Thursday, January 3, 2008

Fables I

     --It’s a bother, my good fellow. I have to shoo away the boys in a minute so they stop bothering my dog.
     --And I have to shoo away the dogs, so they don’t chase my cat.
     --I have to shoot cats in my garden, so they don’t chase the birds.
     --And I have to shoot the birds, so they don’t eat all my cherries.

     Oh, neighbor of mine, is there any justice in the world? Have I held someone back? Do I stand in someone’s way? I sit here quietly under a leaf, you can’t see me, you can’t hear me, I crouch in my little corner like the tiniest shade, I mind my own business, I just lay my little eggs and move from leaf to leaf quiet as can be—I tell you, ma’am, I never push my way to the front or get mixed up in anything, and Man, that brute, that Herod, hates and oppresses me anyway!

     They say I’m a beautiful white birch. That’s something! Just wait and see how beautiful I am when I am old!

     I tell you: people plow… they dig… they hoe the earth… they do this just to spite me. They know I don’t like it… They do it on purpose. To bother me.

Factory chimney
     Ha, clouds! A mere party trick! Such weaklings! You should look at my smoke: how thick and dark it is! And the amount! You could cut slices! Young man, that’s what I call a cloud!

Old Pine
     How does one achieve my age and height? It is entirely simple: you must choose dry and sandy soil, with little humus and few nutrients--what, the old beech told advised you the opposite--the richest soil possible? And the willow advised moisture underneath? Don't believe that, those are stupid ideas, heed my words: the best is bare sand that's dry, dry, dry!

     I know, I know, there's nothing to me, no one looks at me. But how beautiful I am when I glisten in the rain! How I feel at that moment to be a roof!

     Unhappy me! To always be with this other one, with this nag, with this stupid old hag. Without her, I could have gotten into a much better pair...

     They make up sayings about my industriousness! As far as I'm concerned, I take more pride in my sting!

     So! These idiots put a house right in our way!

Kerosene Lamp
     Light bulb? Oh, sure; but I've learned how to hum.

     It's not true that I am fading away. I am growing.

LN, 6 December 1932

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