LAUGHING EYE AND WEEPING EYE 299
' I swear on the head of my father,' answered the young man, ' that I will bring back either the maiden or the horse.' And he went away to consult the fox.
Now, the fox who was always patient and charitable to other people's faults, led him to the entrance of a deep grotto, where stood a maiden all of gold, and beautiful as the day. He placed her on his horse and prepared to mount.
' Are you not sorry,' said the fox, ' to give such a lovely maiden in exchange for a horse? Yet you are bound to do it, for you have sworn by the head of your father. But perhaps I could manage to take her place.' So saying, the fox transformed himself into another golden maiden, so like the first that hardly anyone could tell the difference between them.
The simpleton took her straight to the owner of the horse, who was enchanted with her.
And the young man got back his father's vine and married the real golden maiden into the bargain.
[Conies Populaires Slaves. Traduits par Louis Leger. Paris: Ernest Leroux,