The Bridge Story ID - Page 15

Vivamus porttitor blandit ultrices

|11|

"Who dares to touch my Sugar-Candy House?" roared the wolf again.

Jan replied:

"It could be the wind so mild, the wind so mild!"

This satisfied the old wolf, and back he went to his house, grumbling.

The next day Jan and Jannette once again crossed over the little red bridge, and broke some more candy from the wolf's house. Out came Garon again, bristling all over.

"Who is touching my Sugar-Candy House?" he roared.

And Jan and Jannette replied:

"It could be the wind so mild, the wind so mild!"

"Very well," said the wolf, and went back again, but this time there was a gleam of suspicion in his eye.

The next day was stormy. Hardly had Jan and Jannette reached the Sugar-Candy House than the wolf came out and surprised them just when they were breaking a piece off his window-sill.

"Oho!" said he, and sprang at Jan and Jannette, who took to their heels and ran off as fast as their legs could carry them. Garon pursued them at a good speed in spite of his stiff paw, and although he never gained on them, yet he kept them in sight and refused to give up the chase. The children looked back once or twice, and saw that the wolf was still following them, but they were not very much afraid, because they were confident of their ability to outrun him.

All of a sudden they found their way barred by a river. There was no bridge across it, and the water was very deep. What were they to do? Nearer and nearer came the wolf!"

In the middle of the river some ducks were swimming, and Jan called out to them: "Little ducks! Little ducks! Carry us over the river on your backs, for if you don't the wolf will get us!"

The ducks came swimming up, and Jan and Jannette climbed each on to the back of one, and were carried safely over to the other bank.

Soon the wolf, in his turn, came to the river. He had seen how the children had managed to cross, and roared out at the ducks in a terrible voice, "Come and carry me, or I'll eat you all up!"

"We'll carry you a long way," answered the ducks, and came swimming to the bank. Garon balanced himself on four of them, one paw on the back of each. But they did not have in mind to carry the old wolf to the other bank, for they did not like him or his kind, and they resented the impolite way he asked them a favour. So, at a given signal from the leader, all the ducks dived in midstream and left old Garon struggling in the water. Three times he went down and three times he came up, but the fourth time he sank, he never came up again.

That was the end of old Garon. I don't know what became of his Sugar-Candy House, but if you could find the wood, and the sun had not melted the candy, or the rain washed it away, you might break a bit of it off for yourselves.