١٨

And when they came across a valley of ants, an ant warned, “O ants! Go quickly into your homes so Solomon and his armies do not crush you, unknowingly.”
١٩
So Solomon smiled in amusement at her words, and prayed, “My Lord! Inspire me to ˹always˺ be thankful for Your favours which You have blessed me and my parents with, and to do good deeds that please you. Admit me, by Your mercy, into ˹the company of˺ Your righteous servants.”
٢٠
˹One day˺ he inspected the birds, and wondered, “Why is it that I cannot see the hoopoe? Or could he be absent?
٢١
I will surely subject him to a severe punishment, or ˹even˺ slaughter him, unless he brings me a compelling excuse.”
٢٢
It was not long before the bird came and said, “I have found out something you do not know. I have just come to you from Sheba with sure news.

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