THE BLIND MOTHER
BLIND woman had a son, who was the joy of her life.
Though she had no sight of her eyes, yet she was skilful of
her hands; and it was her delight to make pretty
clothes for her boy, soft and fine and full of delicate
By and by the boy came to her and said: "Mother, give me
some other clothes to wear. These are too small for me;
they pinch and bind me. Moreover, they are baby clothes,
and my playfellows mock and laugh at me because of them."
But the mother said: "Nay, my darling; these are by
far the best clothes for you. See how soft and warm they
are! they are pretty too, I know, although I cannot see
them. Be content, for you are my own darling little son,
and so you must remain."
 When he found he could not persuade her, the boy held
his peace; and he went out and looked about him, and found
the hide of a wolf and the pelt of a fox, and huddled them
round him over his baby frock, and so went among his
mates. Only, when he came back to the room where his mother
sat, he threw aside the skins, and came to her in his
frock; and she kissed him, and felt the frills and the
silken stitches, and said rejoicing: "You are my own
darling little son, and the light of my life."
By and by again there was a war in that country, and all
the young men went out to meet the enemy. Some were clad in
armor of proof, others in leathern jacks and doublets; and
with them went the son of the blind woman.
Then when the woman knew that her son was gone, she wept
and lamented, and ran out into the street. There she met one
who was returning
from the field of battle, and she asked him how went the
"Bravely," he replied. "Our men did well, all
save one, who had no arms, and
 whom I saw beaten down and at sore odds with the enemy."
"Oh! stranger," cried the blind woman, "was that one a
boy, who had wandered by mistake into that dreadful
field,—a sweet child, with the prettiest clothes, all
"Nay," said the stranger. "It was a man, half-naked,
huddled in the skins of beasts, with strange rags showing
under the skins."
"Oh!" said the woman. "I wonder who that poor
soul might be; and I wonder when my little darling son will
come home to me again."
And even while she spoke her son lay dead, and huddled round
him was the hide of a wolf and the pelt of a fox, with the
baby clothes fluttering from under them.