HOW BALL-CARRIER FINISHED HIS TASK 69
' My grandson, did you manage to get that bridge from the Bad One? '
' Yes, grandmother, I got that too,' answered he.
' Where is it ? ' she asked, and Ball-Carrier lifted his right arm, and pointed to his arm-pit.
' Here is the bridge, grandmother,' said he.
Then the witch did something that nobody in the world could have guessed that she would do. First, she took the gold and said to Ball-carrier :
' My grandson, this gold must be hidden in the earth, for if people think they can get it when they choose, they will become lazy and stupid. But if we take it and bury it in different parts of the world they will have to work for it if they want it, and then will only find a little at a time.' And as she spoke, she pulled up one of the poles of the hut, and Ball-Carrier saw that underneath was a deep, deep hole, which seemed to have no bottom. Down this hole she poured all the gold, and when it was out of sight it ran about all over the world, where people that dig hard sometimes find it. And after that was done she put the pole back again.
Next she lifted down a spade from a high shelf, where it had grown quite rusty, and dug a very small hole on the opposite side of the hut—very small, but very deep.
' Give me the bridge,' said she,' for I am going to bury it here. If anyone was to get hold of it, and find that they could cross rivers and seas without any trouble, they would never discover how to cross them for themselves. I am a witch, and if I had chosen I could easily have cast my spells over the Bad One, and have made him deliver them to you the first day you came into my hut. But then you would never have fasted, and never have planned how to get what you wanted, and never have known the good spirits, and would have been fat and idle to the end of your days. And now go ; in that hut, which you can just see far away, live your father and mother, who