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The Legend Of Hi-You
by [?]


In the days of Good King Carraway (dead now, poor fellow, but he had a pleasant time while he lasted) there lived a certain swineherd commonly called Hi-You. It was the duty of Hi-You to bring up one hundred and forty-one pigs for his master, and this he did with as much enthusiasm as the work permitted. But there were times when his profession failed him. In the blue days of summer Princes and Princesses, Lords and Ladies, Chamberlains and Enchanters would ride past him and leave him vaguely dissatisfied with his company, so that he would remove the straw from his mouth and gaze after them, wondering what it would be like to have as little regard for a swineherd as they. But when they were out of sight, he would replace the straw in his mouth and fall with great diligence to the counting of his herd and such other duties as are required of the expert pigtender, assuring himself that, if a man could not be lively with one hundred and forty-one companions, he must indeed be a poor-spirited sort of fellow.

Now there was one little black pig for whom Hi-You had a special tenderness. Just so, he often used to think, would he have felt towards a brother if this had been granted to him. It was not the colour of the little pig nor the curliness of his tail (endearing though this was), nor even the melting expression in his eyes which warmed the swineherd’s heart, but the feeling that intellectually this pig was as solitary among the hundred and forty others as Hi-You himself. Frederick (for this was the name which he had given to it) shared their food, their sleeping apartments, much indeed as did Hi-You, but he lived, or so it seemed to the other, an inner life of his own. In short, Frederick was a soulful pig.

There could be only one reason for this: Frederick was a Prince in disguise. Some enchanter–it was a common enough happening in those days–annoyed by Frederick’s father, or his uncle, or even by Frederick himself, had turned him into a small black pig until such time as the feeling between them had passed away. There was a Prince Frederick of Milvania who had disappeared suddenly; probably this was he. His complexion was darker now, his tail more curly, but the royal bearing was unmistakable.

It was natural then that, having little in common with his other hundred and forty charges, Hi-You should find himself drawn into ever closer companionship with Frederick. They would talk together in the intervals of acorn-hunting, Frederick’s share of the conversation limited to “Humphs,” unintelligible at first, but, as the days went on, seeming more and more charged with an inner meaning to Hi-You, until at last he could interpret every variation of grunt with which his small black friend responded. And indeed it was a pretty sight to see them sitting together on the top of a hill, the world at their feet, discussing at one time the political situation of Milvania, at another the latest ballad of the countryside, or even in their more hopeful moments planning what they should do when Frederick at last was restored to public life.


Now it chanced that one morning when Frederick and Hi-You were arguing together in a friendly manner over the new uniforms of the Town Guard (to the colours of which Frederick took exception) King Carraway himself passed that way, and being in a good humour stood for a moment listening to them.

“Well, well,” he said at last, “well, well, well.”

In great surprise Hi-You looked up, and then, seeing that it was the King, jumped to his feet and bowed several times.

“Pardon, Your Majesty,” he stammered, “I did not see Your Majesty. I was–I was talking.”

“To a pig,” laughed the King.