"Are you lost?" he asked, recognizing the irony.
"Y...yes. I can't find my dog, Laddie. He ran out of the yard, and I chased him for hours, but he got away. Mum always says that if you get lost, you should go up to where you can see where you came from, but I tried and can't even see my house."
The searcher looked out at the surrounding land, but everything was too far away to make out where the boy might live. He felt sorry for the boy, so he decided to help him.
"Why don't you come back down with me, so we can find some help? You can't stay up here; I'm sure your parents are looking for you."
"But Laddie..." the boy started to say, then began crying.
"We can find him later. Besides, dogs have a funny way of knowing where they are better than we do sometimes."
"Alright, only if you promise to help me look for him."
The man smiled and agreed, then led the boy back down the hill to the nearest farm house, where he asked to use a phone. He called the local police to tell them that he had found the boy, and they said that his parents were indeed looking for him. Only about ten minutes later, the police came, with the boy's parents. The boy lightened up when he saw his dog get out of the car and the two had a joyful reunion. It turned out that Laddie had returned home soon after the boy lost him.
"Thank you so much for finding Terry," the boy's mother said, herself in tears, "We feared the worst."
The man, not usually shy or easily taken aback, felt embarassed.
"No problem. I'm just glad I was here. He looked pretty scared, himself."
"What were you doing out here?" the boy's father asked, understandibly suspicious.
"I thought I was lost, too."
The father looked at him askance, but didn't say any more. The police thanked the man for his help, then they all left.
A few days later, the man saw his friend and wanted to tell him the curious story, but his friend spoke before he could.
"So, did you find who you were looking for?" he asked. The man thought about the day and the irony that he had ended up helping the boy get home. He wasn't sure exactly what kind of guidance he had gone looking for, but it seemed that he knew just what to do when the situation had called for it. Apparently, he had not been as lost as he had thought.
"No, but I went to the right place."