T is the story which may friend sometimes tells on a long summer evening as we sit together by the open window finding pleasure in the sweet clear air after the still heat of the day .
in those days i was an even batter walker than a am today, and as you know i still very much like a good quick walk.well, on that particular august morning i set out quite early before the on that day was too warm for easy walking . I was healthy on the way that the away from towns of any kind. I was healthy in the way that the food to meet my mall needs and was therefore able to keep away from towns of any kind.i was healthy in the way that the young are healthy and o walked with quick easy steps covering the first eight miles of the road in just under two hour , but with the increase warmth of the day my rate fell little by little .until the full heat of the day i found that i was doing very little more than two and a half miles an hour. Even the small additional weigh of the food i was carrying troubled me , and as it was by this time several hours since my last meal it seemed reasonably that i should look out for a place where i could rest and have a meal in peace.
After a time i reached a point where the road comes very near to a small river and i was pleased enough by that time to walk across the field and to find near the water some undergrowth high enough to offer me some cover from the full light and taht of the open countryside round about.
I took water from the clear quick running river and built a small fire upon some stones and so made my simple meal .such was the heat of the day that it was as much as i could do to keep my eyes open but using all my will power ,i was about to clear away the rest of the food when i saw standing before me a little old woman . so limed was her face that it seemed to me there was more room left was as old as her face. standing there she appeared to to me to represent time itself. but when she began to speak i found her words were common place enough.
Sir she said could you give me some bread and perhaps some milk.
I immediately began to clean up the piece of ground which had served as a table for me making a place for the old woman to and drink offered to her and as she sat without speaking i watched her face.
Tell me old woman i said to my own complete surprised were you always as you are now or were you once young and beautiful . had you once a hpme and a family or have you always walked these roads and fields?
The old woman turned her head and looked at me for a long time without speaking the lines on her face grew even deeper and her old blue eyes were serious as she answered young man i cannot remember for long ages i have walked these toads and these fields i have walked and always i shall walk , i am old and perhaps i have never been young i am plain and perhaps i have never been beautiful you are strong and you have health. you have all the qualities of the young ,because of these things i am speaking to you now .
Shall i tell her to go away i thought. I will stand up and get my things together and continue my walk.
I moved but immediately the voice of the voice of this strange old woman came to me again. No do not go.You must hear what o yes i Thought,. I will wait and hear what she has to say for if she is as wise as she is old her words may be of some use to me in the future,'But the seconds passed and no words came. I looked again and no one was there . not feeling very pleased with myself at the thought that i must have been weak enough to fall off for the thought that i must have been weak enough to fall off for a few minutes and believing that these things had not really happened i began to clear up what was left of my meal. And then i knew that the old woman had been there for my bread was gone and in its place was this.
At this point in his story my friend opens his hand and on a rests a lovely clear blue stone in a beautiful setting of gold.
I always carry this in this history my friend opens his hand and on a rests a lovely clear blue stone in a beautiful setting of gold .
I always carry this about with me now he adds and i know that some day i shall see that old woman again and find out what it was she had to say.