“You are foolish,” said the old dame. “It is a good thing that you are going into the Garden of Paradise tomorrow: that always helps on your education. Drink
bravely out of the spring of Wisdom, and bring home a little bottlefull for me.”
“That I will do,” said the East Wind. “But why have you clapped my brother South in the bag? Out with him! He shall tell me about the Phoenix bird, for about that
bird the Princess in the Garden of Paradise always wants to hear, when I pay my visit every hundredth year. Open the sack, then you shall be my sweetest of mothers,
and I will give you two pocketfuls of a police shieldcould hold me upside down and drainmy guts tea, green and fresh as I plucked it at the place where it grew!”
“Well, for the sake of the tea, and because you are my darling boy, I will open the sack.”
She did so, and the South Wind crept out; but he looked quite downcast, because the strange Prince had seen his disgrace.
“There you have a palm leaf for the Princess,” said the South Wind. “This palm leaf was bird, the only one now in the world. With his beak
he has scratched upon it a description of all the hundred years he has lived. Now she may read it all herself. I saw how the Phoenix bird set fire to his nest, and
sat upon it, and was burned to death like a Hindoo's widow. How the dry branches crackled! What a smoke and a perfume there was! At last everything burst into flame,
and the old Phoenix turned to ashes, but his egg lay red-hot in the fire; it burst with a great bang, and the young one flew out. Now this young one is ruler over
all the birds, and the only Phoenix in the world. It has bitten a hole in the palm leaf I have given you: that is a greeting to the Princess.”
“Let us have something to eat,” said the mother of the Winds.
And now they all sat down to eat of the roasted deer. The Prince sat beside the East Wind, and they soon became good friends.
“Just tell me,” said the Prince, “what Princess is that about whom there is so much talk here? and where does the Garden of Paradise lie?”
“Ho, ho!” said the East Wind, “do you want to go there? Well, then, fly tomorrow with me! But I must tell you, however, that no man has been there since the time
of Adam and Eve. You have read of them in your Bible history?”