Chapter 2

SoIlivedallalone,withoutanyoneIcouldreallytalkto,untilIhadtomakeacrashlandingintheSaharaDesertsixyearsago. Somethinginmyplane’senginehadbroken. SinceIhadneitheramechanicnorpassengersintheplanewithme,Iwaspreparingtoundertakethedifficultrepairjobbymyself. Formeitwasamatteroflifeordeath: Ihadonlyenoughdrinkingwaterforeightdays. 

Thefirstnight,then,Iwenttosleeponthesandathousandmilesfromanyinhabitedcountry. Iwasmoreisolatedthanamanshipwreckedonaraftinthemiddleoftheocean. SoyoucanimaginemysurprisewhenIwasawakenedatdaybreakbyafunnylittlevoicesaying, "Please..."drawmeasheep... 

"What?" 

"Drawmeasheep..." 

IleapedupasifIhadbeenstruckbylightning. Irubbedmyeyeshard. Istared. AndIsawanextraordinarylittlefellowstaringbackatmeveryseriously. Hereisthebestportrait1managedtomakeofhim,lateron. 

Butofcoursemydrawingismuchlessattractivethanmymodel. Thisisnotmyfault. Mycareerasapainterwasdiscouragedattheageofsixbythegrown-ups,andIhadneverlearnedtodrawanythingexceptboaconstrictors,outsideandinside. 

SoIstaredwide-eyedatthisapparition. Don’tforgetthatIwasathousandmilesfromanyinhabitedterritory. Yetthislittlefellowseemedtobeneitherlostnordyingofexhaustion,hunger,orthirst;nordidheseemscaredtodeath. Therewasnothinginhisappearancethatsuggestedachildlostinthemiddleofthedesertathousandmilesfromanyinhabitedterritory. 

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