Later that night he saw four striped worms making their way across the dunes.
"Oh, it's Francis!" they hailed him from afar.
"Come with us," they said,"We're going to our kingdom by the sea. It's a beautiful city. Our king and queen would welcome you. The entire city has been painted in black and white stripes. All the citizens are striped black and white. The city has been absolutely rebuilt--it's as good as new."
"And what is it called?" asked Francis.
"Rome" they answered.
"But Rome was destroyed long ago" he said.
"We rebuilt it" they replied.
"I'm sorry," said Francis, " but I'm going in the opposite direction."
"It's alright, Francis. It doesn't matter which road you take," replied the worms.
"Is that so?" said Francis, mildly puzzled, and bid them farewell.