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Away flew the Butterfly's Wife to her husband, and in five minutes they were quarrelling worse than ever.

"Remember!" said the Butterfly. "Remember what I can do if I stamp my foot."

"I don't believe you," said the Butterfly's Wife. "I would like to see it with my own eyes. Stamp now!"

"I promised Suleiman-bin-Daoud that I wouldn't," said the Butterfly.

"You couldn't bend a blade of grass with your stamping," she said. "Stamp! Stamp! Stamp!"

Suleiman-bin-Daoud, sitting under the Camphor Tree, heard every word of this, and he laughed as he had never laughed in his life before. He forgot all about his Queens: he forgot about the Animal that came out of the sea; he forgot about showing off. He just laughed, and Balkis, on the other side of the tree, smiled because her own true love was so happy.

Presently the Butterfly, very hot indeed, came to Suleiman and said, "She wants me to stamp! She wants to see what will happen, О Suleiman-bin-Daoud! You know I can't do it, and now she'll never believe a word I say. She'll laugh at me to the end of my days!"

"No, little brother," said Suleiman-bin-Daoud, "she will never laugh at you again," and he turned the ring on his finger — just for the little Butterfly's sake — and four huge Djinns came out of the earth!

"Djinns," said Suleiman-bin-Daoud, "when this gentleman on my finger stamps his left front foot you will make my Palace and these gardens disappear. When he stamps again you will bring them back carefully."

"Now, little brother," he said, "go back to your wife and stamp."

Away flew the Butterfly to his wife, who was crying, "Stamp! Stamp now! Stamp!" Balkis saw the four Djinns take the gardens with the Palace in the middle, and she said, "At last Suleiman-bin-Daoud will do for the sake of Butterfly what he ought to have done long ago for his own sake, and the quarrelsome Queens will be frightened!"

Then the Butterfly stamped. The Djinns threw the Palace and the gardens a thousand miles into the air, and everything grew black. The Butterfly's Wife was flying in the dark and crying, "Oh, I'll be good! I'm so sorry I spoke! Only bring the gardens back, my dear husband, and I'll never quarrel again."

The Butterfly was as frightened as his wife, and Suleiman-bin-Daoud laughed so much that it was several minutes before he could speak to the Butterfly, "Stamp again, little brother. Give me back my Palace, most great magician."

"Yes, give him back his Palace," said the Butterfly's Wife, still flying about in the dark. "Give him back his Palace, and please no more magic today."

So he stamped once more, and that moment the Djinns brought down the Palace and the gardens. The sun shone on the dark-green orange-leaves; the fountains played among the pink Egyptian lilies; the birds went on singing; and the Butterfly's Wife lay on her side under the Camphor Tree saying, "Oh, I'll be good! I'll be good!"

Suleiman-bin-Daoud could hardly speak for laughing.

Then came a terrible noise, for all the nine hundred and ninety-nine Queens ran out of the Palace shouting and calling for their babies. And the Cleverest Balkis went to meet them and said, "What is your trouble, О Queens?"

They stopped and shouted, "What is our trouble? We were living peacefully in our golden Palace, when suddenly the Palace disappeared, and we were left sitting in a thick darkness; and Djinns moved around in the darkness! That is our trouble, О Head Queen, and we are most troubled on that trouble, for it was a troublesome trouble, unlike any trouble we have known."

Then Balkis the Most Beautiful Queen, almost as clever as the Most Wise Suleiman-bin-Daoud himself, said, "It is nothing, О Queens! A Butterfly has a quarrelsome wife and our Suleiman-bin-Daoud decided to teach her a lesson, for that is not good to be quarrelsome."

But the Queens didn't believe her and Balkis asked them to go to the garden. There under the Camphor Tree they saw Suleiman-bin-Daoud with a Butterfly on his hand, and they heard him say, "O wife of my brother in the air, remember after this to please your husband in all things. Remember, he can stamp his foot again. Go in peace!" and they flew away.

Then all the Queens except Balkis — the Most Beautiful Balkis, who stood apart smiling — thought, "If these things are done when a Butterfly is not pleased with his wife, what shall be done to us?" Then they put their hands over their mouths, and they went back to the Palace most mousy-quiet.

Then Balkis — the Most Beautiful Balkis — went through the red lilies to the Camphor Tree and said to Suleiman-bin-Daoud, "O my Lord and Treasure of my Soul, we have taught the Queens with a great teaching."

And Suleiman-bin-Daoud, still looking at the Butterflies playing in the sunlight, said, "O my Lady, when did this happen? I have just had a small talk with a Butterfly in the garden."

Balkis said, "O my Lord and Treasure of my Soul, I hid behind the Camphor Tree and saw it all. It was I who told the Butterfly's Wife to ask the Butterfly to stamp, because I hoped that for the sake of the Butterfly you would make some great Magic and that the Queens would see it and be frightened." And she told him what the Queens said and thought.

Then Suleiman-bin-Daoud stood up from the soft grass he was sitting on and said: "O my Lady and Sweetener of my Days, I made the Magic for the sake of a joke and for the sake of a little Butterfly, and it saved me from the quarrelsome Queens! Tell me, О my Lady and Heart of my Heart, how did you come to be so clever?"

And Balkis the Queen, beautiful and tall, looked up into Suleiman-bin-Daoud's eyes just like the Butterfly, and said, "First, О my Lord, because I loved you; and secondly, О my Lord, because I know what women are like."

Then they went up to the Palace and lived happily.

But wasn't it clever of Balkis?

A. Name the characters who:

  1. understood the language of animals
  2. quarrelled with Sulei¬man-bin-Daoud
  3. was ashamed of showing off
  4. did not quarrel
  5. had a quarrelsome wife
  6. sat on the queen's finger
  7. boasted to his wife
  8. wanted to help the butterfly
  9. wanted to punish the queens
  10. stamped his foot
  11. threw the Palace and the gardens into the air
  12. promised to be good
  13. could hardly speak for laughing
  14. put their hands over their mouths
  15. was clever

B. Explain why:

  1. Suleiman-bin-Daoud forgot about his wives, the animal and showing off.
  2. The butterfly came to Suleiman-bin-Daoud.
  3. The butterfly's wife wanted her husband to stamp.
  4. Suleiman-bin-Daoud turned the ring on his finger.
  5. Everything grew black.
  6. Soon after the palace was brought down there came a terrible noise.
  7. The wives went back to the Palace most mousy-quiet.

C. Answer the questions.

  1. What is the setting of the story?
  2. Who are the main characters of the story?
  3. What is Suleiman-bin-Daoud's problem?
  4. Does he try to solve his problem? Why?
  5. Who wants to help Suleiman-bin-Daoud to solve his problem? Why?
  6. What is the butterfly's problem?
  7. Why does Balkis want the butterfly to stamp?
  8. What does she do to make him stamp?
  9. Why does Suleiman-bin-Daoud decide to help the butterfly?
  10. How does it help to solve his own problem?
  11. What is the main idea of the story?

D. Write down adjectives to characterize:

a) Suleiman-bin-Daoud; b) his wives; c) Balkis; d) the butterfly; e) the butterfly's wife.

E. Learn the dialogues and role-play the scene in the garden.

F. Tell the second part of the story from the point of view of:

a) Suleiman-bin-Daoud; b) Balkis; c) the butterfly; d) the butterfly's wife; e) Suleiman-bin-Daoud's wives.