It is easy for Mother to say, “Go to sleep, now,” but what bad shift a little boy will sometimes make of his siesta!
There came a day in June when David believed he never in this world could get through with it. He heard the chuck and drowsy clack of the sprinkling-wagon as it ponderously advanced upon its lazy way; he heard the almost whispered clucking of a mother-hen who was calling her chicks to come shuffle with her in the cool loose earth under the shade of the crooked old apple-tree, and presently there came a time when the out-of-doors was all so still that even the falling of a shadow would have made a sound.
David was right sure of that. There was such mystery, such an unwonted sense of unreality a-quiver in this silence, that he wanted, very much, to learn what it was all about. Then, ever and ever so cautiously, he slipped down off the bed. His dimpled toes went patting daintily across the polished floor, and presently he had stolen forth upon a great adventure. His eyes narrowed; he winked rapidly; so dazed he was with the sunshine and the strangeness of a world that had never looked like this before.
He had found out where summer is. It was here in Mother’s garden, and you knew it was, for you could feel it in the stillness, and you could see it in the sleepiness of blossoms that drowsed and drooped and hung their lazy heads in the languishing sweetness of good air and golden sunshine. It was all very strange and very dear to David. The sky had never before been so blue, and never so big nor deep nor cool, and the ground was pleasantly warm and nice. As the seeded grass touched his ankles he could feel warm shivers run over his legs, delightful thrills which came to him this day for the first time. He had found out where summer is.
David paused, and listened, and heard nothing. The whole world was listening. By and by a honey-burdened bumblebee began talking to himself; you couldn’t quite understand what he said because he mumbled and bumbled so. David knew he was such a very tired and sleepy bumblebee that nobody could understand what he was talking about; and besides, he wasn’t nearly so wonderful as a big butterfly that balanced with blazing wings upon a nodding rose.
He was too heavy for the wee, sweet flower. David was right sure the butterfly should have rested less heavily there, for pretty soon the bonnie bloom came all apart and began to fall. One after another the crimson petals slipped away, and dipped and floated and came falling and falling down. David was confident that he could hear the warm whisper of them as they fell, so in tune he was with the summer and the sunshine, out here in Mother’s garden.