Classic Myths

Page: 15

The North Star wished to make her his wife. He drove up to Uko's palace with a dusky coach drawn by six black horses, and in the coach were ten fine presents. But Lindu did not love him.

"You always stay in one place, and cannot stir from it," said she. "Go back to your watch-tower."

Then came the Moon drawn in a silver coach by ten gray horses, and the Moon brought twenty presents. But Lindu did not love the Moon.

"You change your face too often and not your path, and that will never suit me," she said.

So the Moon drove away wearing his saddest face. Scarcely had the Moon gone before the Sun drove up. He rode in a golden coach drawn by twenty gold-red horses, and he brought thirty presents with him. But all his grandeur went for nothing with Lindu, for she said:

"I do not love you. You follow the same track day by day, just like the Moon. I love the changing seasons, the changing winds, anything that changes."

At that the gold-red horses leaped away and Lindu was alone with her birds.

At length the Northern Light came from his home in the midnight land in a diamond coach drawn by a thousand white horses. He was so grand that Lindu went to the door to meet him. His servants carried a whole coach-load of gold and silver, pearls and jewels into her house. She loved this bright suitor at once.

"You do not travel the same path all the time like the others. You set out when you wish and rest when it pleases you. Each time you wear a new robe, and each time you ride in a new coach with new horses. You shall be my bridegroom."

And Lindu's choice was made.

The news was sent throughout the world, and guests came from the four sides of the sky and of the earth to greet Lindu and the Northern Light. It was agreed that the wedding should be when the birds flew south. Back to his home in the midnight land went the Northern Light, knowing that Lindu loved him best.

The torrent which fell half a thousand feet over the mountain side sent Lindu her bridal veil. The Frost King sent her laces so fine that a breath of summer air would have destroyed them, and they were stored away in a block of ice for safe keeping. The birds brought her robes of butterfly wings softer than silk and more beautiful than velvet. Her sandals were from the wings of the honey bee, stronger than reindeer skin, and fleeter than a chamois' foot.

Spring passed away. Summer came and went. The birds flew south, and Lindu waited for the Northern Light's return. Snow sparkled on the earth, but no hoof-beat of his thousand white horses broke the stillness of the midnight air. Spring came, but never the Northern Light.

Then Lindu began to weep, and from her tears sprang the little brooks in the valleys of Earth. The birds flew about her head and rested on her shoulders. They tried to caress her in a hundred ways, but Lindu did not heed them. Then they flew away and wandered in strange places, building nests where no nests were ever seen before. Many an egg was lost and many a nestling stolen because Lindu was not near to help her birds.