Sari Baba's Story

Sari Baba was a quaint old figure in the streets of the town. He was very bent, with rounded shoulders and a battered red face. He owned a vineyard about one hour's walk from the village and many of the stories he had to tell were delightful and interesting. One of these stories remains in my mind and it is the tale about a marvelous cherry tree in his orchard.

Sari Baba had been very much upset by noticing that one morning some of the heavily laden branches had been broken down and the cherries had been taken off the branches. He was so upset when he saw what happened to he cherry tree that he was determined to catch the culprit, as it was quite a custom of the village boys to wonder over the hills and help themselves to the fruits in the unprotected orchards. On this occasion, Sari Baba went out to the orchard early in the evening and waited in a hidden spot in the bushes where he could get a good view of the tree and the culprit or culprits.

As the night wore on, Sari Baba continued his watch. At times he began to doze off. After a long time, he suddenly was awakened by hearing a faint rustling in the bushes. The rustling seemed to come nearer and nearer, until he was able to perceive a dark figure, almost bent double stealthily moving toward the bushes and the cherry tree. As the figure approached the cherry tree, it stood up, and Sari Baba rushed from the bushes to the tree, and threw his arms around the upright figure. As it was reaching up to seize one of the branches, Sari Baba's hands met around the waist of the figure, - just as he was prepared to say, "Now, I've got you", - his open mouth was filled with hair - the pelt of a bear! The animal, surprised by Sari Baba, dropped on his four legs and scampered away and was much frightened.

Sari Baba was both surprised and frightened!

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