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HOW HOODT-HOODT'S CROWN FELL OFF

 

A At last the great day eame. At sunset HoodtHoodt will be erowned in the great halL. 
 
Ramses, with his prinees and great men, eame in: he walked to his high plaee at the end of the hall and sat down. 
 
Behind him stood a line of his best soldiers. 
 
Near him were the wrestlers (fighters) and the daneers, ready to give their shows when the King wanted thern. Great hunting dogs from the Sudan walked about among the people. And Sheytana, as always, sat at the King's right hand. 
 
B Then Prinee Amun-her-Khepesh-ef eame in. He was Ramses' eldest (oldest) son. On his finger he earried Hoodt-Hoodt. He put the bird down on the bottom step in front of Ramses. Hoodt-Hoodt looked at the great Rarnses; then he looked raund at all the people who had eome to see the erowning; -. and he felt afraid. 
 
Then Na'aam Roosha eame into the hall, holding up a big box made of gold: in the box was the new . erown. He gaye the erown to Ramses, who took it gently in his hands. 
 
"Come near," said Ramses. But Hoodt-Hoodt 18 was thinking only of getting the crown on his head and flying away to show it to Miss Hoopoo. He came up the steps and danced up and down near the King's feet, crying out, "Tweet! Tweet!" 
 
C Na'aam Roosha took up Hoodt-Hoodt and put him on a Iittle table near the King. Ramses put the" crown on Hoodt-Hoodt's head, and Na'aam Roosha set it in just the right place. Then he put the bird down on the steps. Everyöne stood up to see. 
 
At first Hoodt-Hoodt to ok sh ort steps, because he was afraid of all those people. Then he felt braver and began to walk about freely. Everyone was Iaughing and crying out" ReautifuI!" 
 
It was a beautifuI crown. It had in it all the colours of the Hoopoo - black and white and gold. It made Hoodt-Hoodt Iook really Iike a king. 
 
Ramses was verypleased, and Na'aamRoosha who had made this beautiful thing, was full of happiness. 
 
And then it happened! Na'aam Roosha saw it happening and cold fear carne into his heart .. . .. the beautifuI crown began to fall off! Hoodt- Hoodt went on walking happily about in front of the King. The crown went to one side. Then one of • the Iong feathers caught in Hoodt-Hoodt's foot, and the crown carne right off And he nearly fell over it. 
 
D People would have Iaughed - but they saw Hoodt-Hoodt's face. All Hoodt-Hoodt's happiness had fallerı to pieces. He was only a foolish little bird who had been playing at being King, and now his crown had fallerı off, and people would only laugh at him. But no one laughed. They were waiting: what would Pharaoh say? They waited for his cry of anger. But no angry cry came. Ramses had thought of something. He had thought of the Wise Women who worked magic in a room far under-ground. "Na'aam Roosha has done all he can," thought Ramses; "he has made a beautiful crown and he has put it on the bird's head. But Hoodt-Hoodt's crown must grow on his head; he must keep it there and it must never come off. How can a featherworker make a crown growon a bird's head so that it will never fall off? That is a work of magic: a feather-worker cannot do magic. i made a mistake: i should have asked the Wise Women about that." 
 
"Bring the Seven Wise Women," said Ramses. Na'aam Roosha took up the crown and put it on the table. It was all right: it wasn't broken l Hoodt-Hoodt hid himself behind Pharaoh's feet; he only wanted to be left alone to die.