LILITH A Fantasy Novel By George MacDonald - online book

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its changes ; but when at length it came from its retire­ment with wings, all would immediately address it as Sister Butterfly, congratulating it on its metamorphosis —for which they used a word that meant something like repentance—and evidently regarding it as something sacred.
One moonlit evening, as they were going to gather their fruit, they came upon a woman seated on the ground with a baby in her lap—the woman I had met on my way to Bulika. They took her for a giantess that had stolen one of their babies, for they regarded all babies as their property. Filled with anger they fell upon her multitudinously, beating her after a childish, yet sufficiently bewildering fashion. She would have fled, but a boy threw himself down and held her by the feet. Recovering her wits, she recognised in her assailants the children whose hospitality she sought, and at once yielded the baby. Lona appeared, and carried it away in her bosom.
But while the woman noted that in striking her they were careful not to hurt the child, the Little Ones noted that, as she surrendered her, she hugged and kissed her just as they wanted to do, and came to the conclusion that she must be a giantess of the same kind as the good giant. The moment Lona had the baby, therefore, they brought the mother fruit, and began to show her every sort of childish attention.
Now the woman had been in perplexity whither to betake herself, not daring to go back to the city, because the princess was certain to find out who had lamed her leopardess : delighted with the friendliness of the little people, she resolved to remain with them for the present: she would have no trouble with her infant,
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