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Before the law by Franz Kafka

Before the law there is a guardian. A peasant presents himself in front of this guardian, and requests that he permit him to enter into the Law. But the guardian answers that for the moment, he can not allow him to enter. The man reflects and ask if later he will be allowed to enter. -Perhaps - the sentry says - but not for the time being.. The door that opens into the Law is open, as usual; When the guardian moves aside, the man leans over to spy. The guardian sees it, he smiles and tells him: - If your desire is so great that you try to enter in spite of my prohibition. But remember I am powerful. And I am only the most remote of the guardians. Between rooms there are also guardians, each one more powerful than the other. Right now the third guardian is so terrible that I can not even look at him. The peasant had not foreseen these difficulties; the Law should always be accessible for all, he thinks, but when noticing the guardian, with his coat of skins, his big aquiline nose, his beard black as Tartar, thin and black, he decides that there is need to wait while he lives.. The guardian gives him a stool and allows him to sit down at the side of the door. There he waits for days and years. He attempts infinite times entering and he fatigues the guardian with his pleas. Frequently the guardian chats briefly with him, he has questions on his country and on many other things; But they are indifferent questions, like those of important gentlemen, and finally he always repeats that he can not allow him to enter. The man, that has provided many things for the journey, sacrifices everything that is of value to bribe the guardian. He accepts everything indeed, but he tells him : - I accept it so you do not believe that you have omitted any effort. During those long years, the man observes the guardian almost continuously: He forgets about the others and he thinks that this is the only obstacle that separates him from the Law. He curses his bad luck, during the first years audaciously and aloud; Later, as he ages, he only murmurs to himself. He

returns to childhood, and in his careful and long contemplation of the guardian, he has gotten to know to the fleas of the skin of his neck, also he begs to the fleas that they help him and convince the guardian. Finally his sight weakens, and he no longer knows if there is really less light, or if only his eyes are deceived. But he distinguishes a brilliance in between darkness that arises inextinguishable from the door of the Law. He already has a short time to live.. Before death, all experiences of those many years melt into one another in his mind in a single question, that until now he has not formulated . He motions to the guardian in order that he approach, since the rigor of death begins to harden his body. The guardian is compelled to bend down very much to talk with him, because the disparity of statures between both has increased a lot in the course of time, because of the peasant's impairment. - What do you want to know now? - asks the guardian. You are insatiable. -All make an effort to arrive to the Law - the man says -; How is he possible then than during so many years nobody more than I attempted to enter? The guardian understands that the man is to die, and so that his fainting senses perceive his words, he tells him next to his hearing with a deafening voice:: - Nobody could attempt it because this entrance was only for you. Now I am going to close it.

Snow White and the seven little dwarves

Once upon a time there was a very pretty girl, a little princess that had a complexion white as snow, lips and cheeks red as blood and jetblack hair. Her name was Snow White. As the princess grew, her beauty increased day after day until her stepmother, the queen, became very jealous. The day arrived that the wicked stepmother could not tolerate her presence and she ordered a hunter to take her to the forest and kill her. As she was so young and beautiful, the hunter took pity on the girl and advised her to look for a hidingplace in the forest. Snow White ran as far as her legs permitted, stumbling over rocks and trunks of trees that were hurting her. At last, when night fell, she found a small house and she entered to rest. Everything at that house was small, but more pretty and clean than she could imagine. Near the chimney was a small table with seven very tiny plates, seven earthenware cups and on the other side of the room seven very orderly beds in a row.. The princess, tired, lay down on three of the little beds, and fell sound asleep. When night arrived, the owners of the small house returned . They were seven little dwarves that every day went to work in the mines of gold, very far in the heart of The mountains . Good gracious, what a beautiful girl! they blurted out surprised. And how did she arrive as far as here? They approached to admire her taking care not to wake her up. In the morning, Snow White was afraid when she woke up seeing the seven little dwarves surrounding her. They questioned her so softly that she calmed down and she told her sad story to them. The little dwarves said if you want to cook, sew and wash for us, you can remain here and we will take care of you always .

Blancanieves delightfully accepted. She was always very happy with the little dwarves, preparing their food and taking care of the small house. Every morning she stopped in the door and said goodby with a wave of the hand when the little dwarves left for their work. But they cautioned her: Take care. Your stepmother can know that you live here and will try to harm you. The stepmother, that truly was a witch, consulted her magical mirror to see if somebody existed more beautiful than she. She discovered that Snow White lived in the seven little dwarves' house. She flew into a rage and she decided to kill her herself.. Disguised as an old woman, the wicked queen prepared an apple with poison, she crossed the seven mountains and she got to the little dwarves' house. Snow White, felt a great loneliness during the day, and thought that that little old woman could not be dangerous. She invited her in and she gratefuly accepted the apple that the witch offered her. It seemed to be delicious. But with the first bite that opened the fruit, Snow White fell like dead person. That night, when the seven little dwarves got to the small house, they found Snow White on the floor. She did not breathe or move. The little dwarves cried their eyes out because they were delirious with desire. They watched over her body for three days, she continued preserving her beauty; complexion white as snow, cheeks and bloodred lips, and jetblack hair. The little dwarves said we can not put her body under the earth. They made a crystal casket, and placing her there, they took her to the top of a mountain. Every day the little dwarves went to watch over her. One day the prince was taking a walk on his great white horse, saw the beautiful girl in her box of crystal and he could listen to her history from the the little dwarves' lips. He fell in love with Snow White and arranged that the little dwarves allow taking the body to the palace where he promised to adore her always. But when he moved the crystal box he tripped and the piece of apple that Blancanieves had eaten fell away from her throat. She woke up from her long dream and she took a seat . There was great rejoicing, and little

dwarves danced happy while Snow White agreed to go to the palace and marry the prince.

