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The Golden Spears

On went the steed, and soon he was galloping beneath the branches that almost touched Connla’s head. And on they went until they had passed through the wood, and then they saw rising up before them the “Golden Spear.”

“Oh, Connla,” said Nora, “we are at home at last.”

“Yes,” said Connla, “but where is the little house under the hill?”

And no little house was there; but in its stead was standing a lime-white mansion.

“What can this mean?” said Nora.

But before Connla could reply, the steed had galloped up to the door of the mansion, and, in the twinkling of an eye, Connla and Nora were standing on the ground outside the door, and the steed had vanished.

Before they could recover from their surprise the little mother came rushing out to them, and flung her arms around their necks, and kissed them both again and again.

“Oh, children! children! You are welcome home to me; for though I knew it was all for the best, my heart was lonely without you.”

And Connla and Nora caught up the little mother in their arms, and they carried her into the hall and set her down on the floor.

“Oh, Nora!” said the little mother, “you are a head over me; and as for you, Connla, you look almost as tall as one of the round towers of Erin.”

“That’s what the fairy queen said, mother,” said Nora.

“Blessings on the fairy queen,” said the little mother. “Turn round, Connla, till I look at you.”

Connla turned round, and the little mother said:

“Oh, Connla, with your golden helmet and your spear, and your glancing shield, and your silken cloak, you look like a king. But take them off, my boy, beautiful as they are. Your little mother would like to see you, her own brave boy, without any fairy finery.”

And Connla laid aside his spear and shield, and took off his golden helmet and his silken cloak. Then he caught the little mother and kissed her, and lifted her up until she was as high as his head. And said he:

“Don’t you know, little mother, I’d rather have you than all the world.”

And that night, when they were sitting down by the fire together, you may be sure that in the whole world no people were half as happy as Nora, Connla, and the little mother.

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