THE FAIRY OF THE DAWN 179
blows cautiously, as if she had no longer power to strike.
And on the third day they were still fighting, but as the morning sky began to redden Petru somehow managed — how I cannot tell—to throw the bridle over the head of the tired Welwa. In a moment, from the Welwa sprang a horse — the most beautiful horse in the world.
' Sweet be your life, for you have delivered me from my enchantment,' said he, and began to rub his nose against his brother's. And he told Petru all his story, and how he had been bewitched for many years.
So Petru tied the Welwa to his own horse and rode on. Where did he ride? That I cannot tell you, but he rode on fast till he got out of the copper wood.
' Stay still, and let me look about, and see what I never have seen before,' said Petru again to his horse. For in front of him stretched a forest that was far more wonderful, as it was made of glistening trees and shining flowers. It was the silver wood.
As before, the flowers began to beg the young man to gather them.
' Do not pluck them,' warned the Welwa, trotting beside him, ' for my brother is seven times stronger than I' ; but though Petru knew by experience what this meant, it was no use, and after a moment's hesitation he began to gather the flowers, and to twist himself a wreath.
Then the storm wind howled louder, the earth trembled more violently, and the night grew darker, than the first time, and the Welwa of the silver wood came rushing on with seven times the speed of the other. For three days and three nights they fought, but at last Petru cast the bridle over the head of the second Welwa.
' Sweet be your life, for you have delivered me from enchantment,' said the second Welwa, and they all journeyed on as before.
But soon they came to a gold wood more lovely far