Classic Myths

Page: 21

He slept soundly that night with his sheep for his pillow, and the next night also, but the third morning when the boy awoke, his head lay upon the floor and the sheep was gone.

Perhaps too many gold pieces had been seen in the boy's hand, for he had patted his sheep very often.

He accused North Wind again. "You have taken back your sheep. I don't like you. You are as cold-hearted as you can be."

But North Wind said nothing. He put a queer stick into a bag and gave it to the boy and told him to go back and lock his door as tightly as before.

"Talk to the bag," he said, "and guard it as carefully as if there was a jewel in it."

That night the boy was wakened out of his soundest sleep by screams for help in his room. There was the innkeeper running about, and that queer stick was pounding him, first on the head, then on the feet, then on his back, then in his face.

"Help! help!" he cried.

"Give me back my sheep," said the boy.

"Get it; it is hidden in the barn," said the innkeeper.

The boy went out and found his sheep in the barn and drove it away as fast as he could, but he forgot about the innkeeper, and, maybe, that stick is pounding him to this day.

ORPHEUS. Showing his broken harp

A wild cat came creeping slyly between the trees, trying to catch the little feathered listeners. Orpheus took his lute and played upon it, and the wild cat became as tame as the birds. They all followed Orpheus farther into the forest.

Soon, from behind a rock, a tiger sprang to attack the wild cat. The birds and the wild cat called to Orpheus. When he saw the trouble he took his harp again, and while he sang the tiger came trembling and purring to his feet and the birds, the wild cat, and the tiger followed Orpheus still farther into the forest.

He sat down by a tree to rest and the bees came and showed him where their honey was hidden in the tree. He fed his friends, and then he and the tiger led the way to a river where there was the purest water.

Tall trees bent low before him, and young trees tore themselves from the ground and followed in his train.