THE CURSE OF TREES.
If a man cuts green trees that produce fruit, especially large and honored ones, a curse from God comes upon him. Or the three which is cut curses its cutter in this manner : when it falls the tree cracks, and this is its curse.
And if the cutter hears its curse he says to it: "May thy curse be upon thee !" Or else, he says: "I have not felled thee nor broken thee; rhinoceros and elephant have made thee fall." In order that its curse may not be upon him, but upon the rhinoceros and elephant, he always speaks like this.
And in some large sycamore and giant fig trees there dwell the saints and the "Marys." And night after night they pass in their tops ringing bells. And these honored and large ones are revered, and nothing is cut off from them ; they are not climbed, and nothing ') is thrown into them, lest their curse come upon those [who do so]. But if some people climb them and fall down from them; or again, if they cut them, and if their hatchet slips off and cuts them in some place, they say: "The curse has come upon him." There is a certain tree called karob which grows on the precipices: and in the top of it there are demons dwelling. And if people intend to cut some of it, they go to it being more than two together. And when they have reached the place of the tree, every one of them takes up stones and P. 270.
throws them in rapid succession upon the karob trees shouting. Now the demons are there unwary, and, being scared, they flee. Then the men cut hurriedly as much as they wish and go away. And if they are not compelled to do so, they do not go near it at all.
1) I. e. no stick or piece of wood in order to make the fruit fall down.
2) Perhaps errub = Indigofera Hochstetteri Bak., according to Schweinfurth.