Beware of joy, said the master, prodding the body of the cardinal with his ivory-tipped cane. It will distract you from your true calling. The bird that flies up drunk with the first taste of spring will be struck down and fall like a stone into the gutter. The setting sun lit up his white hair like a halo and the class shuffled along in his wake. The smallest boy stood to one side and watched them go as dusk fell. He stifled a giggle. He was holding a flame-colored butterfly and the flickering wingtips tickled his grubby little hands.



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