Luna heard a woman laugh. At first she thought it was a dream, but then she heard her coming closer. It was a young woman who was happy and giggled. She said something, but her words became whispers like the sighs of the wind. She couldn't have been far away, but Luna couldn't see her and her giggle came from different directions. Luna understood immediately who it was. Only the laughter of the treacherous Spirit of the forest could be heard like this. She wanted to harm people and used to see to it that the herds-maids got lost and never found their way home. At the same time she was the children's only hope of reserve and if she let them lie there they would die of fever.


Luna tried to call for help, but her voice was so weak that she hardly heard it herself. She managed to stand up for a moment; then she sank down on the soft moss. She wasn't hungry any more; she just longed to wrap herself in a warm blanket. She was wearing a sheepskin coat, but felt as if she was lying naked in the wind.

Midar lay quite still and his breathing was shallow. Luna thought he would never wake up again. She clasped her hands in despair and prayed to the Mistress of the heavens. When need was urgent only the great Tismina could help.

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