If you cross this stream your deepest desire will be fulfilled. That’s what the man said—swarthy, bewrinkled, chewing an improvident twig.
The boy glanced askance at the running water, standing arms akimbo.
He cleared his throat and addressed the stream: If you let me hop across, I’ll give you half of the gold pieces I get.
Okay, okay said the stream (after having eavesdropped on the conversation–as streams are wont to do).
What are you doing? asked the sexagenarian. That’s too much.
In a whisper: You said to cross the stream. Well, I’m double-crossing it, just to be sure.