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HOW YAHUD BROUGHT THE CROWN jEWELS

 

A There was a noise at the door and the three brothers Yahud came in. With them came men carrying great boxes. Servants put down blue cloths on the flOOL From the boxes jewels were taken and set out upon the blue cloths - red and green jewels white and yellow and blue jewels, big jewels, !ittle jewels. All came out for Hoodt-Hoodt to see. But none of them pleased Hoodt-Hoodt. There was a great red stone which even the Queen of Sheba would have loved: but Hoodt-Hoodt would not look at it. 
 
"O King," he said, "theyare beautiful jewels. 
 
There is nothing on earth so beautifuL. Theyare like the colours of the sunset in the hills at Luxor. But i want none of them." 
 
B "What!" cried Ramses, very angry. " You want none of them! - You are too hard to please! " 
 
Then Ramses turned to the brothers Yahud: 
 
"What does this mean? Are not these our finest jewels? If theyare not, go and bring the finest. Go!" 
 
"O King," said the Big Brother Yahud, very much afraid (for he knew that Ramses put men to death for even a small mistake) : "O King, these are the finest jewels in this country; and theyare the finestjewels in all the world." He looked angrily at the little bird who thought nothing of such riches: with one of those jewels the brothers Yahud would be able to go to their own country, far from the power of Ramses; and there they would be the richest men 
in the land. 
 
C Now Roodt-Roodt was afraid. "O-o-o-oh," he said, "Oh please, my King, i don't want any jewels at all: i don't want any gold." 
 
"Nojewels? No gol d ?" criedRamses. "Didn'tyou ask for a crown? Speak! What are crowns made of?" 
 
Sheytana, the lioness, raised her head and made a low g-r-r-r, ready to kill anyone who made the King 
 
angry. 
 
"O King," said Roodt-Roodt, "I pray you, hear 
 
me! if i put a gold andjewelled crown on my head, my head will not be safe; it will not be any safer 
 
than your head is." 
 
"My - head - not - safe!" said Ramses. There 
 
was not asound in all the great hall. Was this so me 
 
. plan to kill the King? They had tried to kill him once. But Ramses could fight twenty of the bravest men and win, and Sheytana would pull them to 
 
• pieces as they fell. •.• 
 
D Perhaps there was a plan to put something in Pharaoh's food or drink? Re looked at Nobid. 
 
Nobid was the servant who ate a little of all Pharaoh's food before the King ate it, and who drank a little of all that was set before the King to drink. Then if anything had been put in the King's food or drink to kill him, Nobid would die first. Nobid looked back at Ramses; there was no fear in the servant's eyes. 
 
Then Ramses laughed. 
 
"No jewels? - Well, little servant of the Gods, what kind of crown do you want? Must i take the sun and the mo on out of the sky and bring you the colours from the hills of Luxor? What kind of crown do you need? i am waiting to hear - or do you not want a crown at all?" 
 
"O my King," said Hoodt-Hoodt speaking very clearly: he did not want any more mistakes. "O my King, i only want a little crown of feathers which will look well with the feathers of my coat." 
 
E A great wave of laughter passed over the great halı. 
 
"I don't really want eve n that; but Miss Hoopoo wants it. She's the girl i want to marry; and she will not have me without a crown." 
 
Hoodt-Hoodt closed his eyes and looked very sad. "But what does she know about crowns?" asked Ramses. "Where did she ever see a crown? " Hoodt-Hoodt flew up and spoke into Ramses' ear: 
 
"One day she flew near the Ramasseum. She heard voices; so she looked through a window, and there she saw you sitting with the princes and all the great men; and on your head was the crown of Upper and,Lower Egypt. Ever since then she has talked about it. When i sing to her of love, she 
 
.• looks at my plain head, and says, 'Ha! No crown!' and flies away. So now you see why i must have a crown." And Hoodt-Hoodt wept. 
 
 
 
F "So the King of Egypt," thought Ramses, "has even the power to change the love-life of a little bird! " 
 
He stood up. He held up Hoodt-Hoodt on his finger. 
 
"It is the order of Pharaoh, King of Upper and 
 
Lower Egypt: this little bird shall have a crown as he has asked. i say this in the name of the great God Amun Ra. Drink now, all of you, to the happiness of Hoodt-Hoodt and his lady!" 
 
As the King raised his hand to drink, Hoodt - Hoodt nearly fell off his finger.