The Stony Head
Once there was somethin' way up on the side of a mountain
that looked like a man's head. The rocks up there 'd got
fixed so 's they jest made a great big head and face, and
everybody could see it as plain as could be. Folks called it
the Stony Head, and they come to see it
 from miles away. There was a man lived round there jest
where he could see the head from his winder. He was a man
that things had gone wrong with all along; he 'd had lots o'
trouble, and he did n't take it very easy. He fretted
and complained, and blamed it on other folks, and more
partic'lar on—God. And one day—he 'd jest come to live in
them parts—he looked out of his winder, and he see, standin'
out plain ag'in the sky, he see that Stony Head. It looked
real ha'sh and hard and stony and dark, and all of a suddent
the man thought it was—God.
"Yes," he says to hisself, "that 's jest the way I 'most
knowed he looked, ha'sh and hard and stony and dark, and
that 's him." The man was dreadful scaret of it, but some
ways he could n't stop lookin' at it. And bimeby he shet
hisself up there all alone, and spent his whole
 time jest a-lookin' at that hard, stony face, and thinkin'
who 't was, and who 'd brought all his trouble on him. There
was poor folks all 'round that deestrict, but he never done
nothin to help 'em; let 'em be hungry or thirsty or ailin',
or shet up in jail, or anything, he never helped 'em or done
a thing for 'em, 'cause he was a-lookin' every single minute
at that head, and seein' how stony and hard it was, and
bein' scaret of it and the One he thought it looked like.
Folks that was in trouble come along and knocked at his
door, and he never opened it a mite, even to see who was
there. Sheep and lambs that had got lost come a-strayin' into
his yard, but he never took 'em in, nor showed 'em the way
home. He wa' n't no good to nobody, not even to hisself, for
he was terr'ble unhappy and scaret and angry. So 't went on,
oh! I d' know how long,
 years and years, I guess likely, and there the man was shet
up all alone, lookin' and lookin', and scaret at lookin' at
that ha'sh, hard, stony face and head. But one day, as he was
settin' there by the winder lookin', he heerd a little
sound. I d' know what made him hear it jest then. There 'd
been sech sounds as that time and time ag'in, and he never
took no notice. 'T was like a child a-cryin', and that 's
But this time it seemed diff'ent, and he could n't help
takin' notice. He tried not to hear it, but he had to. 'T
was a little child a-cryin' as if it had lost its way and was
scaret, and the man found he could n't stand it somehow.
Mebbe the reason was he 'd had a little boy of his own once,
and he lost him. Now I think on 't, that was one o'
the things he blamed on God, and
 thought about when he looked at the Stone Head. Anyway, he
could n't stand this cryin' that time, and he started up,
and, fust thing he knowed, he 'd opened the door and gone
out. He had n't been out in the sunshine and the air for a
long spell, and it made his head swimmy at fust. But he
heerd the little cryin' ag'in, and he run along on to find
the child. But he could n't find it; every time he 'd think he
was close to it, he 'd hear the cryin' a little further off.
And he 'd go on and on, a-stumblin' over stones and fallin'
over logs and a-steppin' into holes, but stickin' to it, and
forgettin' everything only that little cryin' voice ahead of
him. Seems 's if he jest must find that little lost boy or
girl, 's if he 'd be more 'n willin' to give up his own poor
lonesome old life
to save that child. And, jest 's he come to thinkin'
that, he see somethin' ahead
 of him movin' and in a minute he knowed he 'd found the lost
'Fore he thought what he was a-doin', he got down
on his knees jest 's he used to do 'fore he got angry at God,
and was goin' to thank him for helpin' him to save that
child. Then he rec'lected. It come back to him who God was,
and how he 'd seed his head, with the ha'sh stony face up on
the mountain, and that made him look up to see it ag'in. And
oh! what do you think he see? There was the same head up
there,—he could n't make a mistake about that,—but the
face, oh! the face was so diff'ent. It was n't ha'sh nor hard
nor dark any more. There was such a lovin', beautiful,
kind sort o' look on it now. Some ways it made
the man think a mite of the way his father, that had died
ever so long ago, used to look at him when he was a boy, and
had been bad, and
 then was sorry and 'shamed. Oh, 't was the beautif'lest
face you never see! "Oh! what ever does it mean?" says the
man out loud. "What 's changed that face so? Oh! what in
the world 's made it so diff'ent?" And jest that minute a
Angel come up close to him. 'T was a little young Angel, and
I guess mebbe 't was what he 'd took for a
lost child, and that he 'd been follerin' so fur. And
the Angel says, "The face ain't changed a mite. 'T was jest
like that all the time, only you 're lookin' at
it from a diff'ent p'int." And 't was so,
and he see it right off. He 'd been follerin' that
cryin' so fur and so long that he 'd got into a diff'ent
section o' country, and he 'd got a diff'ent view, oh!
a terr'ble diff'ent view, and he never went back.
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