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HOW HOODT-HOODT ASKED FOR A CROWN

 

A " Ramses is coming! " cried the watchmen in the Pylon. The cooks ran to make ready a meal. The gate-men ran to open the great gate. All through the Ramasseum there was noise and the singing of men at their work - because Egyptians always sing while they work. They sang at their work long long ago, long before Ramses, and they sing at their work now in our time, just as they sang long long ago. To-day there was much singing; Hoodt-Hoodt, the bringer of happiness, was coming. They did not know that - but they felt happiness in the air. 
 
B Ramses came in through the great gate. And the huntsmen rode behind him. Then came men carrying nets full of ducks and other water-birds; then came men carrying the animals which had been shot or caught. 
 
Theyall went into the great hall. Hoodt-Hoodt, followed them; but soo n he said, "I have done enough. i have brought happiness to these people. Now let me go back to the forest; for i am very sad at heart." 
 
But Ramses saw him. "Ho! You!" he cried, "Why are you going away? i must give you something for the heIp which you have given me. You have served me well. Come and sit here " at my side. 
 
C Hoodt-Hoodt flew down and sat at Ramses' side. 
 
"Now, littIe one, you shall have whatever you ask. What do you want?" 
 
Hoodt-Hoodt looked very sad, and did not answer. 
 
The King laughed. "Can't you speak?" 
 
" Ah yes," said Hoodt-Hoodt, "but what i want 
 
t would be too much to ask." 
 
"Nothing is too much to ask. i can give you anything you ask." Ramses held up his hand: 
 
 "Be quiet! all! and hear what the Little One says." 
 
"O King - the only thing i want is a - crown." The King and all the great men sat up very straight. There was not asound in the hall. The little bird wanted a crown; he wanted to rule so me great country; he wanted the power of putting people to death or giving men back their lives- 
 
D " You only want a crown?" said Ramses: he was not laughing now. "What crown? Whose crown ?" 
 
"o-o-oh," said Hoodt-Hoodt. "I only want a very small crown - just to put on my he ad and always keep it there." 
 
Then Ramses laughed. " You want a crown! 
 
You shall have one! - Bring here the workers in gol d !" he cried. "Tell them to bring me the crown jewels." 
 
• All this time the King's lioness Sheytana had been at his feet. She heard the noise and jumped up. " Down, Sheytana," said Ramses, " are you going to fight against a little bird ?" - and he put his hand in the lioness's mouth.