220 THE SEA KING'S GIFT
Maie had never uttered a word, but thought the more. She had good ears, and had laid to heart the story about Ahti. ' How delightful,' thought she to herself, ' to possess a fairy cow ! How delicious every morning and evening to draw milk from it, and yet have no trouble about the feeding, and to keep a shelf near the window for dishes of milk and junkets ! But this will never be my luck.'
' What are you thinking of ? ' asked Matte.
' Nothing,' said his wife ; but all the time she was pondering over some magic rhymes she had heard in her childhood from an old lame man, which wrere supposed to bring luck in fishing.
' What if I were to try ? ' thought she.
Now this was Saturday, and on Saturday evening3 Matte never set the herring-net, for he did not fish on Sunday. Towards evening, however, his wife said :
' Let us set the herring-net just this once.'
' No,' said her husband, ' it is a Saturday night.'
' Last night was so stormy, and we caught so little,' urged his wife ; ' to-night the sea is like a mirror, and with the wind in this direction the herring are drawing towards land.'
' But there are streaks in the north-western sky, and Prince was eating grass this evening,' said the old man.
' Surely he has not eaten my gar He,' exclaimed the old woman.
' No ; but there will be rough weather by to-morrow at sunset,' rejoined Matte.
' Listen to me,' said his wife, ' we will set only one net close to the shore, and then we shall be able to finish up our half-filled cask, which will spoil if it stands open so long.'
The old man allowed himself to be talked over, and so they rowed out with the net. When they reached the deepest part of the water, she began to hum the