To be sure, the
sheep still sensed he was out of the ordinary, but this now become
an asset. 'He is so amusing!' they
said. 'What a character!' His mother
was very proud.
But to Hari
something was still terribly wrong. Life was, in fact, worse now
than it had been before when he had lain alone. At night he could
not sleep, and a knowledge that was akin to pain and to darkness
washed through him. It was the terrible knowledge that he was still
different, that he had found no meaning in life, and that nowhere in
heaven or on earth was there a place for him. It was loneliness that
had no answer.
Hari's mother had
taught him to pray when he was a cub. After this, she had let the
matter of religion drop. Thus, in Hari's mind, God was associated
with childhood, and he thought the whole thing rather silly.
Moreover, his mother had taught him that God was an enormous and
highly capable Sheep who could lead the fold to greener pastures and
keep them in comfort, provided they were good members of the
community. But no one had ever seen this Sheep, and He seemed to
Hari most improbable. Besides, greener pastures and more comfort was
not at all what he wanted.