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to make friends. Then the king spoke " that pleases me well; but see that you do not have your labor in vain." The son was made ready for his journey, and remained seven years away; after that he returned to his home and his father, which pleased the father very much, and he said, — " Dear son: how many friends hast thou earned in these three years? Then the son answered "only three; the first I love better than myself; the second as much as myself; and the third, not as well as myself." The father said " It is well to have friends, and it is well to try them; I coun­sel you to kill a hog, and put it in a sack, and go in the night to your friends and say, you met an old enemy on the street and killed him, and are afraid that if the dead body should be found on you, it would cost you your life, and beg him that he should, in such extremity, help you, and that he will allow you to bury the body in his house, that it may not be found on you; so you shall find out if you have good friends."
This advice pleased the son well, so he went back again to the city where he knew he should find his friends; and killed one night, a hog, and did as his fatner had advised him to, and came to the friend whom he loved better than himself. When this one had heard his story, he said: — " you killed him yourself, so suffer for it yourself; if it were found by me it would cost me ray life; but because we are good friends and comrades, when you are caught, and when they are about to kill you, I will go to you, and will console you.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III