There was once a boy who, despite his brown hair and brown eyes, was never thought of as a ‘brown’ person. If you knew him and were to think of him, he would have seemed to you a ‘red’ or a ‘bright green’ sort of boy. He was not small for his age, and he was not tall for his age. In fact, he quite looked his age. When he grew to be twenty, he looked twenty. When he grew to be thirty, he looked thirty. At forty-two years, seven months and three days, you would’ve been able to tell that he was forty-two years, seven months old: the three days could be granted to you as an acceptable margin of error. He had never much liked hide and seek, but he soon knew he must play it, play it with the ultimate seeker, Time. Time always found everybody. Time never missed a single tick of the clock. Time was keeping up with the boy. And then the boy hid himself away under his bed but Time found him. And then he chose a faraway hill in a faraway land to hide in, but Time came up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. After trying very hard and failing every time, the boy hid inside his room, and sat on his chair, and propped his elbows on his desk, and thus he thought. He thought for seven days and seven nights, although he did sneak out of the room thrice a day for meals and to visits to the washroom. His thinking yielded great long books with simple words in them, the words of somebody who understood every long word and even knew the name of the parents of every long word, but who stuck to the simple words because simple words are beautiful words. And then Time found him and Time leaned against the desk and drew great gasping breaths, for Time had searched, running, far and wide and had not considered such a common place as a desk an ideal place to hide for a hider of such caliber as one who played the game of hide and seek with Time. But then the boy, of eighty-nine now, who, for once, looked no more than seventy, said that he had arthritis and swollen joints and he had never been fond of the silly game anyway. He handed to Time the great long books full of simple words that he had written and he bid Time read them. And Time, being Time, read every great long book in record time, helped by the simple words. And Time wept, for it was the boy’s time then, and Time wept and held the great long books full of simple words close, for Time had at once found a worthy adversary and an understanding companion. The boy could not hide, he went when it was his time, but Time brought the great long books and the simple words to everyone and the boy lived on still, hidden in the pages. Then Time went to the boy’s room and sat on the boy’s chair and with elbows propped on the boy’s desk, he pondered. But Time was disturbed in his ruminating by a scuffling, brown haired, brown eyed little someone who was hiding under the desk. Time was shocked, for the child was an image of the boy who had gone when his time had come: he was his son. Then Time understood that the boy who had known the beauty of simple words had known another thing of beauty. He had known that Time could play hide and seek better than anybody, but he had also known that he was incapable of being defeated, in this silliest of games, which he had never been fond of anyway. And Time knew that the boy was hidden, but Time also knew that it would be futile to search for him. And if such a great seeker as Time does not know where the boy now hides, how am I to know?