Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/325

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Collectanea. 3 1 5

with your Bow, and Arrows, and don't forget your Sword and Lance, they may be useful."

They gave themselves to Rest, but each of them watched in turn.

Next day, when Dawn was pouring over Earth, they were ready to cross the woods. They started, but suddenly, a dreadful knocking was heard.

" Keep steady, Master, for here comes the Wood-pecker !" said the Horse. And dear me, dear me, she came as fast as the wind, knocking down all the trees on her way ! The Horse flew, as quickly as Thought, right above her, and the Boy shot an Arrow at her, and off went one of her feet ! He was about to have another shot, when the Wood-pecker said :

" Stop, My Prince, for I won't harm you ! " and as the Boy didn't believe her, she wrote the promise down with her blood.

" Prince, give thanks to your Horse," she said, when they came down, " For he, and he only, saved you from being roasted and eaten by me. Now I am in your power, and this is the first time that a Human Being has ever escaped alive from my Kingdom."

After that, they went home with her, where she entertained them, and in the middle of dinner, she screamed with pain, upon which the Boy took the foot he had shot off and stuck it back. The Wood-pecker's joy was so great, that she offered the Boy one of her beautiful daughters for wife ; but he refused, and told her frankly of his search.

" With a Horse like this, and with your courage, you will soon find what you want," said the Wood-pecker. So the Boy went off with the Horse, and again they rode and rode a long, long way. When they had left the Wood-pecker's Kingdom, they came to a big and beautiful field, one side of which was covered with flowers, while the other side was all scorched.

" What is the cause of this ? " asked the Boy.

"Well, My Master," said the Horse, "we are now in the Kingdom of a Scorpion. She is the Wood-pecker's sister; the curse of the parents fell upon her also. The rivalry between these two sisters is dreadful. They fight each other most of the time, each one wanting to rob the other of her ground. When the Scorpion is very angry, she spits flames. I suppose that she has just had a quarrel with the Wood-pecker and the grass has been