Minah and the fox


Cik Othman lived with his wife and six daughters in a small village on Pulau. Pinang. All his six daughters were pretty. But althoughmany men wanted to marry the girls they did not find anyone they liked. As time went by and they became older, Cik Othman and his wife worried that their daughters would never many.
One day, Cik Othman and his wife were surprised to see a fox approaching their house.
"What do you want, Mr. Fox?" they asked.
"I want to marry one of your daughters."
"Ha, ha, ha! Who has ever heard of a fox marrying a girl?"
"Well, why don't you ask whether any of your daughters would like to marry me? I may not be a man but I'm kind and honest."'
The eldest daughter refused. "What, marry a fox! Oh, no, no!" she cried.
All the other girls refused except the youngest daughter, who was called Minah. She was the most beautiful of all.
"I don't think Mr. Fox is so bad," she said. "Atleast, he'skind and honest which is better than a lot of men."
There was a great shout of laughter from her sisters.
After she married Mr. Fox, all her family, friends and neighbours teased her about her husband. But they lived very happily together.
Minah never knew what her husband did for a living. He use(] to leave the house at dawn arid return late at night. One day, she decided to follow him. He went to the beach. She could hardly believe her eyes. Her husband took off his fur andchanged into a handsome young man. He stepped into a boat and rowed out to sea.
As soon as her husband was out of sight, she came out from behind the thick bushes where she had been hiding and took away his fur. That evening, when her husband returned, he couldnot find his fur. Minah jumped out of her hiding place. "Don't change back into a fox,', she cried. "You look so much better as you are." 
"Are you ashamed of me then?" he asked.
"No," she answered, "but it would be nice for everyone to know that you're really a man."
As soon as her sisters knew that her husband had changed into a man, they became jealous. But Minah did not take any notice of them.
Then her husband told her that he had to go away onbusi­ness. "I shall be away for several months," he said, "but when I returnI shall be a rich man."
Minah was very obedient. Although she was not happy, She allowed her husband to go.
Her sisters were very pleased. "Your husband has left you," they told her. "He'll never come back. Perhaps he has changed into a fox again."
However, one day the villagers came running to her house to tell her that her husband was returning. He was leading back a fleet of ships full of treasure—silk, golden plates, jade and precious stones.
Minah dressed herself in her best clothes and went to the beach to wait for her husband. Her sisters went with her.
Suddenly, her sisters seized her, and bound and gagged her so tightly that she could not move. They put her in a boat and pushed it out to sea.
Her husband's fleet approached. The first ship passed without seeing her. Ship after ship passed in this way. The last ship was her husband's ship, decorated with brightly-coloured flags.
"Stop," her husband ordered. "What is that boat overthere?"
When the boat camealongside, he recognized his wife ly­ing at the bottom of the boat.
"Minah, what has happened?" he called out.
He jumped down into the boat and set her free. He carried her back to his ship. When she felt a little better, she told her husband everything that had happened.
"Really your sisters are very wicked," her husband said. "We must teach them a good lesson." He told her to stay in his cabin.
When he landed, Minah's five sisters were waiting for him, dressed in their best clothes. "Where's my wife?" he asked.
"We don't know," they said. "We saw her go to the beachbut we didn't see her again after that."
They gave a big dinner for him which was attended by many rich and important people. As they served him with the best food and wine, he told them of his adventures, and how he had captured a pirate ship full of treasure.
"As I was approaching the harbour," he said, "I saw a small boat floating in the water. There was a young woman in it who had been tied up by robbers and left to die."
He clapped his hands, and some of his men brought in his wife. Minch was dressed in shining silk with sparkling jewels in her hair. Her sisters almost fainted.
"I'm not going to hand you over to the police," Minah's hus­band told them. "But I want you to leave this village and never return again. I hope this will be a good lesson to you for the rest of your lives."
No one knows where the sisters went but Minch and her husband lived happily ever after.



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