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The Brothers Lionheart

“As soon as we land we’ll see the light from Nangilima. We’ll see the morning light over Nangilima’s valleys, because it’s morning there now.”

“Ha-ha, we can jump straight into Nangilima,” I said, and I laughed for the first time in a long time.

“Yes, we can,” said Jonathan. “And as soon as we land, we’ll see the path to Apple Valley, too, right in front of us. And Grim and Fyalar are already there waiting for us. We would only have to mount and ride away.”

“And you wouldn’t be paralyzed then?” I said.

“No, I’ll be free of all evil and as happy as anything. And you too, Rusky, you’ll be happy too. The path to Apple Valley goes through the forest. What do you think it’ll feel like, riding there in the morning sun, you and I?”

“Good,” I said, and laughed again.

“And we’ll be in no hurry,” said Jonathan. “We can bathe in some small lake, if we want to. We’d still get to Mathias’s before he has the soup ready.”

“How glad he’ll be that we’ve come,” I said. But then I felt as if I had received a blow from a club. Grim and Fyalar---how could Jonathan think that we could take them with us to Nangilima?”

“How can you say that they’re already there waiting for us?” They’re lying asleep over there.”

“They are not sleeping, Rusky. They’re dead. From Katla’s fire. But what you see over there is only their shells. Believe me, Grim and Fyalar are already down on the path to Nangilima, waiting for us.”

“Let’s hurry then,” I said, “so that they don’t have to wait too long.”

Then Jonathan looked at me and smiled slightly.

“I can’t hurry at all,” he said. “I can’t move from the spot, don’t forget.”

And then I realized what I had to do.

“Jonathan, I’ll take you on my back,” I said. “You did that for me once. And now I’ll do it for you. That’s only fair.”

“Yes, that’s fair,” said Jonathan. “But do you think you dare, Rusky Lionheart?”

I went over to the precipice and looked down. It was already too dark and I could hardly see the meadow.

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Category: Irish folktales
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