In the wild west, high up on the steep shore and not far from the open seacoast, stood a young man named Arash. He was just 39 years old, but that short time was to the human as the same number of days might be to us. We wake by day and sleep by night, and then we have our dreams. It is different with Arash; it is obliged to keep awake through the days of the year and does not get any sleep till night time comes. Night time is his time for rest—his night after the long days of Summers.
During many a warm summer, the Ephemeras, which are flies that exist for only a day, had fluttered about the young man, enjoyed life, and felt happy. And if, for a moment, one of the tiny creatures rested on the large, fresh shoulder, Arash would always say: “Poor little creature! your whole life consists of but a single day. How very short! It must be quite melancholy.”
“Melancholy! what do you mean?” the little creature would always reply. “Why do you say that? Everything around me is so wonderfully bright and warm and beautiful that it makes me joyous.”
“But only for one day, and then it is all over.”
“Over!” repeated the fly; “what is the meaning of ‘all over’? Are you ‘all over’ too?”
“No, I shall very likely live for thousands of your days, and my day is whole seasons long; indeed, it is so long that you could never reckon it up.”
“No? then I don’t understand you. You may have thousands of my days, but I have thousands of moments in which I can be merry and happy. Does all the beauty of the world cease when you die?”
“No,” replied Arash; “it will certainly last much longer, infinitely longer than I can think of.”
“Well, then,” said the little fly, “we have the same time to live, only we reckon differently.” And the little creature danced and floated in the air, rejoicing in its delicate wings of gauze and velvet, rejoicing in the balmy breezes laden with the fragrance from the clover fields and wild roses, elder blossoms and honeysuckle, and from the garden hedges of wild thyme, primroses, and mint.
The perfume of all these was so strong that it almost intoxicated the little fly. The long and beautiful day had been so full of joy and sweet delights, that, when the sun sank, the fly felt tired of all its happiness and enjoyment. Its wings could sustain it no longer, and gently and slowly it glided down to the soft, waving blades of grass, nodded its little head as well as it could, and slept peacefully and sweetly. The fly was dead.