34 At the Back of the North Wind
as ot many backs, young Diamond found himself hoisted up in the air, with both hands twisted in the horse's mane. The next instant old Diamond lashed out with both his hind legs, and giving one cry of terror young Diamond found himself lying on his neck, with his arms as far round it as they would go. But then the horse stood as still as a stone, except that he lifted his head gently up, to let the boy slip down to his back. For when he heard young Diamond's cry he knew that there was nothing to kick about; for young Diamond was a good boy, and old Diamond was a good horse, and the one was all right on the back of the other.
As soon as Diamond had got himself comfortable on the saddle place, the horse began pulling at the hay, and the boy began thinking. He had never mounted Diamond himself before, and he had never got off him without being lifted down. So he sat, while the horse ate, wondering how he was to reach the ground.
But while he meditated, his mother woke, and her first thought was to- see her boy. She had visited him twice during the night, and found him sleeping quietly. Now his bed was empty, and she was frightened.
"Diamond! Diamond! Where are you, Diamond?" she called out.
Diamond turned his head where he sat like a knight on his steed in enchanted stall, and cried aloud,—
" Here, mother!"
"Where, Diamond?" she returned.
"Here, mother, on Diamond's back."