HE had journeyed a long way, and was very tired. It seemed like a dream when he stood up after a sleep in the field, and looked over the wall, and saw the garden, and the flowers, and the children playing all about. He looked at the long road behind him, at the dark wood and the barren hills; it was the world to which he belonged. He looked at the garden before him, at the big house, and the terrace, and the steps that led down to the smooth lawn it was the world which belonged to the children.
“Poor boy,” said the elder child, “I will get you something to eat.”
“But where did he come from? “the gardener asked.
“We do not know,” the child answered; “but he is very hungry, and mother says we may give him some food.”
“I will take him some milk,” said the little one; in one hand she carried a mug and with the other she pulled along her little broken cart.
“But what is he called? “asked the gardener.
“We do not know,” the little one answered; “but he is very thirsty, and mother says we may give him some milk.”
“Where is he going?” asked the gardener.
“We do not know,” the children said ;” but he is very tired.”
When the boy had rested well, he got up saying, “I must not stay any longer,” and turned to go on his way.
“What have you to do?” the children asked.
“I am one of the crew, and must help to make the world go round,” he answered.
“Why do we not help too?”
“You are the passengers.”
“How far have you to go?” they asked.
“Oh, a long way!” he answered. “On and on until I can touch the sun.”
“Will you really touch it?” they said, awestruck.
“I dare say I shall tire long before I get there,” he answered sadly. “Perhaps without knowing it, though, I shall reach it in my sleep,” he added. But they hardly heard the last words, for he was already far off.
“Why did you talk to him?” the gardener said. “He is just a working boy.”
“And we do nothing! It was very good of him to notice us,” they said, humbly.
“Good!” said the gardener in despair. “Why, between you and him there is a great difference.”
“There was only a wall,” they answered. “Who set it up? “they asked curiously.
“Why, the builders, of course. Men set it up.”
“And who will pull it down ?”
“It will not want any pulling down,” the man answered grimly. “Time will do that.”
As the children went back to their play, they looked up at the light towards which the boy was journeying.
“Perhaps we too shall reach it someday,” they said.