Topical Guide 59
Sexual Fantasies: Nymphs; Myths: Hylas; Dark-Haired Girl, the
The river water, flowing along the banks, burbled. It was a soft and cool and soothing sound, as pleasant as a chuckle. Every once in a while I’d catch another sound from the river, at a higher pitch, more like a giggle than a chuckle. …
I sat up and opened my eyes. The giggling sounds were coming from a dozen or so beautiful young girls who were bathing in the river. Their clothes lay in piles on the opposite bank, but they had made their way across the river, and they stood in the clear water only a short distance from me. In my memory, they are all lovely, but you know how it is in a situation like that—the surprise at seeing them there when I opened my eyes, the sunlight playing over them through the leaves, their wide eyes, my fatigue and dizziness, may have made some of them a little lovelier then than they would ever be again. One of them, however, has always been as beautiful as she seemed that day. She was the only one that I recognized; she was the dark-haired girl about my age, who had been lying on the deck of a lean blue sloop, stretching her legs out, turning her face to the sun, dozing, dreaming, going nowhere, on the day that Raskol and I decided to journey up the Bolotomy.
She—or perhaps it was another of the girls—reached out toward me and took my hand. She pulled me, tugging me toward the water. Soon they were all tugging at me and urging me to come into the water with them, and I decided that I would. It would be cool. It would refresh and relax me. It would probably be just what I needed.
Little Follies, “Life on the Bolotomy”
Meantime Hylas with pitcher of bronze in hand had gone apart from the throng, seeking the sacred flow of a fountain, that he might be quick in drawing water for the evening meal and actively make all things ready in due order against his lord’s return. … And quickly Hylas came to the spring which the people who dwell thereabouts call Pegae. And the dances of the nymphs were just now being held there; for it was the care of all the nymphs that haunted that lovely headland ever to hymn Artemis in songs by night. All who held the mountain peaks or glens, all they were ranged far off guarding the woods; but one, a water-nymph was just rising from the fair-flowing spring; and the boy she perceived close at hand with the rosy flush of his beauty and sweet grace. For the full moon beaming from the sky smote him. And [Hylas] made her heart faint, and in her confusion she could scarcely gather her spirit back to her. But as soon as he dipped the pitcher in the stream, leaning to one side, and the brimming water rang loud as it poured against the sounding bronze, straightway she laid her left arm above upon his neck yearning to kiss his tender mouth; and with her right hand she drew down his elbow, and plunged him into the midst of the eddy.
[more to come on Wednesday, August 4, 2021]
Have you missed an episode or two or several?
You can catch up by visiting the archive.
At Apple Books you can download free eBooks of “My Mother Takes a Tumble” and “Do Clams Bite?” the first two novellas in Little Follies.