We cut a pretty picture when we left on our quest. He, dressed in shining armor with his golden hair flying behind him. Me, with my white mane blowing in the wind. My tail was braided with gold threads, and I wore bright new shoes.
A picture is all it was, I’m afraid. My knight did not fare so well. He couldn’t fend off the wolves who attacked the Tree of Life. He couldn’t stay awake for nine nights. On the seventh night, I spoke to him in his own language. I told him that a fairy had given me to his mother so that I might serve him properly, but I would be of no service if I did not tell him that if he would die if he failed to stay awake.
He heard me, but he didn’t listen. On the eighth night, he fell fast asleep, and the wolves did great harm to the Tree.
It was awful to watch.
The Helpless White Horse in The Death of the Sun-Hero, Yellow Fairy Book. Painting by Pauwels van Hillegaert.