this is my gazelle

A Bedouin set out one day with his young son to graze his she-camel and look for wild herbs and roots to take back for his wife to cook.  When they had loaded the camel and were heading toward home, a herd of magnificent gazelles suddenly appeared across their path. Silently and quickly the father made the camel lower herself onto her knees, and he slid from her back.  Warning the boy not to stray until he returned, he hurried after the gazelles. The wild things leaped into the air and streaked off as soon as he stepped toward them, but the Bedouin was a keen hunter and loved nothing better than the chase.  Eagerly he followed on their trail.

Meanwhile the tender child waited alone.  From destiny there is no escape. It was his fate that a She-Ghoul, that monster of the wilderness who loves to feed on human flesh, should spy him as he stood unprotected.  With one leap she sprang upon him and greedily devoured him.

The father hunted long and far but could not catch a single deer.  At last he resigned himself and returned without the game. Though the camel was kneeling where he had left it, he could not see his son.  He looked on every side, but the boy was gone. Then on the ground he found dark drops of blood. "My son! My son is killed! My son is dead!" he shrieked.  Yet what could he do but lead his camel home?

On the way he rode past a cave, and there he saw the She-Ghoul dancing, fresh from her feast.  The Bedouin took careful aim and shot the She-Ghoul dead. He slashed open her belly, and in it he found his son.  He laid the boy upon his cloak, pulled the woolen cloth around him tight, and so carried him home.

When he reached his tent the Bedouin called his wife and said, "I have brought you back a gazelle, dear wife, but as God is my witness, it can be cooked only in a cauldron that has never been used for a meal of sorrow."

The woman went from tent to tent for the loan of such a pot.  But one neighbor said, "Sister, we used the large cauldron to cook the rice for the people who came to weep with us when my husband died."  And another told her, "We last heated our big cooking pot on the day of my daughter's funeral." She knocked at every door but did not find what she sought.  So she returned to her husband empty-handed.

“Haven't you found the right kind of cauldron?" asked the Bedouin.  

"There is no household but has seen misfortune," she answered.  "There is no cauldron but has cooked a meal of mourning."  

Only then did the Bedouin fold back his woolen cloak and say to her, "They have all tasted their share of sorrow.  Today the turn is ours. This is my gazelle."