252 THE SECRET GARDEN
and that his fox and his crow and his squirrels and his lamb were so near to him and his friendliness that they seemed almost to be part of himself. Colin had never talked to a boy in his life and he was so overwhelmed by his own pleasure and curiosity that he did not even think of speaking.
But Dickon did not feel the least shy or awkward. He had not felt embarrassed because the crow had not known his language and had only stared and had not spoken to him the first time they met. Creatures were always like that until they found out about you. He walked over to Colin's sofa and put the new-born lamb quietly on his lap, and immediately the little creature turned to the warm velvet dressing-gown and began to nuzzle and nuzzle into its folds and butt its tight-curled head with soft impatience against his side. Of course no boy could have helped speaking then.
"What is it doing?" cried Colin. "What does it want? "
" It wants its mother," said Dickon, smiling more and more. " I brought it to thee a bit hungry because I knowe'd tha'd like to see it feed."
He knelt down by the sofa and took a feeding-bottle from his pocket.
" Come on, little 'un," he said, turning the small woollv white head with a gentle brown hand.