238 THE OWL AND THE EAGLE
Now the women had no idea in which direction the lost birds had gone, but they knew that some distance off was a thick forest, where good hunting was to be found. It seemed a likely place to find them, or, at any rate, they might hear something of them, and they walked quickly on, cheered by the thought that they were doing something. Suddenly the young sister, who was a little in front, gave a cry of surprise.
'Oh! look at that lake!' she said, 'we shall never get across it.'
'Yes we shall,' answered the elder; 'I know what to do.' And taking a long piece of string from her pocket, fastened it into the frog's mouth, like a bit.
'You must swim across the lake,' she said, stooping to put him in, 'and we will walk across on the line behind you. And so they did, till they got to about the middle of the lake, when the frog boy stopped.
'I don't like it, and I won't go any further,' cried he sulkily. And his mother had to promise him all sorts of nice things before he would go on again.
When at last they reached the other side, the owl's wife untied the line from the frog's mouth and told him he might rest and play by the lake till they got back from the forest. Then she and her sister and the boy walked on, with the great forest looming before them. But they had by this time come far and were very tired, and felt glad enough to see some smoke curling up from a little hut in front of them.
'Let us go in and ask for some water,' said the eagle's wife; and in they went.
The inside of the hut was so dark that at first they could see nothing at all; but presently they heard a feeble croak from one corner. Both sisters turned to look, and there, tied by wings and feet, and their eyes sunken, were the husbands that they sought. Quick as lightning the wives cut the deer-thongs which bound them; but the poor birds were too weak from pain and starvation to do