Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/328

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3i8 Collectanea.

be asked a second time, but accepted as one who wished for nothing better.

Slowly, slowly they got used to each other, till, at last, the Boy fell in love with the youngest of the Ladies, and married her. After that, he was allowed to go anywhere he liked, only one place being forbidden to him.

"You shall never go there," said the Ladies, "for that is the Valley of Sorrows, and if you enter therein, — woe betide you ! "

He lived there, forgetting time, and remaining just as young as when he had come. He wandered through the forest, and enjoyed himself in the beautiful castle ; he lived in peace with his Lady- wife and his sisters-in-law ; he delighted in the beauty of the flowers and the purity of the air. He often went hunting, and one day, seeing a hare, he shot an Arrow at it. He missed it, so he followed it, and shot another Arrow at it and missed it again, and so on and so on. Thus following the hare, the unfortunate Boy didn't notice that he had passed into the Valley of Sorrows. At last, having shot the hare, he took it home, but what do you think happened ? He suddenly felt such a passionate longing for his Mother, Father, and Country, that he could not bear it. He did not dare, however, to confess this to the Ladies, but they knew what had happened by his sadness and his restlessness.

  • ' Unhappy One, you have passed into the Valley of Sorrows ! "

cried they, in despair.

" I did, Precious Ladies," answered the Boy, " but without knowing it ; and now my heart is melting with longing for my Parents and my Country. But I feel that I cannot leave you. I have been so happy staying these few days with you. Could I only see my Parents and my Country for a moment, I should return here happily, never to leave you again."

" Do not leave us, Dear Love ! " cried his Lady-wife. " Your parents died many hundred years ago, and if you leave us you will never come back. A feeling tells me that we shall lose you."

But pray as the Ladies might, and pray as the Horse mfght, the Boy could not quench the longing that was burning his soul. So at last the Horse said to him :

" If you refuse to listen to me. Master, I warn you that if any-