Quotes Naked Chalk


‘When they came back from the Question-place (their Gods are our Gods), their Priestess said, “The God needs a proof that your words are true.” I said, “What is the proof?” She said, “The God says that if you have come for the sake of your people you will give him your right eye to be put out’


This is from “The Knife and the Naked Chalk” in Rewards and Fairies.

The people of the high chalk Downs are shepherds, greatly plagued  by wolves, which do not fear their clumsy flint weapons. One of them seeks to buy magic iron knives, made by the forest people. Their priestess exacts a cruel price as a proof of their need, he must lose his right eye.

He gives it, they get their knives, and the sheep are safe. But he is now a man apart, treated as a god, a fate he did not ask for.