… hello.

i see you have a stick.

… so?

i also have one.

… and?

it is cold.

… a little.

we could rub our sticks together.

… why?

to make fire.

… for what cause?

to warm our skins.

… and when the sticks are burned?

we shall be warm. we shall find new ones.

… why should i join with you, or you with me? we are not the only souls in this universe, nor the only with sticks.

yours is long-burning. mine is sweet-smelling. together we could make a glorious blaze.

 did i say my skin was cold?

… no.

why should i then consent to burn my only stick when i am not cold?

… i am.

you ask of me this sacrifice for your own sake?

… yes.

why should i not wait to set my stick ablaze until the world is at its coldest?

… then you might find yourself the only soul indeed. and, though you have many sticks to call your own, and much fire to warm yourself by, you will still ache with cold, for you are all alone.

and you would warm me?