He looked upwards. My goodness - it was high! What would he feel like under these arched ceilings, dwarfed by the massive columns and enclosed within the brick and stonework of this enormous building? A cold wind blew between the arches and pieces of litter fluttered by.
But to gain entrance to this place he knew that first he had to pass the exam. And he knew he had not prepared enough, not worked hard enough, not learnt the texts by heart as he should. He had been too busy with other things; eating and drinking, loving and sleeping, singing and dreaming. How he wished he could have that time again. How disappointed his family would be.
One piece of paper, blown by the draughts, had wedged itself into the side of his shoe and refused to dislodge itself as he kicked. When he bent down he noticed the writing under the official crest of the institutions. "Answers to Paper 1 and 2."
A gift! A gift from the gods. He stuck the piece of paper into his belt and, head high, he marched confidently into the hall.
Unfortunately he failed to turn the paper over as he copied down last year's answers on the page.