Pine Eye the Ass, Part Two

So Pine Eye the Ass came to the shore. “O Terrible Dogfish,” he brayed, “I am Pine Eye. Tell me where I might find the sacred roses of the earth goddess Sib, that I may eat them and shed this ass skin.”

But the Terrible Dogfish came out of the sea and said, “I am the Terrible Dogfish, and I have not eaten in a thousand years. O Ass, truly I will eat you.”

And thus the Terrible Dogfish swallowed Pine Eye the Ass alive.


Pine Eye remained in the belly of the Terrible Dogfish all the rest of that day, and all the next day.

Then, at sunrise on the third day, the Terrible Dogfish spat out Pine Eye the Ass on a distant shore.

What luck! For there Pine Eye the Ass saw a field of roses!

He bowed his head and prayed, “O Sib, goddess of the earth, if these be your sacred roses, I pray, let me eat of them, that I may shed this ass skin.”

And the goddess Sib appeared to him and said, “O Pine Eye the Ass, I do not give away my sacred roses without demanding something in return. If you would eat of my sacred roses and shed your ass skin, you must swear to me that you will give me your body and soul. Swear to me that you will enter my mysteries and become my priest forever.”

Pine Eye the Ass was about to bray the oath, when suddenly the earth began to shake. Pine Eye the Ass was sore afraid, and even the goddess Sib recoiled in fear and hatred.

The Pine Tree, Pine Eye’s mother, appeared to her son and said, “O Pine Eye, my son, do not heed the words of Sib. Do not eat her roses, lest you become her slave and be forever damned.”

Pine Eye the Ass bowed and said, “O Mother, what must I do, then, to shed this ass skin?”

The Pine Tree, Pine Eye’s Mother, said, “You must travel east, from whence you came, and seek the Terrible Lion. Submit to the brute, and you will be rid of your ass skin forever.”

Pine Eye the Ass was sore afraid, but he put his faith in his mother. He did not eat the sacred roses of Sib, nor even touch them, and Sib let out a mighty shriek at having lost a valuable slave.


Pine Eye traveled east for a year and a day, until at last he came to the grasslands where the Terrible Lion lived. Pine Eye feared to enter the brute’s den, but he put his faith in his mother and her word.

The Terrible Lion awoke with a powerful roar. “Who dares enter the den of the Terrible Lion?”

Trembling with fear, Pine Eye the Ass bowed low and brayed, “O Terrible Lion, I am Pine Eye the Ass. My mother the Pine Tree sent me, saying that you might rid me of this ass skin.”

The Terrible Lion stood, towering over the little ass.

“Do you renounce Sib and all her empty promises?” roared the brute.

“I do,” said the little ass.

“Do you believe in the promise of my father the Breadkeeper?”

“I do,” said the little ass.

“Do you believe in the undoing of Death?”

“I do,” said the little ass.

The Terrible Lion sank his teeth and claws into the little ass, tearing off the ass skin until Pine Eye bled. Pine Eye was in terrible pain.

The Terrible Lion said, “Go, and wash yourself in the Pool of Immersion. Then and only then will you be your true self.”

Pine Eye suffered his terrible pains as he left the brute’s den.


Pine Eye tripped and fell three times on the way to the Pool of Immersion. The pain was unbearable, and he left a trail of blood and water as he went.

At last, Pine Eye arrived at the Pool of Immersion. He immersed himself, washing off all the blood and water.

Lo and behold! Pine Eye was no longer a wooden effigy, but a boy of flesh and blood! He leapt for joy, then got on his knees and prayed:

“O Terrible Lion, thank you! You are truly gracious, and I am your servant forevermore! I swear to you that my body and soul are yours, and I here renew the vows I made to you when I was but an ass!”

And Pine Eye lived happily ever after.

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