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The House Of Death
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The Mother of Sorrows rose, muffled her face, and went to call the Little Ones. They slept as if all the night they had not moved, but the moment she spoke they sprang to their feet, fresh as if new-made. Merrily down the stair they followed her, and she brought them where the princess lay, her tears yet flowing as she slept. Their glad faces grew grave. They looked from the princess out on the rain, then back at the princess.
"The sky is falling!" said one.
"The white juice is running out of the princess!" cried another, with an awed look.
"Is it rivers?" asked Odu, gazing at the little streams that flowed adown her hollow cheeks.
"Yes," answered Mara, "--the most wonderful of all rivers."
"I thought rivers was bigger, and rushed, like a lot of Little Ones, making loud noises!" he returned, looking at me, from whom alone he had heard of rivers.
"Look at the rivers of the sky!" said Mara. "See how they come down to wake up the waters under the earth! Soon will the rivers be flowing everywhere, merry and loud, like thousands and thousands of happy children. Oh, how glad they will make you, Little Ones! You have never seen any, and do not know how lovely is the water!"
"That will be the glad of the ground that the princess is grown good," said Odu. "See the glad of the sky!"
"Are the rivers the glad of the princess?" asked Luva. "They are not her juice, for they are not red!"
"They are the juice inside the juice," answered Mara.
Odu put one finger to his eye, looked at it, and shook his head.
"Princess will not bite now!" said Luva.
"No; she will never do that again," replied Mara. "--But now we must take her nearer home."
"Is that a nest?" asked Sozo.
"Yes; a very big nest. But we must take her to another place first."
"What is that?"
"It is the biggest room in all this world.--But I think it is going to be pulled down: it will soon be too full of little nests.--Go and get your clumsies."
"Please are there any cats in it?"
"Not one. The nests are too full of lovely dreams for one cat to get in."
"We shall be ready in a minute," said Odu, and ran out, followed by all except Luva.
Lilith was now awake, and listening with a sad smile.
"But her rivers are running so fast!" said Luva, who stood by her side and seemed unable to take her eyes from her face. "Her robe is all--I don't know what. Clumsies won't like it!"
"They won't mind it," answered Mara. "Those rivers are so clean that they make the whole world clean."
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