Emilia doesn’t know Florian’s name, but she imagines he is “a sleeping knight” out of Polish folklore, in which knights slept in the mountains, but “if Poland was in distress, the knights would awaken and come to the rescue.”
This is the beginning of one of Emilia’s multiple fantasies. After many months alone and uncared for, Emilia takes comfort in the idea that Florian is a knight who exists specifically to protect Polish people like herself.
Florian runs away from Emilia and the military planes overhead. She chases after him as she wonders, “Why did everyone leave me?” Emilia feels like a duck moving through the snow. This reminds her of a nursery rhyme her mother used to sing to her about “All the little duckies with their heads in the water.” She wonders “where were all the duckies now?”
Emilia returns to this nursery rhyme frequently throughout the novel. It reminds her of her mother and comforts her. It is also slightly ominous. When Emilia wonders “where were all the duckies now?” she seems to be referring to her childhood friends, her loved ones, and her own youthful innocence.