“I will keep ahead,” she thought. “There must be a house somewhere, and I can get them to drive me home.”
But though she walked on and on, no house appeared. She was faint with fatigue and hunger, and at last, as she came to the end of a road and found herself stranded in a great pasture, a sob caught in her throat.
She sat down on a rock and looked around. There seemed to be nothing in sight but rocks and scrubby bushes, and already twilight was descending over the land.
“I believe I am lost,” she owned at last, “and if some one doesn’t find me pretty soon, I shall have to stay out all night.”
A PRECIOUS PUSSY CAT
The moon was out and the stars when Judy discovered a flock of sheep in the middle of the great pasture.
They were gathered together in a close woolly bunch as she came upon them, and they turned to her their mild white faces, but did not get up from the ground. It was nice to be near something alive, even if it was only such meek, silly creatures, and Judy sat down on a stone near them.
“I will stay here,” she decided. “I simply cannot walk another step.”
It was very lonely and she was very frightened. The moon lighted the world with a white light, but the shadows were black under the trees; somewhere in the distance a whippoorwill uttered a plaintive note, and from the gloomy woods beyond came the mournful hoot of an owl.
Judy slipped down to the softer grass, and resting her head on her arm gazed up at the sky, and gradually her fear went from her in the silence of the perfect night. A line marked in one of her father’s books came to her:
“God’s in his heaven
All’s right with the world.”
Judy did not know that Browning had said that—she didn’t care who had said it, but it comforted her. If everything had seemed to go wrong in her own little world, it was because she had made it wrong. Here under the wonderful sky was peace, and if she was afraid and out of harmony it was her own fault.
“If I hadn’t gone where I ought not to have been, nothing would have happened,” was her rather mixed, if perfectly correct, summing up.
The little lambs bleated now and then:
And the old ewes responded comfortingly,
“Baa-aa—” which Judy interpreted as meaning, “I am here, little one, don’t be afraid.”
“I won’t be afraid either, you dear old thing,” said Judy to the motherly creature near her, who had turned upon her now and then inquiring gentle eyes. “I won’t be afraid, and I am going to sleep.”
She did go to sleep, and when she waked, the world was dark. The moon had sailed away like a golden boat, and the stars seemed very far off.
Judy sat up and shivered. A cool wind had risen, but that was not what had roused her.