I can hear the peaches falling, and the green nuts too!
(All three are silent. Rain; quivering streaks of lightning; hissing in the pine-trees. The wind howls. A lull.)
I’m not quite so afraid as I was. The sound of the rain relaxes my tired nerves. I seem to feel its streaming warmth on my ears and the back of my neck. Now the hubbub is further off! I can hear myself breathe. The light coming under this bookcase, is brighter than it was. What is She doing? I daren’t go out yet. If only the Cat would move! (He sticks out his head, like a wary turtle. A flash of lightning makes him draw it back again.) Ha! It’s beginning all over again. Rain by the bucketfuls against the window-panes. Something in the chimney is trying to imitate that far-away rumbling. Everything’s falling to pieces ... and She gave me a rap on the nose!
Drop by drop, a little brownish river is filtering under the loose window-sash. It’s stretching out and out on the floor, winding its way over to me. I’m so hot and thirsty, I’d like to lap up some of it. My joints ache and my ears are tired of standing up like weather-cocks at every crash. My jaws are still clenched with nervous fear. The seat of this chair is too low; it annoys me, rubbing against the fur on my back. However, it’s some comfort to be able to think of such things—thanks to the peace that’s descended on the house. The rain is falling quietly and the wind has gone down, but the memory of the din still hums in my ears. What can He be doing? The storm distresses him too. Why didn’t He come forward to calm the raging elements? There She is, opening the porch door. Isn’t it too soon?... No, for the hens are cackling like old maids as they hop over the puddles. We’re going to have fine weather. Oh, the adorable smell of wet leaves and earth refreshed! It’s so new, so pure, I seem to breathe for the first time!
(He creeps stealthily to the porch.)
Um! How good! That smells like a walk! Things change so quickly one hasn’t time to think. She’s opened the door? Let’s run! (He dashes out.) Well! well! the garden has got back its own color again! A warmish vapor moistens my rough-grained nose. I’m filled with the desire to jump and run. The grass is reeking, shining wet. Horned snails are feeling around in the pink gravel with the tips of their eyes, and speckled black and white slugs embroider the wall with a silver ribbon. Oh! what a beautiful green and gold beastie running out there in the wet! Shall I catch it? Shall I scratch its metallic shell, until it breaks with a little crackling sound? No. I’d rather stay near Her. She’s leaning against the door, taking deep breaths and smiling quietly to herself. I’m so happy! Something inside me feels grateful to the whole world. The light is beautiful, and I’m quite sure that there’ll never, never be another storm.