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A Tale of Zabaid and the Witch-Cat

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Once upon a time, there was an evil witch who used to transform herself and her daughter into two big wild cats that preyed on all animals, sheep and goats in particular. The witch let fear and panic disrupt those in her area. There was also her daughter.
The daughter was taught by her mother all the very tricky and frightening methods. She became even more dangerous and ruthless than her mother towards people’s animals and properties. She even went as far as preying on young children and those who were under the age of weaning. She intentionally targeted the little children who used to play away from their families. Then she lured them by playing with them before taking them away and hiding them in plain sight. Thus, no one could see them after that at all.
The witch’s and her daughter’s evil actions continued to happen, reaching all the people in the region and neighboring areas. Therefore, people choose to leave and find somewhere else safe to protect their children and animals from that evil.
Among those displaced to another village was a young man named Zabaid. He was a nimble, quick, and smart person. He did long for his native land, which he had always heard about from his family, day and night. Thus, he chose to go and see his native land, where he was born. Once he reached it, he saw one of his sheep returning with their little ones to the native land.
When he saw his sheep, he chose to watch them to see what was happening or what would happen to them. While he kept watching them here and there and hiding behind the trees, he saw the witches approaching the place and changing their clothes. Suddenly, both transformed into two wild cats.
The young man hid in his place and sneaked in to take their clothes. He kept hiding to watch what these two wild cats would do. Suddenly, he saw them preying on the sheep and their little ones. Then they came back to wear their clothes. However, they did not find them.
The two witches kept searching for their clothes here and there, retaining their human forms. They thought that the clothes had gone with the wind somewhere. Their fear intensified. That was because without changing the clothes they had already changed before transforming into cats, they would retain their naked human forms and lose all magical powers. After only removing their clothes once, the witches could transform into cats.
While they were in the same situation, the young man made some sounds, calling his sheep. When the witch heard that unfamiliar sound she had never heard before, she shouted, saying, “Who is it calling the sheep in our own native land that is shared by no others? Who dares to shout in our native wasteland at sunset?”
Young Zabaid replied, “A wild cat went out of this place, preyed on the sheep, and ate them.”
There was nothing left after eating them. And because of that, the sheep never gave birth again. The witch went out of that place suckling on the sheep until their udders got swollen, which made her quite unwell.”
He added, “I have taken your clothes and shall never give them back to you. I shall also tell people who you are and what you do to their sheep, animals, and children.”
When the two witches heard that, they feared for their safety. They knew that they would be dragged up to the sea with a flat rock tied to their backs, and then they would be discarded into the sea and left there. That was the law enforcement of ancient times on Socotra for “A Discovery of Witches.”
The old witch came close to the young Zabaid and kept swearing by God to him that she felt sorry for the mortal sin she had committed and that they would not do that crime again. She continued to persuade him to give them their clothes back. However, he knew it was merely a deception, and they might do that previous crime of witchcraft again, preying on people’s animals and children.
At the witch’s long urging, he made an agreement with her to give back only her clothes and to burn her daughter’s clothes. Therefore, she would go to live with her mother in a cave far from people who would get rid of their witchcraft. After it had been fully implemented, he returned to his family and told them he had killed the witch-cat and gotten rid of her forever.
The news reached all over the island. After receiving the news of the wild cat’s death, the people returned to their native land and their ancestral land, where they lived the rest of their lives safe and sound. They believed that the witch and her daughter had definitely been finished by the young Zabaid.

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