There was a boy who loved to count the stars.
Every night, right after the sun went down, he sat on his roof with a pad of paper and began to count. He loved their twinkles, their scattered patterns, the bright ones and the dim ones. He would count and count over the sound of crickets.
But he could never count them all. Every morning the sun would rise and he would get frantic as he counted the vanishing stars. He grew to hate the dawn because it took away his pleasure.
He tried to count faster. He waited until the winter months when the nights were the longest. But he could never count them all. There were too many stars and too little time.
So he thought of a plan. It was so simple. He would have to stop the sun from coming up.
So the boy began to sew the biggest quilt in the world. He spent years making it during the day while counting the stars at night.
When the quilt was large enough, he went to the top of the highest hill and cast the quilt over the sun right as it was setting.
The sun winked out and the boy began to count in peace.
It worked. The sun did not come up the next morning. His pad of paper filled up with numbers, far more than he’d ever counted before. He counted and counted until ten years had gone by and he could not find another star to add to his paper.
The boy let out a happy sigh, put down his pad, and felt happy that he finally was able to count all of the stars.
He went back up to the highest hill, took the corner of the quilt, and pulled it off the sun.
But the sun was just a cold, black ball without even the slightest hint of fire left to it. It had gone out over the years. It would never come back.
And the boy who loved to count stars realized that he missed one last star after all.