Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/191

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Death, carry off the butcher who will not kill the ox, that will not drink up the water, that will not put out the fire, that will not burn the stick, that will not beat the dog, that will not worry the cat, that will not kill the rat, that will not gnaw the queen's skirt, who will not scold the king for not punishing the magistrate, who will not bid the man remove his olive tree to make room for my pomegranate tree to grow."

And Death said he would. When the butcher heard that, he turned pale and pleaded, "Don't carry me off, and I promise to kill the ox."

And the ox bellowed out, "Don't kill me and I will drink the water."

And the water bubbled over and hissed, "Don't drink me up and I will put out the fire."

And the fire stirred himself till he crackled, "Don't put me out and I will burn the stick."

And the stick stood up on one leg and said, "Don't burn me and I will beat the dog."

And the dog howled, "Don't beat me and I will worry the cat."

And the cat mewed, "Don't worry me and I will kill the rat."

And the rat squeaked, "Don't kill me and I will gnaw the queen's skirt."

And the queen shrieked out, "Don't gnaw my skirt and I will scold the king."