in his hand, and plucked some of the leaves and put them in his pocket. Then he started out over the water and found that he could walk on it just as if it were dry land. He went on and on, and found that he covered a great distance every hour, and he did not stop till he came to the Lady's Castle. There he saw her sitting over the gate and looking out.

She seemed to be in great good spirits. When she recognised Mahmad she cried: "Hullo, what trick have you played now that you have been able to come over the sea?" "But I mustn't let him come into the house," thought she, and she called out to her servants: "Don't let this son of a dog come into the house!" "Son of a dog yourself!" retorted Mahmad, "I've come to burn your father."

The men about the place ran up to turn him back, but he struck them with his wand and they all turned into donkeys. Then he came up to the woman herself and struck her with the wand and said: "Haush!" and she also turned into a donkey. Then he put saddle-bags on her, and set her to carrying earth till it was night, when he tied her up and threw down some straw in front of her: "Let us see how a person who has lived on flattery and kindness will manage to eat a handful of coarse straw left over by other animals!" But she only hung her head, and tears streamed from her eyes.

"Well, you won't get off," said Mahmad, "until you have shown me where the liver is, and have given me back the carpet and the bag and the antimony vial." But she continued to hang her head, for she had no language in which she could speak. "I'm going to bring you old wine, which you must drink," said he, and still she hung her head. Then he noticed that there was an amulet round her neck which contained the liver of the bird. So he took the talisman and hung it again round his own neck.

Then he struck her with the wand and said: "Adam!" and she became a woman again just as she was before. "All right now," said Mahmad; "come and show me where the other things are." She told him where they were, and then they both swore not to plot against each other in the future, and they settled down to enjoy themselves together.

Now listen to a few words about Ahmad. As he went along the road to the right he came near to an inhabited place. As it chanced, the ruler of the people there had died, and they were flying a hawk to see on whom it would alight, for such was their manner of choosing a new King. But the hawk went and lighted on a wall. "Let this traveller come up," said the people, "and let us see who he is." So they made him draw near, and then they flew their hawk again. This time the hawk flew and lighted on Ahmad's head. But the people were not minded to approve this choice, "for," said they, "what do we know as to who this fellow is?"

Again they flew their hawk, and again it lighted on Ahmad's head, but once more they would not accept him. When, however, it settled three times in succession on the stranger's head, the elders of the place said: "What harm would there be in letting him be king for a time till we see in what manner he rules?" This was agreed to, and so he settled down to rule the country, and they found that he was an excellent king, and all the people were very much pleased with him.

Now King Ahmad began to think of his brother, and he sent out a man to search for him, and at last they got trace of him. Then Mahmad and his wife, when they received Ahmad's message, packed up their things and came to him, and the two brothers threw their arms round each other's neck. Presently Mahmad said: "Brother, do send for our Mother and Father and have them brought here if they are still alive." So the King sent for them.

Now both the father and mother were blind, but blind though they were, the King's messengers brought them along. As soon as they were presented to him Ahmad said: "O Mother, what harm did we ever do that you wished to kill us? It would be but a just punishment that you should sit on in your blindness, but because you rocked us in your arms in our babyhood we will make you well." Thereupon he took out the leaves of the tree and rubbed them on his father's and mother's eyes, and their sight was restored.

Then the mother repented of her evil deeds and said: "What a wicked thing this is that I did!" and they all settled down to enjoy themselves for the rest of their lives.