Page:Jewish Fairy Book (Gerald Friedlander).djvu/53

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KING SOLOMON'S CARPET

35

to the humble faith in God which David thy father taught thee. Did he not say: 'The meek shall inherit the earth?'[1] God loves humility."

In that moment Solomon was abashed. The rebuke of the wind had been fully deserved by the pride and vanity of the King. The wind bore up the carpet which now resumed its level position. Again the King rubbed his magic ring and commanded the wind to move on. The carpet flew through space and was just passing over a deep valley when Solomon cried, "Halt!" Below there were tens of thousands of tiny black ants. Solomon was somewhat taken aback to hear the voice of one ant crying to its little fellows: "Take cover! lest ye be crushed by the mighty army of the great King Solomon, the Servant of God."

Solomon commanded the wind to let the carpet fall nearer to the valley. He then cried aloud in a terrible fury: "We will descend to earth."

He commanded Ashmodai to appear before him. When the King of the demons saw Solomon on his wonderful throne he made obeisance and said,—

"Command, great Master, and thy wishes shall be fulfilled."

"Go, Ashmodai, and bring before me the ants in yonder valley."

The ants swarmed on the earth over which the magic carpet was hanging. Solomon said,—

  1. Ps. xxxvii. 11.