218 THE SISTER OF THE SUN
through it he looked back and caught a glimpse of wonderful splendours from an open door of the palace. ' After all, there is no hurry,' he said to himself; ' I may as well see something now I am here,' and turned back, forgetting all about the hen, which escaped from under his arm, and ran to join her sisters.
He was so much fascinated by the sight of all the beautiful things which peeped through the door that he scarcely noticed that he had lost the prize he had won; and he did not remember there was such a thing as a hen in the world when he beheld the Sister of the Sun sleeping on a bed before him.
For some time he stood staring; then he came to himself with a start, and feeling that he had no business there, softly stole away, and was fortunate enough to recapture the hen, which he took with him to the gate. On the threshold he stopped again. ' Why should I not look at the Sister of the Sun ?' he thought to himself; ' she is asleep, and will never know.' And he turned back for the second time and entered the chamber, while the hen wriggled herself free as before. When he had gazed his fill he went out into the courtyard and picked up his hen who was seeking for corn.
As he drew near the gate he paused. ' Why did I not give her a kiss ? ' he said to himself; ' I shall never kiss any woman so beautiful.' And he wrung his hands with regret, so that the hen fell to the ground and ran away.
' But I can do it still!' he cried with delight, and he rushed back to the chamber and kissed the sleeping maiden on the forehead. But, alas ! when he came out again he found that the hen had grown so shy that she would not let him come near her. And, worse than that, her sisters began to cluck so loud that the Sister of the Sun was awakened by the noise. She jumped up in haste from her bed, and going to the door she said to the boy :
' You shall never, never, have my hen till you bring