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The Heroes or Greek Fairy Tales for my Children

Page: 35

But the old woman whined all the more, ‘I am weak and old, fair youth. For Hera’s sake, carry me over the torrent.’

And Jason was going to answer her scornfully, when Cheiron’s words came to his mind.

So he said, ‘For Hera’s sake, the Queen of the Immortals on Olympus, I will carry you over the torrent, unless we both are drowned midway.’

Then the old dame leapt upon his back, as nimbly as a goat; and Jason staggered in, wondering; and the first step was up to his knees.

The first step was up to his knees, and the second step was up to his waist; and the stones rolled about his feet, and his feet slipped about the stones; so he went on staggering, and panting, while the old woman cried from off his back—

‘Fool, you have wet my mantle! Do you make game of poor old souls like me?’

Jason had half a mind to drop her, and let her get through the torrent by herself; but Cheiron’s words were in his mind, and he said only, ‘Patience, mother; the best horse may stumble some day.’

At last he staggered to the shore, and set her down upon the bank; and a strong man he needed to have been, or that wild water he never would have crossed.

He lay panting awhile upon the bank, and then leapt up to go upon his journey; but he cast one look at the old woman, for he thought, ‘She should thank me once at least.’


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