21    


THE FATHER came back from the funeral rites.

        His boy of seven stood at the window, with eyes wide open and a golden amulet hanging from his neck, full of thoughts too difficult for his age.

        His father took him in his arms and the boy asked him, 'Where is mother?'

        In heaven,' answered his father, pointing to the sky.

 

At night the father groaned in slumber, weary with grief.

        A lamp dimly burned near the bedroom door, and a lizard chased moths on the wall.

        The boy woke up from sleep, felt with his hands the emptiness in the bed, and stole out to the open terrace.

        The boy raised his eyes to the sky and long gazed in silence. His bewildered mind sent abroad into the night the question, 'Where is heaven?'

No answer came: and the stars seemed like the burning tears of that ignorant darkness.