THE BROWNIE OF THE LAKE 347
To her great joy he consented, bidding her set out for the city of the dwarfs and to tell them exactly what she wanted. Full of excitement, Barba'ik started on her journey. It was not long, and when she reached the town she went straight to the dwarfs, who were holding counsel in a wide green place, and said to them, ' Listen, my friends ! I have come to beg you to lend me a black horse, with eyes, a mouth, ears, bridle and saddle.'
She had hardly spoken when the horse appeared, and mounting on his back she started for the village where the wedding was to be held.
At first she was so delighted with the chance of a holiday from the work which she hated, that she noticed nothing, but very soon it struck her as odd that as she passed along the roads full of people they all laughed as they looked at her horse. At length she caught some words uttered by one man to another. ' Why, the farmer's wife has sold her horse's tail!' and turned in her saddle. Yes ; it was true. Her horse had no tail! She had forgotten to ask for one, and the wicked dwarfs had carried out her orders to the letter !
' Well, at any rate, I shall soon be there,' she thought, and shaking the reins, tried to urge the horse to a gallop. But it was of no use ; he declined to move out of a walk ; and she was forced to hear all the jokes that were made upon her.
In the evening she returned to the farm more angry than ever, and quite determined to revenge herself on the brownie whenever she had the chance, which happened to be very soon.
It was the spring, and just the time of year when the dwarfs held their fete, so one day the brownie asked Jegu if he might bring his friends to have supper in the great barn, and whether he would allow them to dance there. Of course, Jegu was only too pleased to be able to do anything for the brownie, and he ordered Barbai'k