A fairy tale for grownups and children. Delicately imaginative and beautifully written, it will delight occasional readers who like veiled parables on the worth-while in life.
"Can you tell me how to begin then, daddy?" she asked.
"I suppose by taking no notice of it," he said. "It was to begin itself, wasn't it? And I have an uncomfortable suspicion that you hunt this kind of treasure by turning round and going the other way. So I think you'd better run out and find the Urchin, and I'll get back to my inscriptions."
The Urchin was Fiona's principal ally; a troublesome ally, owing to his propensity for throwing stones. She found him now on the shore, steadily bombarding a shore lark, that would move a little way out of range and then sit down again, affording a splendid target. Luckily the enthusiasm of the persecutor in pursuit was well matched by the inaccuracy of his aim.
"Urchin," she called out, "if you hurt that bird the Little People will take you; I thought I'd knocked that into you all right, even if you are English and slow in the uptake."
"All right," said the Urchin with a grin. "We conquered you, anyway."
"As a matter of