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Young Folks' Treasury: Myths and Legendary Heroes

Cadmus
ADAPTED BY C.E. SMITH
Cadmus, Phoenix, and Cilix, the three sons of King Agenor, were playing near the
seashore in their father's kingdom of Phoenicia, and their little sister Europa was beside
them.
They had wandered to some distance from the King's palace and were now in a green
field, on one side of which lay the sea, sparkling brightly in the sunshine, and with little
waves breaking on the shore.
The three boys were very happy gathering flowers and making wreaths for their sister
Europa. The little girl was almost hidden under the flowers and leaves, and her rosy face
peeped merrily out among them. She was really the prettiest flower of them all.
While they were busy and happy, a beautiful butterfly came flying past, and the three
boys, crying out that it was a flower with wings, set off to try to catch it.
Europa did not run after them. She was a little tired with playing all day long, so she sat
still on the green grass and very soon she closed her eyes.
sleep. But if she slept at all it was only for a
minute. Then she heard something tramping on the grass and, when she looked up, there
was a snow-white bull quite close to her!
Where could he have come from? Europa was very frightened, and she started up from
among the tulips and lilies and cried out, "Cadmus, brother Cadmus, where are you?
Come and drive this bull away." But her brother was too far off to hear her, and Europa
was so frightened that her voice did not sound very loud; so there she stood with her blue
eyes big with fear, and her pretty red mouth wide open, and her face as pale as the lilies
that were lying on her golden hair.
As the bull did not touch her she began to peep at him, and she saw that he was a very
beautiful animal; she even fancied he looked quite a kind bull. He had soft, tender, brown
eyes, and horns as smooth and white as ivory: and when he breathed you could feel the
scent of rosebuds and clover blossoms in the air.
The bull ran little races round Europa and allowed her to stroke his forehead with her
small hands, and to hang wreaths of flowers on his horns. He was just like a pet lamb,
and very soon Europa quite forgot how big and strong he really was and how frightened
she had been. She pulled some grass and he ate it out of her hand and seemed quite
pleased to be friends. He ran up and down the field as lightly as a bird hopping in a tree;
his hoofs scarcely seemed to touch the grass, and once when he galloped a good long way
Europa was afraid she would not see him again, and she called out, "Come back, you dear
For a time she listened to the sea, which sounded, she thought, just like a voice saying,
"Hush, hush," and telling her to go to [pg
23]
 
 
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