Oxen and horses he devours.
The peasants are in deep distress
The laidly bear should them oppress.
Their heads together at length they lay,
How they the bear might seize and slay.
They drove their porkers through the wood,
The bear turn'd round as he lay at food.
Outspoke as best he could the bear:
"What kind of guests approach my lair?"
Uprose the bear amain from his food,
A christian man before him stood.
A little hour together they fought,
The bear to the earth the man has brought.
Fast came a knight as he could make,
He heard the heart of the peasant break.
The bear upon him fiercely glar'd;
"Thou needst not hurry, I'm prepar'd."
"And thou by me shalt be stoutly met,
So thou may'st vapour and thou may'st threat.
"If thou hast spear and nimble hand,
I've claws and teeth at my command."
They fought for a day, they fought for two,
And so on the third they continu'd to do.
But when to night the fourth day drew,
The bear to the earth the warrior threw.
"Thou wilt no victory gain from me,
Thou haughty knight, thou may'st certain be.
"I late was the son of a powerful King,
A Queen me into the world did bring.
"My Step-dame chang'd me, as you see,
She'd ruin me to eternity.
"About the wild forest I have run,
To the boors much scathe and violence done.
"In winter and in summer's tide
In peace for me they could not bide.
"But they may thank my cruel Dame,
For 'twas through her I a bear became.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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