The Shop-keeper's Wife, who, having an Amour with a Person, confounded her Father-in-law.

WHEN the sun was gone down, and the moon, the fixed stars, and the planets appeared, Khojisteh, un­dressed, came weeping to the parrot, and said, “Alas my confidential friend, who sympathise in my dis-tress! I have the most anxious desire to see my lover, being extremely afflicted and depressed. If it seems adviseable to you, quickly give me leave to visit the possessor of my heart, or else I will bear with it, although I know that whoever is in love has not patience.” The parrot answered, “To you, my mistress, who come to me every night for leave and advice, thus acting with deliberation, no harm can happen. Like the shop-keeper's wife, who, having acted considerately, did not suffer any in-jury.” Khojisteh asked, How and what is the “story of the shop-keeper's wife?”

The parrot began, saying, “One day, as a shop-keeper's wife was sitting on the terrace of the house, a young man saw her, and was enamoured. The woman perceived that the youth had fallen in love with her; she called him, and said, ‘Come to ‘me after midnight, and seat yourself under a tree ‘that is in my court-yard.’ After midnight the youth repaired to her house; the woman also got out of bed and went to him, and slept with him under the tree. It happened that the shop-keeper's father, at the very time having risen on account of some business, wanted to go out of the house: unexpectedly he saw his son's wife sleeping along with a strange man; he took the rings from off the woman's legs, saying to himself, In the morn-ing I will punish her. The woman sent away the youth, and going to her own husband, waked him, and said, The house is very hot; come, let us sleep under the tree. In short, the woman slept with her husband, on that very spot where she and the young man had slept together. When the hus-band was fast asleep, she waked him again, and said, Your father came here just now, took the rings from my ancles, and carried them away. That old man, whom I consider as my father, how could he approach me at the time I was sleeping with my husband, and, taking the rings from my ancles, carry them away! In the morning the husband was angry with his father, who disclosed the cir-cumstance, how in the night he had seen her with a strange man. The son spoke harshly to the father, saying, In the night, when, on account of the heat, my wife and I were sleeping under the tree, you came, and taking the rings from my wife's legs, carried them away: at the very time my wife waked me, and informed me of the circumstance. Accordingly the father was greatly ashamed, and the wife, by contriving such a trick, escaped un-punished.”

The parrot having finished this story of the shop­keeper's wife, said to Khojisteh, “Now arise, and go to him who has robbed you of your heart.” She then wanted to have gone, when the cock crowing, her departure was put off.