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Main > France folktales > Gool little Henry > Fairy tale "The Chase"

The Chase

Henry was within a half-hour's walk of the summit of the mountain when he reached a pit so wide that he could not possibly jump to the other side and so deep that it seemed bottomless. Henry did not lose courage, however. He followed the borders of the pit till he found himself where he started from and knew that this yawning pit surrounded the mountain.

"Alas! what shall I do?" said poor Henry; "I scarcely overcome one obstacle when another more difficult seems to rise up before me. How shall I ever pass this pit?"

The poor child felt for the first time that his eyes were filled with tears. He looked around for some means of passing over but saw no possible chance and seated himself sadly on the brink of the precipice. Suddenly he heard a terrible growl. He turned and saw within ten steps of him an enormous Wolf gazing at him with flaming eyes.

"What are you seeking in my kingdom?" said the Wolf, in a threatening voice.

"Master Wolf, I am seeking the plant of life which alone can save my dear mother who is about to die. If you will assist me to cross this pit, I will be your devoted servant and will obey any command you may give me."

"Well, my boy, if you will catch all the game which is in my forests, birds and beasts, and make them up into pies and nice roasts, by the faith of the genius of the mountain, I will pass you over to the other side. You will find near this tree all the instruments necessary to catch the game and to cook it. When your work is done, call me."

Saying these words, he disappeared.

Henry took courage. He lifted a bow and arrow which he saw on the ground, and began to shoot at the partridges, woodcocks, pheasants and game of all kinds which abounded there. But, alas! he did not understand it and killed nothing.

During eight days he was shooting right and left in vain and was at last wearied and despairing, when he saw near him the Crow whose life he had saved in the commencement of his journey.

"You rescued me from mortal danger," said the Crow, "and I told you I should see you again.

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