"A terrible, huge beast has come into our land. We don't know where it came from. The other day it caught one of our people and killed him. We are immortal, we never die ourselves, but this beast killed one of us. You are a hunter---can you help us in this trouble? Can you hunt down the beast?

"I don't see why not." answered the hunter, but to himself he wondered: "Will I be able to kill such a frightful beast?"

However, he was a hunter, the best of his tribe, and so he went out to track the beast. He looked and he looked, but could find nothing except the footprints of rabbit. Just as he was about to give up, suddenly, among the rabbit prints, he noticed the track of a sable.

"Oh, that's too fine a quarry to miss" he said. "First I will trap the sable, and then I'll go on looking for this terrible, huge beast.

"He found the sables tracks, set a trap and killed it. Then he skinned it and went on with his search. He walked the length and breadth of the little people's land, but could not find any trace of the beast. Disappointed he came back to the little people and said to them: "I could not find your terrible, huge beast. All I have found was this sable." And he showed them the little sable skin.

"That's it, that's it! "they cried. "Oo-h, what a huge skin, what thick paws, what terrible, sharp claws" And the eldest of the little men said to the hunter, "You have saved us and our people! And we shall pay for your kindness with kindness. Wait for us and we will come to visit you and bring you living water.

You must wash in it and you will become immortal too."

Excited at the prospect of immortality, the hunter jumped back across the bog and went back to his valley and told his people about the little men.

The tribe began to wait for their guests, the immortal little men. They waited one day, two days, three days, many, many days. But the guests did not come, and the tribe forgot about them and their promise.

Winter came. Everything around was frozen. And the bog was covered with a coat of ice.

One day the village women went to the woods to gather firewood. Suddenly they saw a little herd of rabbits galloping their way. They looked again, and saw that every rabbit was saddled, and in every saddle sat a tiny man with a little pitcher in his hands. The women burst out laughing at the sight...