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Hamilton

87

Pilgrims To drink! To drink a little quenching water in this exhausting hell of bitter sea! Mariner You are not worthy of Lalla Maghnia. Pilgrims But Allah brings her food! She isn’t hungry! Mariner If that were true she would have portioned it between her faithless servants like Mohammed who shared his dwindling rations in the desert. Laïïleh An evil thought has formed in someone’s head back home at my Zaouïïa on this day they dedicate to our safely reaching Mecca. So, as the sheep are roasting and the honey is flowing and dates tumble down in clusters, the angels will relieve them of their feast and serve it up to us as we drift East.

A Feast from Heaven

Pilgrims The folding doors of Heaven are opening and down the brilliant gold and azure stairs two double rows of angels are descending with dishes Allah’s kitchen has prepared. Six cherubs proffer condiments in cupped and chubby hands: red and green pimento assorted into heaps and finely chopped upon bright-yellow rounds of fresh-cut lemon. Two cupids who are slightly bigger, with wings still glowing from the fires of the kitchen, approach with a white peacock they are lifting on a plate above their heads. And after them the succulent meat is carried by adult angels – a sheep, wild boar and a young tender gazelle.

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