The old woman went accordingly, and laid the matter before the King, who laughed a little at the notion of his daughter marrying a crab, but did not decline the proposal altogether, because he was a prudent monarch, and knew that the Crab was likely to be a prince in disguise.
'Go, old woman, and tell the Crab I will give him my daughter if by to-morrow morning he can build a wall in front of my castle much higher than my tower, upon which all the flowers of the world must grow and bloom.'
Then the Crab gave her a golden rod, and said, 'Go and strike with this rod three times upon the ground on the place which the King showed you, and to-morrow morning the wall will be there.'
Then the Crab said to the old fisherman, 'Now take this rod; go and knock with it on a certain mountain; then a black man will come out and ask you what you wish for.
When he had brought the precious robes, the Crab put on the golden garment and then crept upon the golden cushion, and in this way the fisherman carried him to the castle, where the Crab presented the other garment to his bride.
'I am married to the Crab, and him only will I have.'
In the evening the Princess told this to the Crab, who said to her, 'Take this rod, go to the garden gate and knock with it, then a black man will come out and say to you, ''Why have you called me, and what do you require of me?'' Answer him thus:
Before he went he said to his wife, 'Now mind you do not say when you see me that I am the Crab. For if you do this evil will come of it.
"Then they know there's more water in the world than there is land," asserted the crab, in a shrill, petulant voice.
"They know you are wrong to make such an absurd statement, and they will probably think you are a lobster instead of a crab," retorted the animal.
At this taunt the crab reached out its other claw and seized the zebra's ear, and the creature gave a cry of pain and began prancing up and down, trying to shake off the crab, which clung fast.
"And you promised to treat me respectfully," said the crab, letting go the ear.
"The soft-shell crab is correct," declared the Wizard.
At this the crab began laughing in queer chuckles that reminded Dorothy of the way Billina sometimes cackled.
The crab began laughing again, which so provoked the zebra that he tried to shake the little creature off.