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MARIA SILVA.

sunset to go home, he found that his best and finest goat was missing; it was only after much seeking and calling that she returned to him. Next day the goat did the same thing, and day after day she would absent herself until called for. The shepherd, who could not imagine the reason of the goat's strange behaviour, and was afraid of losing her altogether, said to his wife one day, when he came home more concerned and puzzled than usual, "Do you know, wife, that I am afraid we shall lose our best goat one of these fine days; however sharply I may look after her, she manages to slip away from the flock every day, and only returns when I call out for her. What do you think I had better do?" The wife replied that she would go next day and watch the goat, while he minded the rest of the flock. She did so, and great was her surprise and interest to find the goat lying on the ground suckling a beautiful little child. The good woman and the shepherd, who had no children, were delighted at the discovery; they took the little girl home, and reared and brought her up as their own.

Maria Silva (Woodland Mary) grew up to be a most beautiful maiden; and when the shepherd and his wife died, she entered the service of a princess who was about to marry the very prince who had found her in the forest. Now the prince, who paid the princess many visits before their marriage, happened on one of