Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/104

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99
THE VIRGIN'S GOD-CHILD.

persed on every side, with a loud twittering, expressive of their alarm and displeasure.

So Dinorah, after having called out a few quieting and sympathizing words after them, found herself obliged to speak to me. In answer to my question, by what means she had contrived thus to tame such shy little creatures, she looked at me in astonishment, and said:

"Why, by the same that attracts all God's creatures—by love; by showing them that one is fond of them. In winter, when they cannot find food for themselves, I strew it for them before our door, and in summer they know me again."

As she spoke, we reached the cottage, and the miller could not refrain from teasing her a little more.

"The little saint has again given alms to the beggars of the air. No doubt she expects to find one or other amongst them who will bring her tidings from her high and holy godmother."

Dinorah went into the house, silent, and evidently offended; but old Salaun said gravely:

"And why not, pray? If our fathers have not deceived us, there are birds who know the way to the upper sea, and can, no doubt, carry a message to the blest in Paradise."

"Well, all I know," replied the miller, "is that it is just the contrary with my horse and me. We have to find our way to one who comes much