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Cadwaladr and His Goat

CADWALADR had a very handsome goat named Jenny, of which he was very proud. Now Jenny was a very well-behaved goat as a rule and gave no trouble, but one evening she would not let Cadwaladr catch her. She ran round and round the field, and though Cadwaladr was fleet of foot, do what he would he could not get near her. Then she jumped over the hedge, like a hunter, into the next field. When Cadwaladr went after her, she jumped into the field beyond, and over the mountain wall towards the mountain. Several times she allowed Cadwaladr to come close up to her and then darted away. The last time she rushed up to the top of a high precipice. Cadwaladr, who had been getting wilder and wilder as his breath became shorter, now picked up a great stone and threw it at the exasperating animal with all his force. The stone knocked her over the precipice and she fell bleating to her doom. Cadwaladr was now very sorry, and made his way to the foot of the crag: the goat was dying, and licked his hand. This so affected him that he burst into tears, and sitting on the ground took the goat's head on his arm. Suddenly the goat was transformed into a beautiful young woman. Looking joyfully at him with great brown eyes, she said, "Ah, Cadwaladr, have I at last found you? Come with me." He put his hand in hers and allowed her to conduct him away. As for the hand, it felt just like a hoof, but when Cadwaladr looked at it, it seemed like an ordinary hand though it was whiter and more shapely than any hand he had ever seen before.

The maiden led him on and on, and Cadwaladr had never listened to more agreeable conversation than hers. At last they came to the top of a very high mountain. It was now night and the moon was shining. Cadwaladr looked round and saw that they were surrounded by a countless flock of goats, and the din of a most unearthly bleating arose suddenly. One of the goats which was larger than all the rest bleated as loudly as all the rest put together. This one rushed at Cadwaladr and, butting him in the stomach, sent him toppling over, just as he had sent Jenny. Cadwaladr went rolling down the mountain side and did not stop until his head went crash against a great rock. He fainted away and he did not recover consciousness until the sun and the singing birds awakened him in the morning. But he saw no more of either his goat or the fairy she had turned into from that day to his death.

Next: The Fairy Wife