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LITTLE FOLKS IN EGYPT.
This little boy in the picture lives in Egypt.
His name is Ali.
His pretty red cap is called a fez.
He wears a pair of loose white trousers.
He wears a loose white shirt.
He wears a shawl tied about his waist like a scarf.
His slippers are red. He has no stockings.
He eats with his fingers. He has no knife nor fork.
He goes to school.
One day I visited his school.
There were twenty boys. There were no chairs nor desks.
The boys sat on the floor, in a circle.
Each boy had a tablet of wood. The teacher wrote a verse on these tablets.
Then the boys read the verse together, very loud.
When they read they bent forward and backward.
They made a great noise;
I know a little Egyptian girl. Her name is Fatimah.
She wears tiny ear-rings, and a necklace;
She wears a veil wrapped around her head.
She wears a loose cotton gown.
It is blue, and trimmed with beads.
The finger-nails and the palms of her little hands are stained red.
Fatimah has dark hair and soft dark eyes.
She is a dear little girl. She is a guide.
A great many travellers go to Egypt. They go to see the ruined temples, and the pyramids.
The people who show them the way are called guides.
All day long Fatimah shows the people the way.
Fatimah does not go to school. There are not many schools for little girls in Egypt.
Once there were no schools at all for little girls in Egypt.
Ali's Pet Dove
In 1873 a good princess opened a school for little girls.
They study geography and arithmetic, just as you do.
They are taught to sew and to cook.
I must tell you about the donkey boys.
There are many donkeys in Egypt.
They are not nearly so large as the horses.
When a tall man rides on a donkey, his feet almost drag on the ground.
The travellers who go to see the ruins, ride on donkeys.
A boy runs behind each donkey. He carries his red slippers in his hand.
He shouts at the donkey, to make him go fast.
He hits him with a stick.
He screams to the people to get out of the way.
He says, "Take care of your legs, O men, O women!"
I wish you could see a pet donkey. He wears a necklace of little bells. He is covered with a scarlet cloth.
This scarlet cloth is worked with gold. His saddle and bridle are embroidered.
His tail and mane are dyed red. Oh he is such a gay little donkey! When you go to Egypt, you will see little boys riding on tame buffaloes.
You will see little girls carry water-jars on their heads.
You will see women ride on donkeys.
The women will be all covered up with a long white garment.
You will see only their eyes,
and the tips of their yellow slippers. You will see houses made of mud. The mud is hard like bricks.
There is but one room in these mud houses.
The father and mother and all the children live in this room.
The hens and chickens walk in and out at the door.
There are no chairs, nor tables, nor beds. They sleep on mats.
The roofs of these mud houses are flat.
On every roof are little dovecots. These dove-cots are full of tame doves.
Both Ali and Fatimah have pet doves. You will see camels. You will see beautiful white storks
You will see horrid crocodiles.
O yes, you will see very funny things in Egypt!
The sun shines all day long in . Egypt.
It does not often rain there.
There is one river in Egypt.
It is the lone, beautiful Nile.
The reeds grow thickly on the banks of the Nile.
The little Egyptian boys make nice whistles out of these reeds.