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- The Grey Fairy Book - 10/58 -
‘I am ready, gracious sir,' replied the Jew, rising to his feet.
‘Well, go straight on till you reach a town, and in that town you will find a maiden called Dschemila and a young man called Dschemil. Take this mirror and this comb with you, and say to Dschemila, "Your father, the ogre, greets you, and begs you to look at your face in this mirror, and it will appear as it was before, and to comb your hair with this comb, and it will be as formerly." If you do not carry out my orders, I will eat you the next time we meet.'
‘Oh, I will obey you punctually,' cried the Jew.
After thirty days the Jew entered the gate of the town, and sat down in the first street he came to, hungry, thirsty, and very tired.
Quite by chance, Dschemil happened to pass by, and seeing a man sitting there, full in the glare of the sun, he stopped, and said, ‘ Get up at once, Jew; you will have a sunstroke if you sit in such a place.'
‘Ah, good sir,' replied the Jew, ‘for a whole month I have been travelling, and I am too tired to move.'
‘Which way did you come?' asked Dschemil.
‘From out there,' answered the Jew pointing behind him.
‘And you have been travelling for a month, you say? Well, did you see anything remarkable?'
‘Yes, good sir; I saw a castle, and lay down to rest under its shadow. And an ogre woke me, and told me to come to this town, where I should find a young man called Dschemil, and a girl called Dschemila.'
‘My name is Dschemil. What does the ogre want with me?'
‘He gave me some presents for Dschemila. How can I see her?'
‘Come with me, and you shall give them into her own hands.'
So the two went together to the house of Dschemil's uncle, and Dschemil led the Jew into his aunt's room.
‘Aunt!' he cried, ‘this Jew who is with me has come from the ogre, and has brought with him, as presents, a mirror and a comb which the ogre has sent her.'
‘But it may be only some wicked trick on the part of the ogre,' said she.
‘Oh, I don't think so,' answered the young man, ‘give her the things.'
Then the maiden was called, and she came out of her hiding place, and went up to the Jew, saying, ‘Where have you come from, Jew?'
‘From your father the ogre.'
‘And what errand did he send you on?'
‘He told me I was to give you this mirror and this comb, and to say "Look in this mirror, and comb your hair with this comb, and both will become as they were formerly." ‘
And Dschemila took the mirror and looked into it, and combed her hair with the comb, and she had no longer an ass's head, but the face of a beautiful maiden.
Great was the joy of both mother and cousin at this wonderful sight, and the news that Dschemila had returned soon spread, and the neighbours came flocking in with greetings.
‘When did you come back?'
‘My cousin brought me.'
‘Why, he told us he could not find you! ‘
‘Oh, I did that on purpose,' answered Dschemil. ‘I did not want everyone to know.'
Then he turned to his father and his mother, his brothers and his sisters-in-law, and said, ‘We must set to work at once, for the wedding will be to-day.'
A beautiful litter was prepared to carry the bride to her new home, but she shrank back, saying, ‘I am afraid, lest the ogre should carry me off again.'
‘How can the ogre get at you when we are all here?' they said. ‘There are two thousand of us all told, and every man has his sword.'
‘He will manage it somehow,' answered Dschemila, ‘he is a powerful king!'
‘She is right,' said an old man. ‘Take away the litter, and let her go on foot if she is afraid.'
‘But it is absurd!' exclaimed the rest; ‘how can the ogre get hold of her?'
‘I will not go,' said Dschemila again. ‘You do not know that monster; I do.'
And while they were disputing the bridegroom arrived.
‘Let her alone. She shall stay in her father's house. After all, I can live here, and the wedding feast shall be made ready.'
And so they were married at last, and died without having had a single quarrel.
[Marehen und Gedichte aus der Stadt Tripolis,]
Janni and the Draken
Once there was a man who shunned the world, and lived in the wilderness. He owned nothing but a flock of sheep, whose milk and wool he sold, and so procured himself bread to eat; he also carried wooden spoons, and sold them. He had a wife and one little girl, and after a long time his wife had another child. The evening it was born the man went to the nearest village to fetch a nurse, and on the way he met a monk who begged him for a night's lodging. This the man willingly granted, and took him home with him. There being no one far nor near to baptize the child, the man asked the monk to do him this service, and the child was given the name of Janni.
In the course of time Janni's parents died, and he and his sister were left alone in the world; soon affairs went badly with them, so they determined to wander away to seek their fortune. In packing up, the sister found a knife which the monk had left for his godson, and this she gave to her brother.
Then they went on their way, taking with them the three sheep which were all that remained of their flocks. After wandering for three days they met a man with three dogs who proposed that they should exchange animals, he taking the sheep, and they the dogs. The brother and sister were quite pleased at this arrangement, and after the exchange was made they separated, and went their different ways.
Janni and his sister in course of time came to a great castle, in which dwelt forty Draken, who, when they heard that Janni had come, fled forty fathoms underground.
So Janni found the castle deserted, and abode there with his sister, and every day went out to hunt with the weapons the Draken had left in the castle.
One day, when he was away hunting, one of the Draken came up to get provisions, not knowing that there was anyone in the castle. When he saw Janni's sister he was terrified, but she told him not to be afraid, and by-and-by they fell in love with each other, for every time that Janni went to hunt the sister called the Drakos up. Thus they went on making love to each other till at length, unknown to Janni, they got married. Then, when it was too late, the sister repented, and was afraid of Janni's wrath when he found it out.
One day the Drakos came to her, and said: ‘You must pretend to be ill, and when Janni asks what ails you, and what you want, you must answer: "Cherries," and when he inquires where these are to be found, you must say: "There are some in a garden a day's journey from here." Then your brother will go there, and will never come back, for there dwell three of my brothers who will look after him well.'
Then the sister did as the Drakos advised, and next day Janni set out to fetch the cherries, taking his three dogs with him. When he came to the garden where the cherries grew he jumped off his horse, drank some water from the spring, which rose there, and fell directly into a deep sleep. The Draken came round about to eat him, but the dogs flung themselves on them and tore them in pieces, and scratched a grave in the ground with their paws, and buried the Draken so that Janni might not see their dead bodies. When Janni awoke, and saw his dogs all covered with blood, he believed that they had caught, somewhere, a wild beast, and was angry because they had left none of it for him. But he plucked the cherries, and took them back to his sister.
When the Drakos heard that Janni had come back, he fled for fear forty fathoms underground. And the sister ate the cherries and declared herself well again.
The next day, when Janni was gone to hunt, the Drakos came out, and advised the sister that she should pretend to be ill again,
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