Open main menu

Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/112

This page needs to be proofread.

a white-robed flower-crowned child fluttered from among the crowd and was received by the priestly band.

"When all forty-nine were gathered together, they were formed into a ring, holding hands, and round this ring passed the bearers of the silver image of the god. As they did so, suddenly a golden apple held by the god fell and touched a graceful girl who stood in the ring.

"Come forth, Lucilla,' said the chief priestess. 'Speak thou the words. Begin.'

"Then the damsel loosed her hands from those she held, stepped into the midst of the circle, and raised the golden pippin. At once the entire ring of children began to revolve like a dance of white butterflies in early spring; and as they swung from right to left, the girl began to recite at a rapid pace a jingle of words in a Gallic dialect that ran thus:--

One and two,
Drops of dew

Three and four,
Shut the door

As she spoke she indicated a child at each numeral--

Five and six,
Pick up sticks

Seven and eight,
Thou must wait.