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102
PORTUGUESE FAIRY TALES.

At last, exhausted with his race and nearly dead with fright, he succeeded in bringing up the little fellow that had caused him so much annoyance, much to his relief and the little man's contentment, who, it seems, had fallen asleep inside the ox, and only awoke to find himself imprisoned in the wolf.

Grain-o'-Maize now sought a puddle where he might give himself a good bathe. When he came to one the first thing he did was to undress and wash his clothes, and while they were drying in the sun he washed himself clean. When he had finished this operation he set out for home. On the road he met some drovers who were driving mules laden with bags of money; he instantly went up to them and said:—[1]

Some highway robbers, who had been watching the drovers with their treasure from a secret place behind the hedges, suddenly fell upon them, and after a hard fight the brigands, who outnumbered the poor drovers, managed to shoot them down dead. They then hurried away from the road, with the mules and their treasure, to their hiding place in a thick forest, uninhabited except by these brigands.

I must tell you that the moment Grain saw the


  1. The person who narrated this story to the author, when he came to this point of it, forgot what came next and what it was that Grain said to the drovers.