But the question is, now that they have the sheep
, how is it to be his from the shepherds.
I had only one misfortune, that the rats on board carried away one of my sheep; I found her bones in a hole, picked clean from the flesh.
Since my last return I find the breed is considerably increased, especially the sheep, which I hope will prove much to the advantage of the woollen manufacture, by the fineness of the fleeces.
During the long summer day, as his sheep cropped the good grass which the gods had made to grow for them, or lay with their forelegs doubled under their breasts and chewed the cud, Haita, reclining in the shadow of a tree, or sitting upon a rock, played so sweet music upon his reed pipe that sometimes from the corner of his eye he got accidental glimpses of the minor sylvan deities, leaning forward out of the copse to hear; but if he looked at them directly they vanished.
"It is kind of thee, O Hastur," so he prayed, "to give me mountains so near to my dwelling and my fold that I and my sheep can escape the angry torrents; but the rest of the world thou must thyself deliver in some way that I know not of, or I will no longer worship thee."
The holy hermit who dwelt at the head of the valley, a full hour's journey away, from whom he had heard the tale of the great cities where dwelt people--poor souls!-- who had no sheep, gave him no knowledge of that early time, when, so he reasoned, he must have been small and helpless like a lamb.
Perhaps before another sun I may be changed, and then what will become of the sheep? What, indeed, will have become of me?"
The Herd-boy returned to his sheep, and took off the invisible belt which he hid carefully in his bag.
Now the Lord whose sheep the Herd-boy looked after had a very lovely daughter, who always smiled and nodded to the youth when she walked with her father in his fields.
'What is it you want to buy?' the Sheep said at last, looking up for a moment from her knitting.
'You may look in front of you, and on both sides, if you like,' said the Sheep: 'but you can't look ALL round you--unless you've got eyes at the back of your head.'
'Are you a child or a teetotum?' the Sheep said, as she took up another pair of needles.
It was a station for a great many sheep and goats, and outside there was a large yard, with a high wall round it made of stones built into the ground and of trees both pine and oak.
"We lit a fire, offered some of the cheeses in sacrifice, ate others of them, and then sat waiting till the Cyclops should come in with his sheep. When he came, he brought in with him a huge load of dry firewood to light the fire for his supper, and this he flung with such a noise on to the floor of his cave that we hid ourselves for fear at the far end of the cavern.
As for us, we wept and lifted up our hands to heaven on seeing such a horrid sight, for we did not know what else to do; but when the Cyclops had filled his huge paunch, and had washed down his meal of human flesh with a drink of neat milk, he stretched himself full length upon the ground among his sheep, and went to sleep.