Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/207

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Collectanea. 193

for sale. He supposed they were cloth ; so he said to himself : " What a splendid cloak {za'biit) they will make ! " So he asked what was the price of one of them, " You can have it for a guinea." " Agreed," he replied, and took four. Then he sewed these together and made a cloak out of them. But the first time he walked in the sun it melted.

V. In the next it is the turn of the Syrians :

There was a Syrian whose name was Homar {i.e. Ass). But his wife laughed at him on account of it, so his friends told him to change his name. Accordingly he sold his cow, and with the price of it made a great feast for his (male) friends. When they had well eaten and drunken he said to them : " I have now given up my old name." Then he asked them what his new name should be. " Gash " {i.e. young ass), they replied, and as he had drunk much wine he agreed to take it. Then he went home and knocked at the door of his house. "Who is there?" said his wife. "Gash," he replied. "Then let Gash remain outside, for he will soon become Homar."

In another version of the story which I have heard, the last part of it was as follows : After he had returned home to his house his wife wanted him and said : " Homar, come to me ! " "Hush !" he replied, "I am no longer Homar, but Gash." But she answered : " So you are Gash now ; it will not be long before you become Homar."

VI. Here is another story which is aimed at the Syrians :

A Syrian once entered a town where he found himself without money. He became very hungry and walked about until he saw a cook-shop. He went i"^o it, and sat down, and began to eat and drink — bread and meat and vegetables and other things — until he was satisfied. Then he said to the owner of the shop : " What do you do in this city to those who take what they cannot pay for?" "We set them on a donkey," he replied, " with their faces to the tail, and after whitening their faces all over, we call all the boys together to follow them through the streets." " I cannot pay for what I have eaten," said the Syrian. So they took him, and brought him before the judge, and he was ordered to ride round the town on a donkey with his face to the tail, and they collected the boys that they might follow him.