Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/335

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

Collectanea. 325

So Peter called the fishes, and asked them why they were quarrelling, and the fishes answered :

" Because of hunger."

Now Peter cut the three oxen into small bits, and threw them to the fishes. When they had eaten, the fishes said :

"Master, if you ever think of us, we'll soon be with you."

Now Peter rides further again, with his Horse, until he comes to a field where some birds are quarrelling, because of hunger again. He gave them the three bags of corn, and so he went empty away. But I want you to know that the birds also said to him :

" If you ever think of us, we'll be with you."

Peter rode on his Horse again as much as he rode, until he came to an Inn, in front of which there stood a tree so tall that no one could see its top. The Horse then said to Peter :

" Can you see the sun that glitters up there ? Well, it is the bird. Now, go into the Inn, and ask for a tablecloth, a plate, a loaf of bread, and a glass of wine. Then lay the table with all this, under the tree, and wait at the Inn door. The bird will come down and eat ; when you see it is drunk, catch it."

Peter did as the Horse had told him, and he really did catch the bird. He took it and went back to the Emperor.

On seeing it, the Emperor was mightily pleased and surprised at so much beauty. For what's true is not sin, the bird was beautiful, so much so, that you could hardly take your eyes from it.

Now the other Lords-in- Waiting saw that Peter had got over this difficulty in safety, and they hated him badly for it.

When Evil falls upon ]\Ian, it sticks to him.

So listen further, for the end of the tale hasn't come.

The Devil, God forgive me, pokes his nose in, and makes the Empress die. The Lords-in-Waiting go, as soon as she is dead, to the Emperor and say :

" Emperor, Peter says that he will bring you for wife the Pride- of-the-World."

"Peter," says the Emperor, "if you don't bring me Pride-of- the-World for wife, you are done for !"