The Old Man and the Child
1. The old man
Once upon a time there was an old man who had a snow white beard and moustache. He used to stay in front of Virgin Mary’s church, playing his violin for hours.
Next to him was a bird, kingly and silently perched on an umbrella stick that had long lost its cloth and ribs. From time to time the bird opened one eye. Then he fluttered, picked an apple and started playing yoga. There was also a dog, in a professor garment, who was leafing a book again and again.
Nobody knew where the man came from. No one could say his name, his age, his voice, nor where he used to sleep.
He was tall and thin, a long long blade of grass. He looked surly, a poor crucified Christ. And yet his eyes were a blue sky blazing sun, shining stars always. Even when sadness dropped its veil.
The man played a gentle music: the sweetest tunes that could caress a heart and a skin: petals and leaves in a breathing wind.
People sometimes put a sixpence into his cap, but nobody stopped a little while: they were always in a hurry. The man nodded his thanks, winked at his pets and went on playing.
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