I was walking by a wheat field; her eyes drew me to her, and I stopped. There was a girl seating in the middle of the field and playing with some colorful glass stones. She was making figures with the stones: a dog, a cat, and when I stopped, she almost finished making the shape of the sun. The girl was playing amid ears of wheat that curved like petals of a flower – similar to the flower Thumbelina was sitting in – and they were tickling the child’s cheek. I was blocking the sunlight that was falling upon her hair. She looked at me with her open, sincere eyes, her big azure eyes, cunning and yet curious about the world. Only a child can look like that.
What are you doing here? – She asked.
Going back home. And you? – I asked.
I’ve recently arrived in a spaceship, and now I’m creating a new world to live in.
I smiled at the child’s fantasy.
Creating it from the ship, – specified the Girl. In the skirt of her white floral dress a handful of other stones were tinkling.
Really? – I replied, squatting down across from her and pretending to believe her completely. The sun started playing with her long hair once more. – This is wonderful!
Of course, it is wonderful – said the girl with confidence, lowering her eyes to the stones and continuing with her work of art. – Very few people are able to build a new world from what they have.
Still, from the lips of children are often born philosophical thought.
All of a sudden I felt ashamed. I started thinking about what this little dreamer has said and realized that I lacked that very ability to dream. I have always been a realist, and my wife always insists that I am a pessimist. If it had not been for reality, we would have left this village long time ago, and would not see any more wheat fields. I have always wanted to become a photographer, but here, in this village, nobody cares about it, although, I am sure, those shots would have come out great. My whole life I’ve been doing equipment repairs instead. What if I could build a camera from all the abandoned parts in the garage? I grinned.
What’s so funny? – the Girl asked.
She looked at me and grew sad and plunged in thought. She extended her hand to glass beams of the sun she’s made and picked up a stone of yellowish red color. She rolled it atop the palm of her hand and gave it to me.
Take it. – the Girl said.
Why? – I replied.
I’m a kind-hearted alien and I wish people well. My ship is magic, it is able to transform into anything you want. I’d like to share it with earthmen. The stone will bring to life you every desire. I put a piece of laughter in it: even when it’s far from me, it will not lose its power.
I was looking at the smooth stone in my huge, rough hand and at the little angel. She has given me so much. Her sincere desire to help and her love shared with an ordinary stone, which has become truly magic to me, inspired me. Amateurish drawings of nature that I drew with crayons once came to my mind, and suddenly they didn’t seem so meaningless anymore. I got up from my knees with a clear wish to finally fulfill my dream. Although l had no idea how I will do that, the stone in my hand bestowed faith in power upon me, and that power is limitless. Just like a power of a child that builds a world from almost nothing.
Thank you, – I said to the girl, but she had already lost interest in me, engaged into creating a new shape.
The sun was starting setting. I was walking through the wheat field and the magic glass stone was bouncing in my pocket. Now I am able to succeed! Her laughter is within the stone and it will never lose its power.
I turned around to look at the girl for the last time. I saw ears of wheat swaying in the wind, and not a trace of the girl.
“Ears are too tall”, – I thought to myself and hurried home.
(Translate by Ekaterina Karalash and Bob Bishop)