Once upon a time there was a time when there was no one but God.

The Mouse went out a-stealing and fell into a trap, and her tail got torn off. Away she went to the Cobbler and said:

"Cobbler, Cobbler, sew on my tail!"

The Cobbler said: "Run away and bring me some thread so that I can sew on your tail." The Mouse ran to the Jew and said:

"Jew, Jew, give me a thread

To give to the Cobbler to sew on my tail."

"Bring me an egg," said the Jew, "and I'll give you a thread." So she came to the Hen and said:

"Tutoo, Tutoo, give me an egg

To give to the Jew, who'll give me a thread

To give to the Cobbler to sew on my tail."

The Hen said: "Go and bring me a grain of corn and I'll give you an egg." So she came to the Corn Heap and said:

"Corn Heap, Corn Heap, give me a grain To give to the Hen, who'll give me an egg To give to the Jew, who'll give me a thread To give to the Cobbler to sew on my tail."

"Bring me a sieve," said the Corn Heap, "so that I can get you a grain of corn." So she came to the Tinker and said:

"Gipsy, Gipsy, give me a sieve To give to the Corn Heap, who'll give me a grain To give to the Hen, who'll give me an egg To give to the Jew, who'll give me a thread To give to the Cobbler to sew on my tail."

"Go and bring me a goat-skin," said the Tinker, "so that I may make a sieve1 for you." So she came to the Goat and said:

"Goat, Goat, give me a skin To give to the Tinker, who'll make me a sieve To give to the Corn Heap, who'll give me a grain To give to the Hen, who'll give me an egg To give to the Jew, who'll give me a thread To give to the Cobbler to sew on my tail."

The Goat said: "Go and bring me some grass, and I'll give you a skin." So she came to the Farmer and said:

"Farmer, Farmer, give me some grass To give to the Goat, who'll give me a skin To give to the Tinker, who'll make me a sieve

1 Sieves are made of fine strings of leather or gut stretched across a rough framework.

To give to the Corn Heap, who'll give me a grain To give to the Hen, who'll give me an egg To give to the Jew, who'll give me a thread To give to the Cobbler to sew on my tail."

"Go and bring me a spade," said the Farmer, "so that I can dig you up some grass." So she came to the Blacksmith and said:

"Blacksmith, Blacksmith, give me a spade To give to the Farmer, who'll give me some grass To give to the Goat, who'll give me a skin To give to the Tinker, who'll make me a sieve To give to the Corn Heap, who'll give me a grain To give to the Hen, who'll give me an egg To give to the Jew, who'll give me a thread To give to the Cobbler

To Sew On My Tail!

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

A Bakhtiari's Soliloquy

The day has rung with strife and battle-cries

As on the fated caravan we fell, And bore away their beasts and merchandise

Our robber chieftain's plunder-hoard to swell. The day's work over and the triumph won,

By stealth or force, by valour or by guile, Campward we turn our horse at set of sun,

And seek the peace of our black tents awhile.

The women bring us food and curdling mast,

The firelight flickers in the cool night air, From hand to hand the qalian is passed,

And rest, and home, and all the world seem fair. Then round the fire, the one with other vying -

While crouching children listen open-eyed - We live the day again: the horse hoofs' flying,

How Akber smote and how Mir Quli died.

Then, silence falling, day-dream phantoms rise: The Golden Brothers and the Maid-Gazelle,

Adventure and enchantment and surprise - The tales of old our mothers used to tell Of Div and Perl-Snake, and magic spell -

The Simurgh and the bridegroom's wolfish bride, The innocent unjustly flung to prison,

Demure Samamber veiled by Haider's side,

Fair as the Moon at full that in her pride

Says to the Sun: "Rise not, for I have risen."