A Woman and the Fortune-Teller

Once there was a man who roamed the streets and lanes made up like a fortune-teller. One day a woman called him and said, What do you do for a living?

He said, I tell fortunes and I learn the tricks of women.

She said, You"ll never know all the tricks of women, but come in and tell my fortune.

He went in to tell her fortune, but just then her husband returned, so, before opening the door she hid the fortune-teller in a big chest. The husband ate lunch and began a game of chess with his wife. O my Husband, she said, if I win, what will you give me?

Whatever you ask for, said her husband.

She won the game and said, O my Husband, I have a man in that chest. I met him in the street and I desire him.

What are you saying? He got up in a fury to look in the chest.

O father, it isn"t true. It"s not true, said the wife laughing, and her husband sat down again.

When her husband had gone out, the woman opened the chest and said to the fortune-teller, Huh, were you able to foretell what was going to happen to you? Did you know whether I would let my husband kill you or not? Just as you can"t foretell the future, so you"ll never know all the tricks of women. If I had let my husband get at you he would have killed you and torn you limb from limb.

Without a word the fortune-teller took up his things and crept out the door.