Page:Fairy tales and other stories (Andersen, Craigie).djvu/32

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GREAT CLAUS AND LITTLE CLAUS

there were there, and what fine cattle pasturing on mounds and in ditches!'

'But why did you come up again to us directly?' asked Great Claus. 'I should not have done that, if it is so beautiful down there.'

'Why,' replied Little Claus, 'just in that I acted with good policy. You heard me tell you that the sea-maiden said, "A mile farther along the road"—and by the road she meant the river, for she can't go anywhere else—"there


is a whole herd of cattle for you." But I know what bends the stream makes—sometimes this way, sometimes that; there's a long way to go round: no, the thing can be managed in a shorter way by coming here to the land, and driving across the fields towards the river again. In this manner I save myself almost half a mile, and get all the quicker to my sea-cattle!'

'Oh, you are a fortunate man!' said Great Claus. 'Do you think I should get some sea-cattle too if I went down to the bottom of the river?'

'Yes, I think so,' replied Little Claus. 'But I cannot carry you in the sack as far as the river; you are too heavy