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

The Brothers Lionheart

I grew quite wild and shouted at Park:

“Help them, you big ox, you! Help them!”

He had scrambled up into the tree and was sitting there safe and sound, quite near Jonathan, but the only thing the fool did to help was to lean forward and yell:

“Let the horse go! There are two horses up there in the forest. I can take one of those instead. Just let it go!”

You grow strong when you’re angry, I’ve always heard, and in that way you could say that Park helped Jonathan save the mare.

But afterward he said to Park:

“You blockhead, you, do you think I’d save your life so that you could steal my horse? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?”

Perhaps Park was ashamed, I don’t know. He said nothing and he never even asked who we were or anything. He just clambered up the slope with his poor mare, and soon afterward he and the whole troop disappeared.

We made a campfire above Karma Falls that evening, and I’m sure no campfire in any day or in any world has burned on a campsite like the one where we lit ours.

It was a dreadful place, terrible and beautiful, like no other place in heaven or on earth, I think; the mountains and the river and the waterfall, it was all too vast, all of it. Again, I felt as it I were in a dream, and I said to Jonathan:

“This can’t be real. It’s like something out of an ancient dream.”

We were standing on the bridge then, the bridge that Tengil had had built over the chasm separating the two countries, Karmanyaka, and Nangiyala, on either side of the river of The Ancient Rivers.

The river was rushing along deep down in the depths below the bridge, then throwing itself with a great roar over Karma Falls, an even deeper and more terrible chasm.

I asked Jonathan:

“How do you build a bridge over such a terrible chasm?”

“I’d like to know that, too,” he said. “And how many human lives went into building it? How many people fell down there with a cry and vanished into Karma Falls? I’d like to know that very much.”

I shuddered, thinking I could hear the cries still echoing between the mountains walls.

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