Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/115

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101
GRAIN-O'-MAIZE.

he heard his voice crying from inside the animal: "Father, I am here; the ox has swallowed me up. Father, father! I am here."

The poor man was in great distress of mind, not knowing what to do to extricate his child, but decided, after deep and anxious reflection, to kill the animal. He accordingly ripped up the ox and examined every part of the inside most carefully, but to his great disappointment failed to find any trace of his missing son in the animal, though he felt certain he had heard his voice coming from it.

When he had given up all hopes of finding him he left the dead ox in the field and returned home, greatly distressed, as may be supposed, and with a sad tale to tell his wife. During the night a wolf was attracted to the spot by the smell of the carcase, and ate voraciously all the inside of the ox, till he heard some noise, and fearing to be discovered he decamped. Soon after his meal the wolf began to feel great pains in his inside; he rolled on the ground in agony, and so sharp were the pains he felt that he really believed his last hour had come.

Presently he heard a shrill cry inside him: "Let me out! Oh, let me out!" This so frightened the wolf that, forgetting his pains, he flew about the country in the greatest terror like one possessed. But the more he ran the shriller sounded the voice inside him, calling to be released.