The story begins with a mysterious egg washed up on a Scottish beach, the morning after a great storm.
A nice relaxing holiday in a lakeside paradise. That's exactly what the Cranberry family had in mind - until they arrived at Grey Bluff Lake. There's nothing relaxing about a drought! Can they learn to use less water - and still enjoy the summer?
There was once a man whose name was Dschemil, and he had a cousin who was called Dschemila. They had been betrothed by their parents when they were children, and now Dschemil thought that the time had come for them to be married, and he went two or three days' journey, to the nearest big town, to buy furniture for the new house. While he was away, Dschemila and her friends set off to the neighbouring woods to pick up sticks, and as she gathered them she found an iron mortar lying on the ground. She placed it on her bundle of sticks, but the mortar would not stay still, and whenever she raised the bundle to put it on her shoulders it slipped off sideways. At length she saw the only way to carry the mortar was to tie it in the very middle of her bundle, and had just unfastened her sticks, when she heard her companions' voices. 'Dschemila, what are you doing? it is almost dark, and if you mean to come with us you must be quick!'
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