The Brothers Lionheart
“Look in the mirror,” he said, and he meant the stream, for the water was shiny and still, so that you could your reflection in it. I lay down on my stomach on the bridge and peered over the edge and I saw myself in the water, but I didn’t see anything particularly beautiful about me. Jonathan came and lay down beside me, and we lay there for a long time, peering at the Lionheart Brothers down there in the water, Jonathan so beautiful with his golden hair and his eyes that fine face he has, and then me with my knobby snout and straggly hair and all that.
“No, I don’t think I’ve grown any more beautiful,” I said.
But Jonathan thought there was a great difference now.
“And you look so healthy, too,” he said.
Then I felt myself all over. I felt, as I lay there on the bridge, that I was healthy and well in every bit of me, so why did I need to be beautiful? My whole body was so happy that it seemed to laughing all over.
We lay there for a while and let the sunlight warm us, and we watched the fish swimming in and out under the bridge. But then Jonathan wanted us to go home and so did I, because I was curious to see Knights Farm, where I was going to live.
Jonathan walked ahead of me up the path to the farm, and I trotted after him with my fine straight legs. I just walked along staring at my legs and feeling how good it was to walk with them. But when we’d got a little way up the slope, I suddenly turned my head. And then--then I saw Cherry Valley at last! Oh, that valley was white with cherry blossoms everywhere. White and green, it was, with cherry blossoms and green, green grass. And through all that green and white, the river flowed like a silver ribbon. Why hadn’t I even noticed it before? Had I seen nothing but Jonathan? But now I stood quite still on the path and saw how beautiful it was, and I said to Jonathan:
“This must be the most beautiful valley on earth.”
“Yes, but not on earth,” said Jonathan, and then I remembered that I was in Nangiyala.
All around Cherry Valley were high mountains, and that was beautiful too.