FoUe-Farine : the dust; only the dust.
As good a name as any other for a nameless creature.
The dust; sharp-winnowed and rejected of all, as less
worthy than even the shred husks and the shattered stalks.
FoUe-Farine,—she watched the dust fly in and out all
day long from between the grindstones. She only wondered
why, if slie and the dnst were thus kindred and namesakes,
the wind flew away with the dust so mercifully, and yet
never would fly away with her.
The dust was carried away by the breeze, and wandered
wherever it listed. The dust had a sweet short summer-day
life of its own ere it died. If it were worthless, it at least
was free. It could lie in the curl of a green leaf, or on the
white breast of a flower. It could mingle with the golden
dust in a lily, and almost seem to be one with it. It could
fly with the thistledown, and with the feathers of the
dandelion, on every roving wind that blew.
In a vague, dreamy fashion, tlie child wondered why the
dust was so much better dealt with than she was.
" Folle-Farine ! Folle — Folle — Folic—Farine ! " the
other children hooted altur her, oclioiiig the name by which
the grim humour of her bitter-tongued taskmaster had
called her. She had got used to it, and answered to it as
others to their birth-names.
It meant that she was a thing utterly nsi'less, .absolutely
worthless ; the very refuse of the winnowings of the flail of
fate. But she accepted that too, so far as she understood it ;
she only sometimes wondered in a dull fierce fashion why, if
she and the dust were sisters, the dust had its wings whilst
she had none.
All day long the dust flew in and out and about as it
liked, through the open doors, and among the tossing
boughs, and through the iresli cool mists, and down the
golden shafts of the sunlioams; and all day long she stayed
iu one place and toiled, and was first beaten and then
tursed, or first cursed and then beaten,—which was all the
riiange that her life knew. For herself, she saw no likeness
betwixt her and the dust; for that escaped from the scourge
and flew forth, but she abode under the flail always.
Nevertheless, Folle-Farine was all the name she Icnew.
The great black wheel churned and circled in the brook
water, and lichens and ferns and mosses made lovely all the