A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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A FAERIE ROMANCE.                        55
difference in kind between their talk and our ordinary human conversation. Some of the creatures I never heard speak at all, and believe they never do so, except under the impulse of some great excitement. The mice talked ; but the hedgehogs seemed very phlegmatic; and though I met a couple of moles above ground several times, they never said a word to each other in my hearing. There were no wild beasts in the forest; at least, I did not see one larger than a wild cat. There were plenty of snakes, however, and I do not think they were all harmless; but none ever bit me.
Soon after mid-day, I arrived at a bare rocky hill, of no great size, but very steep; and, having no trees— scarcely even a bush—upon it, entirely exposed to the heat of the sun. Over this my way seemed to lie, and I immediately began the ascent. On reaching the top, hot and weary, I looked around me, and saw that the forest still stretched as far as the sight could reach on every side of me. I observed that the trees, in the direction which I was about to descend, did not come so near the foot of the hill as on the other side, and was especially regretting the unexpected postpone­ment of shelter, because this side of the hill seemed more difficult to descend than the other had been to
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