They played only
one melody, but it was longer than any other they had played that day. Maybe it
was longer because it was the oldest. Down in the grove of apple trees they
were playing a song of the Saxons or the Franks, of the Merovingians or
Carolingians, a song of Charlemagne, and as they played the green of the grass
and the trees, the yellow of the apples, got darker and darker, and when they
had finished, the sun had set. They lowered their horns, and I turned and began
to run down the hill. I wanted to catch up with Riehle because I had something
to say to him.
His dog was
walking beside him, wagging its tail. I caught up with him and walked along for
a while, and then he turned to me and said, "Was it good?"
I said, and I started to say what I wanted to say, but the sound of the last
song was still there, and all I said was, "Your dog is very happy."
"Yes," he said, and reached to touch his dog's head. "Dogs are
happier than men."