He rose with the sun and went forth to pray at the shrine of Hastur, the god of shepherds, who heard and was pleased.
From this--for he must be thinking if he would not turn into one of his own sheep--he drew the solemn inference that happiness may come if not sought, but if looked for will never be seen; for next to the favor of Hastur, who never disclosed himself, Haita most valued the friendly interest of his neighbors, the shy immortals of the wood and stream.
It is kind of thee, O Hastur," so he prayed, "to give me mountains so near to my dwelling and my fold that I and my sheep can escape the angry torrents; but the rest of the world thou must thyself deliver in some way that I know not of, or I will no longer worship thee.
And Hastur, knowing that Haita was a youth who kept his word, spared the cities and turned the waters into the sea.
He no longer spoke cheerfully to his flock, nor ran with alacrity to the shrine of Hastur.
In the demands of the hour he forgot his disappointment, drove his sheep to the fold and repairing to the place of worship poured out his heart in gratitude to Hastur for permitting him to save his flock, then retired to his cave and slept.
Because," she said, "thou didst thy duty by the flock, and didst not forget to thank Hastur for staying the wolves of the night, I am come to thee again.
Doubtless it is for this that Hastur has reared me all these many years, and gives me health and strength.