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By Sir Richard Francis Burton (Translator)

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Now they were under the sway and government of a Crow who ruled them with mildness and benignity, so that they were with him in peace and contentment; and by reason of their wisely ordering their affairs, none of the other birds could avail against them. Presently it chanced that there befel their chief the doom irrevocably appointed to all creatures and he departed life;[FN#89] whereupon the others mourned for him with sore mourning, and what added to their grief was that there abided not amongst them like him one who should fill his place.

So they all assembled and took counsel together concerning whom it befitted for his goodness and piety to set over them; and a party of them chose one Crow, saying, "It beseemeth that this be King over us," whilst others objected to him and would none of him; and thus there arose division and dissension amidst them and the strife of excitement waxed hot between them. At last they agreed amongst themselves and consented to sleep the night upon it and that none should go forth at dawn next day to seek his living, but that all must wait till high morning, when they should gather together all in one place.

How then comest thou to my country? "--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. " So the man said in himself, "I am fallen between two Kings, and I know that the oppression of this ruler embraceth all who abide in his dominions, and if I satisfy him not, I shall lose both life and money (whereof is no doubt) and shall fail of my errand; whilst, on the other hand, if I give him all the gold, it will most assuredly prove my ruin with its owner, the other King; wherefore no device will serve me but that I give this one a trifling part thereof and content him therewith and avert from myself and from the money perdition.

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1001 Arabian Nights - Volume 9 by Sir Richard Francis Burton (Translator)


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