Read on line
Listen on line
Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andrew Lang > Fairy tale "The Terrible Head"

The Terrible Head

do you see old times coming back?"

"No, sister."

"Then give ME the eye, for perhaps I can see farther than you."

Then the first sister passed the eye to the second, but as the second groped for it the boy caught it cleverly out of her hand.

"Where is the eye, sister?" said the second gray woman.

"You have taken it yourself, sister," said the first gray woman.

"Have you lost the eye, sister? have you lost the eye?" said the third gray woman; "shall we NEVER find it again, and see old times coming back?"

Then the boy slipped from behind them out of the cold cave into the air, and he laughed aloud.

When the gray women heard that laugh they began to weep, for now they knew that a stranger had robbed them, and that they could not help themselves, and their tears froze as they fell from the hollows where no eyes were, and rattled on the icy ground of the cave. Then they began to implore the boy to give them their eye back again, and he could not help being sorry for them, they were so pitiful. But he said he would never give them the eye till they told him the way to the Fairies of the Garden.

Then they wrung their hands miserably, for they guessed why he had come, and how he was going to try to win the Terrible Head. Now the Dreadful Women were akin to the Three Gray Sisters, and it was hard for them to tell the boy the way. But at last they told him to keep always south, and with the land on his left and the sea on his right, till he reached the Island of the Fairies of the Garden. Then he gave them back the eye, and they began to look out once more for the old times coming back again. But the boy flew south between sea and land, keeping the land always on his left hand, till he saw a beautiful island crowned with flowering trees. There he alighted, and there he found the Three Fairies of the Garden. They were like three very beautiful young women, dressed one in green, one in white, and one in red, and they were dancing and singing round an apple tree with apples of gold, and this was their song:

THE SONG OF THE WESTERN FAIRIES Round and round the apples of gold, Round and round dance we; Thus do we dance from the days of old About the enchanted tree; Round, and round, and round we go, While the spring is green, or the stream shall flow, Or the wind shall stir the sea!

Also read
Read
The Cruel Stepmother
Category: Canada folktales
Read times: 83
Read
Read