Johan, the hunter
The little house in the forest
At the next opportunity, Liliane put on her trousers and doublet again and ran to the stable. She saddled Diamant, her black horse, and suddenly the hunter was standing in front of her.
- Johan!" she said delightedly. But he scowled.
- What about you?" she wanted to know. When he didn't answer, she said: "Are you coming for a ride?
Silently he fetched his white horse. They rode together into the forest. On the way they did not speak a word. Suddenly they were standing in front of a little house.
- Oh look, how cute!! - What kind of house is that!!! Liliana exclaimed joyfully.
- That's the hunting lodge, said the hunter tonelessly. He dismounted from his horse. Liliana swung herself out of the saddle, stood in front of him and looked at him anxiously. She put her hand on his arm and asked:
- Johan! - What's wrong??
The hunter remained silent.
- Come on, show me the hut!, Liliana called and added enthusiastically: The little windows with the chequered curtains... How cute!
They went inside. Wordlessly, Johan sat down on the bench by the table. Liliana looked around:
- I like it here!, she said enchanted: You could really make yourself comfortable here!!!
Spontaneously she sat down next to him and said:
- I don't want to stay in the castle any longer. Mother is so mean to me! And I don't want to prance around in tight clothes that don't let me breathe and braid my hair and drape it for hours every day...! - Mother hurts me when she combs my hair, I hate it! I never want to be like her! I want to be free!!!
With that, she stretched her arms in the air - and lowered them the next moment - around the hunter's neck. Passionately she said:
- Can't I stay here - together with you???"
She leaned her head against his shoulder.
His voice sounded rough as he replied :
- You don't know what you are saying!
He acts responsibly
Then he gave himself a jolt and stood up abruptly, saying:
- I have to go now!
Liliana was startled and said desperately:
- Did I say something wrong?
- No!, said the hunter: Come! We have to go back to the castle. There I will pack my things. I have to leave! I can't stay in the castle any longer!
Liliana was even more frightened:
- Is it... because of me???
- Because of your mother...!, he said grimly.
They rode back without a word. Liliana was confused and had the vague feeling that she had misbehaved. At the stable they dismounted. He took the reins of her horse and said:
- I'll take Diamant with me right away...!
Then he hesitated for a moment. Gently, he put his hand on her chin and pushed it up so that his eyes looked into hers:
- Take care of yourself, little one!, he said urgently.
She shook her head, uncomprehending. Then she lifted her hands behind her neck and unhooked her dove chain from her neck. She held it out to him. He stared at it:
- What is this???, he said, startled.
- Take it! I want to give it to you. I got it from father. I am sad that you are leaving. Keep it! Please!!! - And don't forget me!
Tears stood in her eyes as she pressed the dove firmly into his palm and closed his hand around it.
He smiled warmly at her and assured:
- I will not forget you.
Then he tore his gaze away from her, took the two horses and went to the stable.
Heart and lungs
Liliana ran up to her room, locked the door and threw herself on the bed, sobbing.
The hunter had packed his things and loaded his horse when the queen appeared.
- Well?, she said. How was it???
Wordlessly and without looking at her, he put the spurs to his horse and rode away.
With satisfaction, the queen found that Liliana was destroyed and left her alone in her room.