Pan, by Knut Hamsun


In the night I heard Æsop get up from his corner and growl; I heard it through my sleep, but I was dreaming just then of shooting, the growl of the dog fitted into the dream, and it did not wake me, quite. When I stepped out of the hut next morning there were tracks in the grass of a pair of human feet; someone had been there — had gone first to one of my windows, then to the other. The tracks were lost again down on the road.

She came towards me with hot cheeks, with a face all beaming.

“Have you been waiting?” she said. “I was afraid you would have to wait.”

I had not been waiting; she was on the way before me.

“Have you slept well?” I asked. I hardly knew what to say.

“No, I haven’t. I have been awake,” she answered. And she told me she had not slept that night, but had sat in a chair with her eyes closed. And she had been out of the house for a little walk.

“Someone was outside my hut last night,” I said. “I saw tracks in the grass this morning.”

And her face colored; she took my hand there, on the road, and made no answer. I looked at her, and said:

“Was it you, I wonder?”

“Yes,” she answered, pressing close to me. “It was I. I hope I didn’t wake you — I stepped as quietly as I could. Yes, it was I. I was near you again. I am fond of you!”

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55