Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/212

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198 Collectanea.

The small globe of bubbles on the surface of a cup of coffee, usually termed surra, "money-bag," to which I have referred in my last paper, is sometimes called sarwa, for the more correct sharwa, "a thing bought."

When a person sneezes it is proper to say to him : " Yehamak Allah!" ("May God defend you!").

Inside the white crow, who must not have any black feathers, is a small thing like a filament, of a greenish colour, which is found along with the kidney, and when made into shishm or "eye-salve" will cure sore eyes.

If the lizard has feet, it can kill a scorpion.

If a cock has five toes, instead of four, on each foot, no afrit (spirit) will come near the house.

You must not allow anyone to look on while you are catching fish. If you do so, the fish will be struck by the evil eye, and, if taken, will be worthless.

There used to be human crocodiles on the Nile, who lived under the water and stole what they could from the river-banks. This human crocodile was called " the bewitched one " {el- mas/mr). One of the villagers of Helwan, a generation ago, found that his cucumbers were disappearing, so he hid himself one night behind the dry durra stalks which protected them from the wind and caught a mashur, who had just come out of the water, in the act of taking one. He seized him, and in spite of prayers and outcries, began to beat him, until the maslmr promised never to steal from his capturer again and to prevent any other masMr from doing so. He kept his promise faithfully from that time forward, and, in addition, brought fish which he laid in the garden every day.

I may mention here a curious survival in Upper Egypt, south of Luxor, which illustrates the recent date at which the crocodile has disappeared from that part of the country. The Egyptian crocodile was a nervous creature who greatly disliked noise ; hence the Nile-sailors never get into the water without shouting, and men who work the shadufs (machines for raising water) on the banks, where they were liable to be carried off by the crocodiles, still keep up a shrill shout or song while they