“Once upon a time there was a maiden of Selotan who was fair beyond words, and her hair fell flaxen to her knees. She was called Klenora, and her father’s neighbour’s son loved her dearly and she returned his love. But when they approached the Illyrië for leave to wed, they were refused. Yet the lovers refused to be thwarted, for they trusted not the Illyrië and believed that they were false. Thus Klenora and Mandil were wed in secret, and the Illyrië had no knowledge of their marriage. But after a time of their bliss, one jealous of Mandil’s gladness betrayed their secret, and in fury the Illyrië sent the lovers to the caves of the south that they should die in sentence for their disobedience.
“And in the morning when they woke in the caverns they comforted each other, but Klenora was snatched up by a great flying creature and carried off. And Mandil pursued them, but the creature winged across a crevice. Mandil leapt blindly thinking only of his wife, but the crevice was wide and he fell into the dark with a loud cry. Thus ended Mandil, and Klenora soon after perished in the den of the beast.”
Einur sat silent for a time after the tale ended. Then he asked, “Is it true?”
“Who knows?” replied the old man. “After all, neither lived to tell their tale. Yet Klenora and Mandil were real enough, and the caves now bear their names.”
Copyright 2015 by Benita J. Prins