Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/206

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198

Balochi Tales.

IX.

The Goatherd who became King.

A certain king went out to hunt with his followers, and when they came to a certain place the king gave this order: "When any hunter puts up any game he must pursue it alone: no one else must go with him." By God's order it so happened that the king put up a buck. The buck went off and the king after it; no one else came. But the king's wazir followed a long way behind, thinking to keep himself informed of what the king did. As the buck bounded on he alighted in the midst of a flock of goats. The goatherd shouted to the king: "Who are you, scattering my herd?" The king said nothing. Then the goatherd struck at him with his hatchet, and hit him on the head; the king fell off his mare dead. Up came the wazir on his track. "You have killed the king," said he to the goatherd, "I didn't know he was the king," said the goatherd; "he scattered my herd and so I struck him, and he fell down dead. You can do whatever you think proper," "Dig a hole," said the wazir, "and let us bury him." So the goatherd dug a hole. The wazir then took off the king's clothes, and he took off his weapons, and gave them to the goatherd. They buried the king there, and then the wazir said: "Now you are king, come now and take the king's place." So the goatherd hid his face from the army, and the wazir said to the army: "The king is not well; he has caught a fever. You are dismissed; I will take the king home myself" So all the king's followers returned, each man to his own house, and the wazir brought the king home. Now the king had two wives, and the wazir said to them: "Your former husband is dead, now this man is your husband." They said: "If this is the man, we accept him." Then the wazir said to the goatherd: "You must stay in the house, and not go out. You are king, but I will administer justice myself." So for some days he stayed in the house and did not go out.