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Read the Story

Deep in the woods, there was a clear spring with water like silver. Neither lions nor other wild animals came to the spring in the night time. Neither leaves nor branches fell into it. Only green grass grew around it all year long.

One day a boy hunter found the spring. He was very thirsty and he bent down to drink. As he bent he saw, for the first time in his life, his own handsome face. He did not know who it was.

He thought it was a water fairy. He put his lips to the water, but as soon as he touched the surface, the shadow-face disappeared.

"Nothing has escaped me yet. I shall stay here till this curly-haired fairy comes out of the water," he said.

He forgot about hunting. He forgot everything but to watch for this water fairy. He stayed by the spring from day to night and from night to day.

He saw the face in the water grow thinner day by day, but never thought of himself. At last he was too weak to watch any longer. His face was as white as the whitest lily, and his yellow hair fell over his hollow cheeks. With a sigh his breath floated away, his head dropped on the green grass, and there was no longer any face in the water.

The fairies came out of the woods. They found nothing but a lovely flower, looking with a bended head into the silver spring, just as the boy hunter had done.

The fairies told the story to a little child, and she told it to her father and mother. When they found this spring in the woods, they called the yellow flower growing beside it Narcissus, after the boy hunter.

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