THE SUN'S SISTERS
C. S. B. Adapted from a Lapland myth.
THERE was once a little prince, and he had for a
playmate a little peasant boy named Lars. One morning
the prince and Lars were shooting with their bows and
arrows, and wherever Lars aimed there did his arrow go,
straight—but the prince's arrow fell short of the mark
every time. This made the little prince very cross.
"I can hit the sun," he said, at last.
"Very well, then; so can I," said Lars. So the two
boys pointed their arrows and, whiz, off they went.
One arrow fell directly, and that was the prince's, but
the other went on and on. It must have hit the sun,
for it went out of sight and came back at last with a
bright gold hen's feather stuck to the end and a tiny
 red drop in the grass where it fell. "It is
mine," cried the prince.
"No, it is mine," cried Lars; and it really was his,
you know; but they went on quarreling, until the king
came out to see what was the matter.
Now, the king did not like to think that a little
peasant boy could shoot an arrow farther than his own
little prince, so he said very sternly to Lars:
"Go at once and find the hen from whom this feather
came. You are not to come back until you bring her to
Poor little Lars! He went sorrowfully to the king's
kitchen, where the cook gave him a bag with a dozen
loaves of bread and a leg of mutton for his journey;
and then he started off to find the golden hen.
For many days he traveled, looking in all the poultry
yards, but there were red hens, and speckled hens, and
white hens—no golden hens. He grew so tired that one
day he lay down under a tree and fell fast asleep, and
when he awoke there sat an old fox looking down at him.
"Where are you going?" asked the fox.
"I am not going anywhere just now," said Lars.
"Well," said the fox; "when you get up, where are you
bound for then?"
"Oh, dear," said Lars, "to find the golden hen who lost
this feather, and I don't know which way to go."
The fox smelled of the feather, and then said in a
whisper: "I know every poultry yard in the world. The
golden hen belongs to the Sun's Sisters. Come, I'll
show you the way."
So Lars and the fox went on and on for days, and then
up a steep mountain, until they came to the
pal-  ace of the Sun. It glittered and shone from top to
bottom, and Lars and the fox crept softly up to the
"You must go straight in, looking neither to the right
nor the left," said the fox to Lars, "until you come to
the poultry yard. Snatch the golden hen, and run back
again as fast as you can. I will wait outside."
Lars went in through the gate very softly, looking
straight ahead, past the beautiful gardens, and nearly
to the poultry yard, when he happened to spy a window
which was open. He forgot all that the fox had told
him, and he went over and peeped in the window. It was
the prettiest room inside that Lars had ever seen—all
pink and gold, like the sky in the early morning. And
on a gold bed lay a little girl fast asleep. She was
such a pretty little girl that Lars couldn't help
climbing over the window-sill and tip-toeing across to
look at her. Her golden hair quite covered the pillow,
and her cheeks were rosy. It was the Princess Sunrise,
and Lars kissed her softly.
She never awoke, so Lars climbed out of the window
again, and went on to the poultry yard. There was a
crowd of ducks, and geese, and turkeys, and cocks, and
one little golden hen, but the minute they saw Lars
they all set up such a cackling, and crowing, and
quacking that it awoke the Princess Sunrise, and she
came to the window.
"What do you want, boy?" she called out to Lars.
"I was just trying to catch your golden hen," said
"Oh, you mustn't do that; that would be stealing," said
the Princess; but when she saw how sorrowful Lars
looked, she said: "If you can bring me my sister,
 Sunset, whom the trolds took away, I will give
you my golden hen."
So Lars went back to the fox and told him what had
"You've made a fine mess of it," said the fox; "but,
come, we must find the trolds."
So Lars and the fox went on and on, and up another
steep mountain, until they came to the great, black
castle where the trolds lived.
"You stay outside this time," said the fox. "I will go
in and fetch the princess."
The fox went up and rapped loudly at the trolds' front
door. The trolds were all at tea, and they had their
candles lighted. They called out: "Who's there?"
"It is I," said the fox, "come to dance with you."
The trolds loved to dance more than anything else, so
they called out at once: "Come in!" And the fox went
There was the Princess Sunset, as pretty as her sister;
only her hair was dark, and her eyes shone like two
stars, and her cheeks were red instead of pink.
"You may dance with her, first, if you like," said the
trolds, who were really very good-natured little men.
So the fox put his paws around the princess' waist, and
they began dancing. Round and round they whirled, and
whenever they came near a candle the fox blew it out,
until it was so dark the trolds could not see. Out of
the door they danced, and on to Lars.
"Take the princess home quick!" said the fox to Lars.
Then he called to the trolds: "This way, this way."
He led them a long chase over hill and dale, until he
left them sticking fast in a muddy marsh, and then he
 But Lars took the Princess Sunset home to the
palace of the Sun. the Princess Sunrise gave him her
golden hen, and Lars carried the hen to the king. But
he decided that he would not play any more with the
cross little prince, so he went back, after a while, to
stay with the Princess Sunrise always, and help her to
make the new days.