the young woman riding - the young woman riding
last updated on: 12/02/20 03:14PM
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From time to time the sound of the flute stopped, and Gabriel came out of his hut to check his sheep. Whenever he discovered a half-dead new lamb,he brought the creature into the hut. In front of the stove it soon came back to life,and then he could return it to its mother.

He noticed a light further down the hill. It came from a wooden hut at the edge of a field. He walked down to it and put his eye to a hole in the wood. Inside,two women were feeding a sick cow. One of the women was middle-aged. The other was young and wore a cloak. Gabriel could not see her face.

‘ I think she'll be all right now,aunt,’said the younger woman. ‘I can come and feed her again in the morning. What a pity I lost my hat on the way here!’Just then the girl dropped her cloak,and her long hair fell on to the shoulders of her red jacket. Gabriel recognized the girl of the yellow cart and the mirror,the girl who owed him twopence.

The women left the hut,and Gabriel returned to his sheep.

As the sun was rising the next morning, Gabriel waited out-side his hut until he saw the young woman riding up the hill. She was sitting sideways on the horse in the usual lady's posi-tion. He suddenly thought of the hat she had lost,searched for it,and found it among some leaves on the ground. He was just going to go up to her to give it back, when the girl did some-thing very strange. Riding under the low branches of a tree,she dropped backwards flat on the horse's back,with her feet on its shoulders. Then,first looking round to make sure no one was watching,she sat up straight again and pulled her dress to her knees,with her legs on either side of the horse. This was obviously easier for riding,but not very ladylike. Gabriel was surprised and amused by her behaviour. He waited until she returned from her aunt's hut,and stepped out into the path in front of her.

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