I shall go forth a fleety hare
With much of sorrow and much of care
And I shall go in the Devil’s name
Until I come home again
And through the peephole I espied such a change come over the old woman that my blood ran thin within me and I thought the life itself would run out, for when she had finished there sat a long-tailed hare upon the border of the Kashmir rug. Her ear twitched and she shot such a look at the picture through which I gazed that I was left quite unable to move and all my limbs were ice. Then in a flash she was out the window and gone over the fields. I would have followed her, or fled, I know not which, but my body would not straighten, nor my eyes roll away from the other room.
It was third cock-crow before she came back.
Hare, hare, God send you care
I am in your likeness now
But I shall be a human even now.
And there she stood again, as human as I. How I longed to be a hare then, and go bounding swift as thought away down the roads, but her will was strong upon me and I could not move.
“And what have you seen, Jonathan Gowdie, that you would rather not have seen? And what have you heard, Jonathan Gowdie, that you should not have heard?” She grabbed my ear and shook me like a terrier and then I could move again. She wrapped me in her arms and I bawled. “There, there,” she crooned, “hush, now, hush, hush.”