At the well, when he was watering the cows, the village girls would come, and in eager rivalry they would try to engage him in conversation. But not he ! Oh no ! He pretended not to understand what they meant. So then, the girls would pretend to be quite indifferent, and just to show that they didn't care a straw whether he noticed them or not, they nick-named him " The Beautiful Lad of the Village." And wasn't he that? What do you think ?
He looked nor right nor left, but went on driving his cattle to pasture, and his work was always well done. No one knew how he managed to keep his cattle in such good condition, and his cows giving such good milk. Why, one even knew where his feet had passed, for the flowers and the grass rejoiced under his foot- step. It seemed that this Lad had been born in a happy hour and that he was meant to become something. But he didn't care, he didn't pride himself, for he didn't know what was hidden in the course of time. He was just nice and willing, looking after his own business and never touching people with a nasty word. And that's just why the other boys hated him.
One spring day, feeling rather tired with so much walking about with the cattle, our Lad laid himself full length upon the grass under a big, shady tree, and went to sleep. You see, he had chosen just the spot for that. It was a dale, all filled with flowers, and they were all in bloom.
Not far away, there was a rill of clear, sparkling water ; it sprang from high up a hill, and from there, it came down, winding round flowers and bushes, its soft murmuring lulling you to sleep. The proud tree under which our Lad shaded himself, was striving, it seemed, to reach the clouds. Amongst its outstretched branches, birds were singing and building their nests, and listening to their chirping, the flame of love lit up within you ; the thickness of the leaves made such a dreamy shade, that it woke you to Desire. So, as I said, the Lad went to sleep ; but suddenly, he woke up with a start.
He had dreamed a beautiful dream. He had dreamed that the loveliest fairy had come to him and told him to go to such and such an Emperor's court, for he was meant to become something.