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136               THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

upset me.   I smiled at them, showing them the c cocoon'.   They
understood and danced round me but without touching me out
of regard for the little creature in my arms.   So I entered the room
with the children walking all round me.   We sat down, I in front
of them on a high chair, not on one of the small chairs which I
generally used.   That is  to  say,  I  seated  myself with  some
solemnity.   They gazed on my little one with a mixture of tender-
ness and joy; we had not yet pronounced a single word.   I said:
" I have brought you a little teacher."   They were surprised; they
laughed.   " A little teacher, for no one can keep as still as she
does."   Every little figure stiffened itself in its place.    " No one
keeps his legs as still, as she does." They all carefully adjusted their
legs so as to keep them still. I looked at them smiling: " Yes, but
they will never be as motionless as hers; you will move them a little,
she will not; no one can be like her."   The children were serious;
they seem to have realized the superiority of the small teacher;
some of them smiled, and seemed to say with their eyes that the band-
ages deserve the credit.   " No one can keep as quiet as she does."
General silence.   "It is not possible to keep silent like her; you
hear how delicate her breathing is.   Come close up on tip-toe."
Some of them rose up and crept up to me very, very slowly, on the
tips of their toes, stretching out their heads and turning their ears
towards the little one.   Deep silence.   " No one can breathe as
silently as she does."   The children gazed in astonishment; they
had neyer thought that even when, they keep still they were making
noises, and that the silence of the little ones were deeper than that of
the big ones. They almost tried to stop breathing. I got up. " I am
going away very, very quietly " (I walked on the tips of my toes
without making any noise), " yet you hear that I make some noise,
however quietly I go; but she walks with me in silence, she goes
away in silence."   The children smiled but they were moved, for
they understood the truth and the joking in my words.   I restored
the * cocoon' to,the mother through a window.

Behind the little one there seems to remain a fascination which
takes possession of every mind; nothing in nature is sweeter than