HAVE you ever seen El Sol, the Chief of the Wonder-workers, brother to Mother Carey? Yes, you have, though probably you did not know it; at least you could not look him in the face. Well, I am going to tell you about him, and tell of a sad thing that happened to him, and to some one whom he loved more than words can tell.
Tall and of blazing beauty was El Sol, the King of the Wonder-workers; his hair was like shining gold, and stood straight out a yard from his hea
Everyone loved him, except a very few, who once had dared to fight him, and had been worsted. Everyone else loved him, and he liked everybody, without really loving them. Until one day, as he walked in his garden, he suddenly came on a beautiful white maiden, whom he had never seen before. Her eyes were of the loveliest blue, her hair was so soft that it floated on the air, and her robe was white, covered with ferns done in white lace.
He fell deeply in love with her at once, but she waved a warning hand, when he tried to come near.
"Who are you, oh radiant princess? I love you even before I hear you speak."
"I am Snowroba, the daughter of the great King Jackfrost," she said.
"I love you as I never loved any one. Will you marry me? I am the King of the Wonder-workers. I will make you the Queen."
"No," said she, "I cannot marry you, for it is written that if one of my people marry one of your people, she will sink down and die in a day."
Then El Sol was very sad. But he said, "May I not see you again?"
"Yes," she answered, "I will meet you here in the morning, for it is pleasant to look on your beauty," and her voice tinkled sweetly.
So she met him in the morning, and again on the third morning. He loved her madly now, and though she held back, he seized her in his arms and kissed her tenderly.
Then her arms fell weakly to her sides, and her eyes half closed as she said: "I know now that the old writing spake truth. I love you, I love you, my love; but you have killed me."
And she sank down, a limp white form, on the leafy ground.
El Sol was wild with grief. He tried to revive her, to bring her back.
She only whispered, "Good-bye, my love. I am going fast. You will see me no more, but come to this place a year from now. It may be Maka Ina will be kind, and will send you a little one that is yours and mine."
Her white body melted away, as he bent over it and wept.
He came back every morning, but saw Snowroba no more. One year from that day, as he lingered sadly over the sacred spot, he saw a new and wonderful flower come forth. Its bloom was of the tenderest violet blue, and it was full of expression. As he gazed, he saw those eyes again; the scalding tears dropped from his eyes, and burned its leaves into a blotched and brownish colour. He remembered, and understood her promise now. He knew that this was their blue-eyed little one.
In the early springtime we can see it. Three sunny days on the edge of the snowdrift will bring it forth. The hunterfolk who find it, say that it is just one of the spring flowers, out earlier than any other, and is called Liverleaf, but we Woodcrafters know better. We know it is Hepatica, the child of El Sol and Snowroba.