THE THE HUSBAND OF THE BATS DAUGHTER 163
he spoke a cloud spread itself over the sun's face, blotting out his rays.
' Oh, well, we will speak to the cloud,' said the mother. And turning to the cloud she repeated her proposal.
' Indeed I am unworthy of anything so charming,' answered the cloud; ' but you make a mistake again in what you say. There is one thing that is even more powerful than I, and that is the wind. Ah, here he comes, you can see for yourself.'
And she did see, for catching up the cloud as he passed, he threw it on the other side of the sky. Then, tumbling father, mother and daughter down to the earth again, he paused for a moment beside them, his foot on an old wall.
When she had recovered her breath, the mother began her little speech once more.
' The wall is the proper husband for your daughter,' answered the wind, whose home consisted of a cave, which he only visited when he was not rushing about elsewhere ; ' you can see for yourself that he is greater than I, for he has power to stop me in my flight.' And the mother, who did not trouble to conceal her wishes, turned at once to the wall.
Then something happened which was quite unexpected by everyone.
' I won't marry that ugly old wall, which is as old as my grandfather,' sobbed the girl, who had not uttered one word all this time. ' I would have married the sun, or the cloud, or the wind, because it was my duty, although I love the handsome young rat, and him only. But that horrid old wall—I would sooner die ! '
And the wall, rather hurt in his feelings, declared that he had no claim to be the husband of so beautiful a girl.
' It is quite true,' he said, ' that I can stop the wind who can part the clouds who can cover the sun ; but there is someone who can do more than all these, and that is