Of a Woman, who, having gone to buy Sugar, had an Amour with a Grocer.

WHEN the sun was set, and the moon got up, Khojisteh went to the parrot, and said, “I am fear-ful, and in my own mind greatly confounded, lest when I join my lover, he may be angry with me because of the delay. I know not what artifice to practise on that occasion.” The parrot said, “My mistress, it requires no thought or considera-tion; for women are able to devise many artifices, and are exceedingly prompt at repartee. I have seen and approved many women's tricks. If you will wait a little, I will tell you a short story of an excellent trick which a woman played her hus-band, and carried her point with her gallant.”— Khojisteh asked, “What kind of story is that?”

The parrot said: “Once on a time a man gave some feloose* to his wife, who went to a grocer's shop in the market to buy sugar. As soon as the grocer saw the woman, he had an inclination for her. The woman bought a seer* of sugar, and tied it in a corner of her veil. The grocer plied the woman with pleasant discourse, and she yielded to his desires. In short the grocer conducted her into his own house, and she left her veil in the shop. The grocer's shopman took the sugar out of her veil, and, substituting an equal quantity of sand, tied it up in the corner of the veil. When the woman came out again, she took up her veil and returned home. When she came to her hus-band, he untied the veil, and seeing it contain sand, he said to her, Why, wife, what pleasantry is this you are using with me? I sent you for sugar, and you have brought me sand. The wife, without any hesitation, said, As soon as I got out of the house an ox ran at me, upon which I took to flight, and tumbled down on the ground; the money fell out of my hand, and as I was ashamed to look for it before the men who were present, I took up the sand from the spot, and have brought it here: the money must be amongst this sand. The husband kissed her from head to foot, and said, The money, being lost, is of no consequence; but why did you trouble yourself to bring a quantity of sand? In short, the wife answering in this manner without hesitation, the husband was not angry, but even pitied her.”

The parrot, having finished this story, said to Khojisteh, “Arise, go to your lover; and if per-chance he should be angry with you, certainly you will at the time think of some good excuse.” Khojisteh was comforted by the words of the parrot. When she put her shoes on her feet, and wanted to have got up, the cock crowed, dawn appeared, and her departure was deferred.