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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Astrid Lindgren > Fairy tale "The Brothers Lionheart"

The Brothers Lionheart

I remembered suddenly how things had been that time when Jonathan was dead and away from me, and I was lying in my sofa-bed, not knowing whether I’d ever see him again; oh, it was like looking down into a black hole, just thinking about it.

And now he wanted to leave me again, just disappear into dangers about which I knew nothing, and if he didn’t come back, this time there would be no help and I’d be alone forever and ever.

I could feel myself getting angrier and angrier, and I shouted at him even louder and said as many horrible things as I could think up.

It was not easy for him to calm me down, even a little. But, of course, things went as he wished in the end. I knew that he understood better than I did.

“Silly, of course I’m coming back,” he said. That was in the evening as we were sitting warming ourselves by the fire in our kitchen, the evening before he was to leave.

I wasn’t angry any longer, only sad, and Jonathan knew it. He was kind to me. He gave me newly baked bread with butter and honey on it, and told me sagas and stories, but I couldn’t listen to them. I thought about the saga of Tengil, which I was beginning to think was the cruelest of all sagas. I asked Jonathan why he had to undertake something so dangerous. Couldn’t he just as well stay at home by the fire at Knights Farm and enjoy himself? But then Jonathan said there were things you have to do even if they are dangerous.

“Why?” I asked.

“Otherwise you aren’t a human being but just a bit of filth.”

He had told me what he was going to do. He was going to rescue Orvar from Katla Cavern. For Orvar was even more important than Sofia, Jonathan said, and without Orvar it was the end of Nangiyala’s green valleys.

It was late now, the fire out on the hearth and night had come.

Then the day came, and I stood at the gate and watched Jonathan ride away, disappearing into the mist; there was mist all over Cherry Valley that morning. And you must believe me when I say it was as if my heart would break, when he just became blurred and vanished.

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