THE TRAVELLING COMPANION 47
in the field to sleep, for he had no other bed. But that was very nice, he thought ; the king could not be better off. There was the whole field, with tile brook, the haystack, and the blue sky above it ; that was certainly a beautiful sleeping-room. The green grass with the little red and white flowers was the carpet ; the elder bushes and the wild rose hedges were garlands of flowers ; and for a wash-hand basin he had the whole brook with the clear fresh water, where the sedges bowed before him and wished him ' good evening ' and ' good morning '. The moon was certainly a great night-lamp, high up under the blue ceiling, and that lamp would never set fire to the curtains with its light. John could sleep quite quietly, and he did so, and never woke until the sun rose and all the little birds were singing around, ' Good morning ! good morning ! Are you not up yet ? '
The bells were ringing for church ; it was Sunday. The people went to hear the preacher, and John followed them, and sang a psalm and heard God's Word. It seemed to him just as if he was in his own church, where he had been christened and had sung psalms with his father.
Out in the churchyard were many graves, and on some of them the grass grew high. Then he thought of his father's grave, which would at last look like these, as he could not weed it and adorn it. So he sat down and plucked up the long grass, set up the wooden crosses which had fallen down, and put back in their places the wreaths which the wind had blown away from the graves ; for he thought, ' Perhaps some one will do the same to my father's grave, as I cannot do it.'
Outside the churclryard gate stood an old beggar, leaning upon his crutch. John gave him the silver shillings which-faff had","and then went away, happy and cheerful, into the wide world. Towards evening the weather became terribly bad. He made haste to get under shelter, but dark night soon came on ; then at last he came to a little church, which lay quite solitary on a small hill.
The door luckily stood ajar, and he crept in ; here he decided to remain till the storm had gone down.
' Here I will sit down in a corner,' said he ; ' I am quite tired and require a little rest.' Then he sat down, folded