Two barefooted young boys, presumably messengers, are enjoying a pie together. Although Murillo idealises their appearance, his treatment of details testifies to his expertise in imitating nature. Thinly applied paint is used to model the characteristic outer surfaces of the quinces, oranges and onions. Murillo’s pictures of children were created at a critical time when there were many orphaned children in Seville. It is possible that the painter, himself a member of a charitable brotherhood, wanted to awaken a sense of compassion in the viewer.