Saturday 19 May 2007

By Popular Demand

Well, maybe that's a slight overstatement.

Not quite popular demand, but anyway there were requests or one anyway, to hear what happened to Zarathrustra next.

Like Jackanory isn't it?
Are we all tucked in?

Then, however, something happened which made every mouth mute and
every eye fixed. In the meantime, of course, the rope-dancer had
commenced his performance: he had come out at a little door, and was
going along the rope which was stretched between two towers, so that
it hung above the market-place and the people. When he was just midway
across, the little door opened once more, and a gaudily-dressed fellow
like a buffoon sprang out, and went rapidly after the first one. "Go
on, halt-foot," cried his frightful voice, "go on, lazy-bones,
interloper, sallow-face!- lest I tickle thee with my heel! What dost
thou here between the towers? In the tower is the place for thee, thou
shouldst be locked up; to one better than thyself thou blockest the
way!"- And with every word he came nearer and nearer the first one.
When, however, he was but a step behind, there happened the
frightful thing which made every mouth mute and every eye fixed- he
uttered a yell like a devil, and jumped over the other who was in
his way. The latter, however, when he thus saw his rival triumph, lost
at the same time his head and his footing on the rope; he threw his
pole away, and shot downward faster than it, like an eddy of arms
and legs, into the depth. The market-place and the people were like
the sea when the storm cometh on: they all flew apart and in disorder,
especially where the body was about to fall.
Zarathustra, however, remained standing, and just beside him fell
the body, badly injured and disfigured, but not yet dead. After a
while consciousness returned to the shattered man, and he saw
Zarathustra kneeling beside him. "What art thou doing there?" said
he at last, "I knew long ago that the devil would trip me up. Now he
draggeth me to hell: wilt thou prevent him?"
"On mine honour, my friend," answered Zarathustra, "there is nothing
of all that whereof thou speakest: there is no devil and no hell.
Thy soul will be dead even sooner than thy body; fear, therefore,
nothing any more!"
The man looked up distrustfully. "If thou speakest the truth,"
said he, "I lose nothing when I lose my life. I am not much more
than an animal which hath been taught to dance by blows and scanty
"Not at all," said Zarathustra, "thou hast made danger thy
calling; therein there is nothing contemptible. Now thou perishest
by thy calling: therefore will I bury thee with mine own hands."
When Zarathustra had said this the dying one did not reply
further; but he moved his hand as if he sought the hand of Zarathustra
in gratitude.

Meanwhile the evening came on, and the market-place veiled itself in
gloom. Then the people dispersed, for even curiosity and terror become
fatigued. Zarathustra, however, still sat beside the dead man on the
ground, absorbed in thought: so he forgot the time. But at last it
became night, and a cold wind blew upon the lonely one. Then arose
Zarathustra and said to his heart:
Verily, a fine catch of fish hath Zarathustra made to-day! It is not
a man he hath caught, but a corpse.
Sombre is human life, and as yet without meaning: a buffoon may be
fateful to it.
I want to teach men the sense of their existence, which is the
Superman, the lightning out of the dark cloud- man.
But still am I far from them, and my sense speaketh not unto their
sense. To men I am still something between a fool and a corpse.
Gloomy is the night, gloomy are the ways of Zarathustra. Come,
thou cold and stiff companion! I carry thee to the place where I shall
bury thee with mine own hands.

And we'll find out what happened to Zarathrustra another day.


Anonymous said...

Not another day NOW!

Anonymous said...

Youi are elected to read me bed time stories when I have insomnia......and I will read you a few when you suffer with whatever ails you.

Anonymous said...

That could end up like the Bear from Bo Selecta...

Anonymous said...

That was what I meant! Clever Dick.
I have afew talenst myself for the literary ya know.

Anonymous said...

I quite like my redheads as well...

Any other talents?