“The Report of Thomas Telford, Robert Stevenson, and
"Father, what is it to be--dead?"
"The boy who brings the milk--he had the squirrel this morning. He said it was not asleep. It was--dead."
"It means that the squirrel, the real squirrel under the fur, has gone away, David."
"But he left his--his fur coat behind him. Didn't he need--that?"
"No, or he'd have taken it with him."
David had fallen silent at this. He had remained strangely silent indeed for some days; then, out in the woods with his father one morning, he gave a joyous shout. He was standing by the ice-covered brook, and looking at a little black hole through which the hurrying water could be plainly seen.
"Daddy, oh, daddy, I know now how it is, about being--dead."
"It's like the water in the brook, you know; THAT'S going to a far country, and it isn't coming back. And it leaves its little cold ice-coat behind it just as the squirrel did, too. It does n't need it. It can go without it. Don't you see? And it's singing--listen!--it's singing as it goes. It WANTS to go!"
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