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

The Brothers Lionheart

But mine was burning here and now!

It grew dark around me. The mountains grew black---oh, how dark it was and how quickly it happened. I didn’t like having my back to all that darkness. It felt as if someone might come at me from behind. Anyhow, it was time to sleep now, so I stoked up the fire well and said goodnight to Fyalar and rolled myself up in my blanket as close to the fire as I could. Then I wished I could just fall asleep at once before I could frighten myself.

Yes, I could frighten myself, only too quickly. I don’t know anyone who can do that as quickly as I can. My thoughts began to grind around in my head---there was sure to be someone lurking out there in the darkness, and Tengil’s soldiers and spies were sure to be seething all over the mountains here, and Jonathan was sure to be dead long ago; that was how my thoughts went, and I didn’t sleep.

Just then the moon rose behind a mountain peak; it probably wasn’t the same old moon, I suppose, but it looked just the same, and I had never seen such moonlight before. But then I’d never seen moonlight over high mountains.

Everything became so strange; you were in a mysterious world of nothing but silver and black shadows. It was beautiful and a little melancholy in a lovely, strange way, but creepy too, for although it was light where the moon shone, among the shadows any number of dangers might be hiding.

I pulled the blanket over my head because I didn’t want to look any more. But then I heard instead, yes, I head something; a howl far away in the mountains, and then several howls a little closer. Fyalar whinnied; he was afraid, and then I realized what it was. Wolves howling.

Someone as timid as I am could easily have died of fright, but when I noticed how anxious Fyalar was, I tried to put on a brave face.

“Fyalar, wolves are afraid of fire, didn’t you know?” I said. But I didn’t really believe it, and the wolves had never hear it, either. For now I could see them; they were coming closer, horrible gray shapes which came streaking out into the moonlight, howling with hunger.

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