It is related that there was once a man who had the fortune to obtain a son, and he went to the akhund to get the boy's horoscope.1 The akhund told him: "Your son is fated to be torn in pieces by a wolf." The father went home and built an underground chamber and put his son in it. Then he procured an akhund and brought him to teach the child.

In the course of some years the boy learned to read and write, and he grew up, and it became time for him to take a wife. His father's brother had a daughter, and they got her for him. The wedding celebrations lasted seven days and seven nights, and at the end of the week they brought the bride to the underground chamber to her husband, and they put the hand of the one in the hand of the other and came away, leaving them alone together.

No sooner did the youth put his arm round the girl's waist than she suddenly turned into a wolf and tore him in pieces. When she had done this, she turned again into the same girl as she was before. She sat down there, and had not the least idea how it had all happened, and she remained sitting where she was till morning.

When it was daylight the women came to her and found the bride sitting there and the bridegroom's body torn to pieces. "Girl," they asked, "how has this come about?" "I don't know," said she, "but I know this much, that I turned into a wolf and tore him, and then again I turned back into myself."

1 Many Persians still believe in astrology, more or less. The chiefs of a tribe will sometimes wait for a lucky day to start their tribe on the march or to set out on a journey.

The women raised shrieks and lamentations, and they carried off the youth's body and buried it, and men said: "Whatever is willed by fate, that verily comes to pass."