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The Brothers Lionheart

“Jonathan’s out hunting,” I said. “He’s up in the mountains hunting wolves.”

I had to say something and I thought that was a good invention, for Jonathan had said there were a lot of wolves here and there in the mountains.

Sofia wasn’t at the inn that evening, but otherwise the whole village was there, as usual. And they sang their songs and enjoyed themselves, as usual. But I didn’t sing with them because, for me, things weren’t so usual. Without Jonathan, I didn’t like it there, so I didn’t stay long.

“Don’t look so sad, Karl Lionheart,” said Jossi as I was leaving. “Jonathan will soon have finished hunting, and then he’ll be home.”

Oh, how I liked him for saying that! He patted my cheek, too, and gave me a few delicious cakes to take home with me.

“You can put those inside you when you’re sitting there at home, waiting for Jonathan,” he said.

He was kind, the Golden Cockerel. It seemed almost slightly less lonely just because of that.

I rode home with my cakes and sat in front of the fire eating them. It was warm spring weather now in the daytime, almost summer, and yet I still had to light our big fire, for the warmth of the sun had not yet managed to get through the thick walls of our house.

It felt cold as I crept into my cupboard-bed, but I soon fell asleep. And I dreamt about Jonathan, a dream so terrifying that it woke me up.

“Yes, Jonathan!” I cried! “I’m coming!” I cried, and I rushed out of bed. In the darkness around me, there seemed to be echoes of wild cries, Jonathan’s cries! He had called to me in my dream that he needed help. I knew it. I could still hear him, and I wanted to rush straight out into the dark night to get to him, wherever he was. But I realized how impossible that was. What could I do? No one was so helpless as I was! I could only creep back into my bed again and lie there trembling, feeling lost and small and afraid and lonely, the loneliest person in the whole world, I thought.

Neither did it help all that much when morning came and it was a bright, clear day.

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