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Khatijah and the Giant - Once upon a time, there was an old farmer in Malaysia. Hehad three daughters. One was beautiful but the other two were ugly. Many rich men wanted to marry the beautiful one. Her name was Khatijah. Her two ugly sisters were jealous of her. They thought of a plan to get rid of her.

They asked her to go with them to collect fruit in the forest near where they lived. They knew that a fierce giant lived there. They led her to his garden where he grew bananas, mangoes, and rambutans.

"Collect as many as you like," they said. "They don't belong to anyone. We'll move on to another garden about a mile away. We'll see you later."

But the giant saw the girl picking his fruit and he ran outof his hut and caught her.

"What a lovely girl you are," he said. "I'll fatten you up and make you my wife." But he was really going to fatten her up for his dinner.

At last the day came when he was going to eat her. Thegiant's cat, who liked Khatijah because she always gave her milk to drink, came up to her and said:

"Be careful! The giant isn't going to marry you. He's going to eat you. Give me some milk and I'll tell you how you can escape."

After the cat had finished licking up the milk, she spoke to Khatijah. "Now please listen carefully. There's no time left. You must run into the jungle straight away. Take with you some hairpins, a bucket of water, some string and a stone." The cat quickly told Khatijah how to use them.

When the giant found that Khatijah had run away, he wentinto the jungle to look for her. When she saw him coming she threw the bucket of water at him. At once the water became a huge lake. The giant did not know what to do. However, in a short time he had swallowed tip all the water.

"I've got you now, Khatijah," he roared.

Khatijah threw down the string. It changed into hundredsof poisonous snakes. The giant drew his knife and soon cut them to pieces. After that, he ran so fast that he almost caught Khatijah.

"You can't escape this time," he shouted.

Khatijah quickly threw down the hairpins. They changed into a great forest of sharp bamboos. The giant chopped them down with his axe. It seemed as if nothing could stop him.

Finally, Khatijah dropped the stone she was carrying. It be­came a tall mountain. The giant started to cut steps up the mountain. He got half way up when his axe became so blunt that it would cut no more.
"Help me, Khatijah!" he cried. "I'm not going to hurt you. I only want to marry you."

"All right," Khatijah replied. "But you must leave your knife on the ground with the sharp edge pointing upwards. "

The giant went down the mountain and did as Khatijahtold him.
Then Khatijah let down a rope and the giant climbed up al­most to the top of the mountain. He reached out to get hold of her. She let go of the rope. The giant fell down to the ground far below. He landed right on top of his knife and that was the end of him.

Khatijah was able to climb down the mountain without anyhorrible. When she returned home, she told her parents what had happened. They drove her two wicked sisters out of the House.

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