THE KING OF THE WATERFALLS 83
answered he, and he stooped and noted the tracks of the horses on the grass, and followed after them till he arrived at the wood, when the darkness fell.
' I will sleep here,' he said to himself, ' but first I will make a fire.' And he gathered together some twigs that were lying about, and then took two dry sticks and rubbed them together till the fire came, and he sat by it.
The twigs crackled and the flame blazed up, and a slim yellow dog pushed through the bushes and laid his head on the king's knee, and the king stroked his head.
' Wuf, wuf,' said the dog. ' Sore was the plight of thy wife and thy horses when the giant drove them last night through the forest.'
' That is why I have come,' answered the king ; and suddenly his heart seemed to fail him and he felt that he could not go on.
' I cannot fight that giant,' he cried, looking at the dog with a white face. ' I am afraid, let me turn homewards.'
' No, don't do that,' replied the dog. ' Eat and sleep, and I will watch over you.' So the king ate and lay down, and slept till the sun waked him.
' It is time for you to start on your way,' said the dog, ' and if danger presses, call on me, and I will help you.'
' Farewell, then,' answered the king; ' I will not forget that promise,' and on he went, and on, and on, till he reached a tall cliff with many sticks lying about.
' It is almost night,' he thought; ' I will make a fire and rest,' and thus he did, and when the flames blazed up, the hoary hawk of the grey rock flew on to a bough above him.
' Sore was the plight of thy wife and thy horses when they passed here with the giant,' said the hawk.
' Never shall I find them,' answered the king, ' and nothing shall I get for all my trouble.'