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THE TWIN BOYS
 THE twin boys, it was said, were guarded by the god Mars.
So it was not strange that, as they grew older, the god
should send his sacred birds, the woodpeckers, to feed
the children. In and out of the cave the birds flew
each day, bringing with them food for the little boys.
But neither the wolf nor the birds could do all that
was needful, so before long, the god who watched over
the children sent Faustulus to their aid.
Faustulus was one of the herdsmen of King Amulius. He
had often seen the wolf going in and out of the cave,
and had noticed, too, how the woodpeckers came and went
each day. So when the wolf went off to prowl in the
woods, Faustulus ventured into the cave, where to his
amazement he found two beautiful and well-fed children.
He took them in his arms and carried them home to his
wife. She gladly welcomed the little strangers, and,
naming them Romulus and Remus, brought them up as
though they had been her own sons.
As the years passed the boys grew ever more beautiful.
Stronger and braver, too, they became, until the rough
herdsmen among whom they dwelt called them princes.
The lads soon showed that they were fitted to lead the
herdsmen. If wild beasts attacked the flocks, or if
robbers tried to steal them, Romulus and Remus were
ever the first to attack, and to drive away either the
robbers or the wild beasts.
Faustulus lived on Mount Palatine, near to the spot
 where the boys had been washed ashore when they were
This hill belonged to the cruel king Amulius, and it
was his sheep and cattle that the princes, unwitting of
the evil the king had done to them, defended from
Not far from Mount Palatine was another hill, named
Mount Aventine, and here also were herdsmen guarding
flocks, but these herdsmen belonged to the dethroned
King Numitor. Numitor was living quietly in the city
Now it chanced that the herdsmen of Amulius began to
quarrel with the herdsmen of Numitor. One evening,
forgetting all about their enemies, the shepherds on
Mount Palatine were merrymaking at a festival in honour
of the god Pan.
Then the herdsmen on Mount Aventine said one to the
other, "See, here is our chance. We will lay an ambush
for these unwary merrymakers."
As the gods willed, they captured none other than
Remus, and well pleased with their prize, they carried
the prince a prisoner to their master Numitor.