Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/333

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Collectanea. 323

quite enough to say that I suddenly saw them on a field in the middle of which something blazed like the sun.

Then the Horse said :

" Peter, do you see anything? "

" I see," answered Peter.

" Take care, for there lies a golden feather," said the Horse again.

" But shall I take that feather ? " asked Peter.

Then the Horse answered :

" If you take it, you'll be sorry, — if you don't, you'll be sorry, too."

Peter thought a little, then said :

" I had better take it and be sorry, than not take it and be sorry," and saying this, he took the feather, put it in his pocket and rode away.

After some time I suddenly found myself with them in the Kingdom of Emperor Rusty Beard, who had just lost one of his Lords-in-Waiting. What Peter did I don't know ; it is enough to say that he became Lord-in-Waiting to that Emperor, in place of the dead man. At that time, the Lords-in-Waiting worked hard, for they had to write the whole night long. So Peter had to write also. But you should have seen the comedy, for Peter slept, while the golden feather wrote, quite alone, and so Peter always had his work done before the others. The Emperor, noticing this, said to them :

" I don't know what's the matter with you, for you're not half as quick as Peter."

So the other Lords-in-Waiting, hearing this, began to hate Peter, and they watched to see how he managed to get his work done so well and so quickly.

So, one night, they peeped in through the key-hole, and what did they see? Peter was smoking in bed, while the feather was writing at the table. So they went to the Emperor, and advised him to ask Peter for his feather. In the morning, when Peter went to the Emperor, this one asked for the feather. Peter gave it to him.

The Emperor tried the feather, but it wouldn't write for him. While Peter took another feather, which began to write alone,