Rabindranath Tagore

The Gardener 77: Little daughter

The workman and his wife from the west country are busy digging to make bricks for the kiln. Their little daughter goes to the landing-place by the river; There she has no end of scouring and scrubbing of pots and pans. Her little brother, with shaven head and brown, naked, mud-covered limbs, follows after her and waits patiently on the high bank at her bidding. She goes back home with the full pitcher poised on her head, the shining brass pot in her left hand, holding the child with her right -- she the tiny servant of her mother, grave with the weight of the household cares. One day I saw this naked boy sitting with legs outstretched. In the water his sister sat rubbing a drinking-pot with a handful of earth, turning it round and round. Near by a soft-haired lamb stood gazing along the bank. It came close to where the boy sat and suddenly bleated aloud, and the child started up and screamed. His sister left off cleaning her pot and ran up. She took up her brother in one arm and the lamb in the other, and dividing her caresses between them bound in one bond of affection the offspring of beast and man.

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