3. Games at Dusk
When in the village twilight Platero and I come, stiff with cold, through the purple shadows of the wretched alley which leads to the dry riverbed, poor children are playing at frightening one another, pretending to be beggars. One throws a sack over his head, another says he cannot see, another plays lame.
Then comes one of those sudden changes that happens with children, since they are wearing shoes and clothes, and their mothers, in some way known only to them, have given them food to eat, they think themselves princes.
“My father has a silver watch.”
“And mine a horse.”
“And mine, a shotgun.”
A watch that will rise at dawn, a gun that wil not kill hunger, a horse that will lead to poverty.
Then they form a circle. Amid so much blackness, a little girl with a thin voice - a thread of liquid crystal in the dark - sings melodiously as a princess:
“I’m the young widow of the Count of Orè…”
Yes, yes! Sing, dream, children of the poor! Soon, at the first blush of youth, spring will frighten you like a beggar in winter’s guise.
“Let’s go, Platero.”