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Lilith George MacDonald

The Waking

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But soon he began to look troubled, and turned to me with misty eyes.

"They will not wake!" he said. "And why are they so cold?"

"They too are waiting for the princess," I answered.

He stretched across, and laid his hand on her face.

"She is cold too! What is it?" he cried--and looked round in wondering dismay.

Adam went to him.

"Her wake is not ripe yet," he said: "she is busy forgetting. When she has forgotten enough to remember enough, then she will soon be ripe, and wake."

"And remember?"

"Yes--but not too much at once though."

"But the golden cock has crown!" argued the child, and fell again upon his companions.

"Peter! Peter! Crispy!" he cried. "Wake up, Peter! wake up, Crispy! We are all awake but you two! The gold cock has crown SO loud! The sun is awake and coming! Oh, why WON'T you wake?"

But Peter would not wake, neither would Crispy, and Odu wept outright at last.

"Let them sleep, darling!" said Adam. "You would not like the princess to wake and find nobody? They are quite happy. So is the leopardess."

He was comforted, and wiped his eyes as if he had been all his life used to weeping and wiping, though now first he had tears wherewith to weep--soon to be wiped altogether away.

We followed Eve to the cottage. There she offered us neither bread nor wine, but stood radiantly desiring our departure. So, with never a word of farewell, we went out. The horse and the elephants were at the door, waiting for us. We were too happy to mount them, and they followed us.

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