Thereupon she pitched all her water-jars on the ground and smashed them, and ran as quickly as she could back to the house and saw - the same ugly old black slave-woman that there always was! Her mistress cried: "O you daughter of a burnt father! What have you done with the water-jars?" "O Missis," cried she, "me go to de water to fill de jars, big wind come, frow down de jars, all broken!" Her mistress was a little angry and scolded her a bit, then said: "Well, take these clothes of baby's down to the water and wash them."

As beautiful as the moon on her fourteenth night.

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Again the negress saw the same lovely reflection in the water: "A curse on de mistress's fader! Me am far more beautiful dan her!" With that she tore the baby's clothes to bits and scattered them on the stream, and ran as fast as she could back to the house. She went straight to the mirror, and looked and saw - the same ugly old black slave-woman that there always was! Her mistress asked: "What have you done with baby's clothes?" Then she began to cry and whine: "O Missis, me wash de clo's, water am bery, bery strong, swep all the clo's away." Her mistress beat her a little, and said: "Well, take baby out for a turn in the fresh air and see that he doesn't cry."

The negress took the baby in her arms and went again to the stream. Again she peeped into the water and saw that the reflection there was very lovely; again she swore at her mistress, and this time she threw the baby on the ground and was just going to tear it in two. But the Orange and Citron Princess was filled with pity for the poor baby, and cried out from above: "Hullo! Don't kill that child. Mine is the image you see in the water, not your own."

Then the slave-woman looked up and saw the Daughter of the Orange and the Golden Citron, and cried: "O Lady, me am your sacrifice! God grant you joy! Who am you?" Then the Orange and Citron Princess told all her story to the slave-woman. "O Missis, me come be your slave! When de King's son come back, you take me home." "All right," said the Princess, "but first go and take baby safely back to his mother. Then you may return to me; I am tired of being all alone."

So she took the child to his mother and then returned to the foot of the tree, and said: "O Missis, me come up de tree, but how?" Then the Orange and Citron Princess let her long hair right down to the ground and said: "Take my hair in your hand and climb up by that." The woman did so. As soon as she was safely up she said: "Me am an offering for you! Me take your hair in hand to climb up, me see it all tangled and dusty. Come, let us go down, me wash, comb, make nice for you."

The Princess agreed and they came down, and the slave-woman took the lovely head of hair on her lap and combed it gently. While she was doing this her new mistress fell asleep, and the negress quickly drew out a knife and cut the maiden's throat from ear to ear, and slew her, and threw the body into the water. Some of the blood fell on the ground, and from it there sprang up in that place a wonderful rose tree, which brought forth flowers so beautiful and so sweet-smelling that all men marvelled at them. Meanwhile the slave-woman climbed up into the tree and sat down in the place of the Daughter of the Orange and the Golden Citron. The King's Son on his part arrived soon after with an army and servants and attendants and slaves and equipment to fetch his wife. When he reached the foot of the tree he made a sign and the negress came down. In amazement the King's Son looked at her and exclaimed: "Great Heavens! What is this? Who are you?" - "Me am de Daughter ob de Orange and de Golden Citron." "That's a lie!" cried the unfortunate Prince.

Then the woman told the whole tale that the Princess had told her. "But if you are she," said the King's Son, "why have you turned all black?" - "Ah, dat come from all de sunshine dat catch me in de tree." - "But why did your face get all pockmarked?" - "De crows dey come and peck my face." - "And why do you talk so strangely?" - "Dat come from shoo-ing off de crows. You take me home, you see, after one year I turn again same like first day you see me."

XXII The Story Of The Orange And Citron Princess 27

The poor King's Son saw no help for it; he came and willy-nilly took her with him. Just as he was starting his eye was caught by the rose tree. It pleased him so greatly that he fell in love with it. When he got home to his own country he told his mother the whole story and the state of affairs, and he betrothed himself to the slave-woman in the hopes that she would again become as the Orange and Citron Princess had been the first day he saw her.

Meantime he sent men to dig up the rose tree and transplant it into his garden at home. They did so, and every day he used to go and sit under the rose tree and weep for his beloved. In time there was born a little son to the slave-woman. Now she had been growing jealous of the rose tree because the Prince was so fond of it, and she ordered them to cut it down, and from the wood she had a little cradle made for her baby boy. But every time she laid the child in it he got convulsions and fainted. So she told them to throw the cradle into the oven and burn it. They did so.

Now there happened to be an old woman who was a neighbour of the King's Son's, and this very day she came into the kitchen to beg a little fire. "Go and take a little out of the oven," said the cook. When she came to the mouth of the oven she saw that some of the wood was dancing about and flinging itself hither and thither. This wood she took for herself, and some of it she gave to the carpenter to make a little box to hold her spinning cotton.

Now this poor old woman lived all alone and had no one belonging to her. One day after she had got the rosewood box she went out. When she came back she found that the whole house had been washed, sprinkled, and swept, and she exclaimed: "What on earth does this mean? Who can have done this?" Another day came, and the same thing happened. She was very much astonished.

The third day she went out as before, but she stole into her neighbour's house and up on to the roof and started watching. Then she saw that her rose-wood box had turned into a girl as beautiful as the moon on her fourteenth night, and that the maiden had taken the broom and was sweeping the house. Quietly the old woman crept down, and went in and seized the girl by her clothes, and cried: "By the God who created thee, I conjure thee turn not again into the shape of a box!" Then she asked: "Who are you? What are you doing? Where do you come from? Are you a jinn or a perl or a human being?" "Good mother," answered she, "why concern yourself about me and my business? Let me be your daughter."

Now from the day the rose tree was cut down the King's Son got so thin from grief and sorrow that the sides of his stomach stuck together. One day, to try to pass the time and forget his misery, he was taking a stroll on the roof, and the maiden in the old woman's house caught his eye. He saw at once that it was the Daughter of the Orange and the Golden Citron, his beloved. He gave one cry and fainted.

An hour later he came to himself, and went home and sent for the old woman. When she came he said: "Mother, tell me that I may know, whence did that maiden come to you?" The old woman began to hem and haw, but he said: "By the bones of my father, I swear, if thou speak not the truth, they shall tie thee to the tail of a wild horse and turn it loose in the desert." So the old woman told him the whole story of how the maiden had come to her.

Then the King's Son sent for the Daughter of the Orange and the Golden Citron, and they brought her. When she came he threw his arms round her neck and wept a while, then he inquired: "What overtook thee?" Thereupon she related to him the whole tale of the wicked slave-woman.

Forthwith the King's Son ordered them to tie the negress and her infant to the tail of a wild horse, and drive them out into the desert until they were battered to pieces.

Then he had seven cities decorated and illuminated, and solemnly married the Orange and Citron Princess, and she became his wife and he became her husband, and they began to live their lives together.

May God who granted the desire of the King's Son Grant also the desire of all creation!

And now my story has come to an end, but the sparrow never got home.