02 December 2007

Danny's Own Story

They ain't nothing so good as hanging round a campfire. And they ain't nothing any better than sleeping outdoors, neither. You roll up in your blanket with your feet to the fire and you get to wondering things about things afore you go to sleep. The silentness jest natcherally swamps everything after a while, and then all them queer little noises you never hear in the daytime comes popping and poking through the silentness, or kind o' scratching their way through it sometimes, and makes it kind o' feel more silent than ever. And if you are nigh a crick, purty soon it will sort of get to talking to you, only you can't make out what it's trying to say, and you get to wondering about that, too. And if you are in a tent and it rains and the tent don't leak, that rain is a kind of a nice thing to listen to itself. But if you can see the stars you get to wondering more'n ever. They come out and they is so many of them and they are so fur away, and yet they are so kind o' friendly-like, too, if you happen to be feeling purty good. But if you ain't feeling purty good, jest lay there and look at them stars long enough; and then mebby you'll see it don't make no difference whether you're feeling good or not, fur they got a way o' making your private troubles look mighty small. And you get to wondering why that is, too, fur they ain't human; and it don't stand to reason you orter pay no attention to them, one way nor the other. They is jest there, like trees and cricks and hills. But I have often noticed that the things that is jest there has got a way of seeming more friendly than the things that has been built and put there. You can look at a big iron bridge or a grain elevator or a canal all day long, and if you're feeling blue it don't help you none. It was jest put there. Or a hay stack is the same way. But you go and lazy around in the grass when you're down on your luck and kind o' make remarks to a crick or a big, old walnut tree, and before long it gets you to feeling like it didn't make no difference how you felt, anyhow; fur you don't amount to nothing by the side of something that was always there. You get to thinking how the hull world itself was always here, and you sort o' see they ain't nothing important enough about yourself to worry about, and presently you will go to sleep and forget it. The doctor says to me one time them stars ain't any different from this world, and this is one of them. Which is a fool idea, as any one can see. He had a lot of queer ideas like that, Doctor Kirby had. But they ain't nothing like sleeping out of doors nights to make you wonder the kind of wonderings you never will get any answer to.

From Danny’s Own Story, by Don Marquis (Ch 4)

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