The riddle
Once there was a king's son to whom entered desires to see the world, and he departed without more company than a faithful servant. He arrived at one day at an extensive forest and at nightfall, not finding shelter, he did not know where to spend the night. Then he saw a girl that was heading for a small house and when he approached, he realized that she was young and beautiful. He spoke to her and he said: - My good girl, would you not welcome us for a night in the small house, me and my servant? The girl answered with sad voice: - For good rank she would do it; But I do not advise you to. Better that you look for another accommodation. - Why? - the prince asked . The girl answered, sighing - My stepmother has evil tricks and hates strangers Well the prince realized that this was the house of a witch; But as it was not possible to continue walking in the closed night, and on the other hand he was not fearful, he entered . The old woman that was seated in an armchair next to the fire, looked at the travellers with her reddish eyes: - Good night! - she said with nasal voice, that wanted to be kind. Sit down to rest. And she blew the coals, in which she was cooking something in a pot. The daughter forewarned the two men that they should not eat or drink anything, because the old woman was making evil brews. They slept peacefully until dawn, and when they got ready to continue on their way, the prince was already mounted on his horse, and the old woman said : - Wait a moment, that you will drink a farewell drink.

While she entered to look for the drink, the prince went away as quickly as possible, and when the witch returned and came out with the drink, she only found the servant that had passed the time fixing a chair. - Take this to your master! - she told him. But in the same breath she broke the vessel and the poison sprinkled the horse; So virulent it was, that the animal collapsed dead, like a casualty of a bolt of lightning. The servant started to run to give an account to his master of what happened; But not wanting to lose the chair, he went back to look for it. When arriving next to the horse's cadaver, he found that a crow was devouring it. Who knows if I will hunt something better today? , the servant said to himself; So he killed the crow and put it into his leather bag. During the whole day they were wandering in the forest, without finding the exit. At nightfall they came upon an inn and they entered in. The servant gave the innkeeper the crow, to the end that he stew it for dinner. But it turned out that he had ended up in a den of thieves, and already evening, twelve bandits showed up that conceived the purpose to murder and to rob the strangers. However, before putting it into practice they sat at the table, along with the innkeeper and the witch, and they ate a soup made with the crow's meat. But hardly they had taken a couple of spoonfuls, they all fell dead, because the crow was contaminated with the horse's poison. Not one remained in the house except the innkeeper's daughter, she was a good girl, completely innocent of the crmes of those men. She opened all the doors to the strangers and she showed them the accumulated treasures. But the prince told her that she could keep everything, because he wanted none of that, and he followed his road with his servant. After wandering aimlessly for a long time, they arrived at a city where lived a proud princess, daughter of the king, that had proclaimed her decision to marry the man that was able to present a riddle that she did not know how to decipher, with the condition that, if she guessed it, the suitor would be decapitated. She had three days to solve it; But she was so intelligent, that she always had solved it before that term. There were already nine suitors that had perished of that mode, when the prince arrived and, dazzled by her beauty, he wanted to bring his life into play. The maiden was introduced and he presented his enigma to her:

He told her - What is one thing that did not kill anyone and, however, killed twelve -? In vain the princess gave a thousand thousand turns in her head, but she did not happen to solve the riddle. She consulted her book of enigmas, but she did not find anything; She had finished her resources. No knowing already what to do, she sent her maiden to get in on the quiet to the prince's bedroom and put herself on the lurk, thinking that he would speak at such time in dreams and he would reveal the answer of the enigma. But the servant, that was very smart, got into bed in his mister's place, and when the maiden approached, snatching her in the mantle and wrapped her up at one stroke, threw her out of the room to sticks. The second night, the princess sent off her maid to see if she had better luck. But the servant removed also her mantle and threw her into the sticks. The prince believed then that the third night would be safe, and he lay down in the bed. But the princess herself was the one that went, wrapped in a gray color cape, and sat at his side. When she believed that he slept and he dreamt, she began to be speak to him in a quiet voice, with the hope that he would respond in dreams, like many do. But he was awake and heard everything perfectly. She asked: - one killed no one, what is this? He responded: - a crow that ate of a poisoned horse and died in turn. She continued asking: - and he killed, however, twelve, what is this? - they are twelve bandits, that they ate the crow and they died poisoned. Now knowing what she wanted, the princess tried to slip away, but the prince held her by the cape, and she had to cease trying. In the morning, the daughter of the king announced that he had deciphered the enigma and, having authority to come to the twelve judges, gave the solution in front of them. But the youth requested to be listened to and said: - during the night the princess slid to my bed and asked me the questions; Without this, she never would have guessed right. The judges said :

- give us a proof. Then the servant entered with the three mantles, and when judges saw the gray that the princess was accustomed to taking, they ruled the following sentence: - That this mantle that is embroidered in gold and silver; This will be the one of your wedding.

The origin of the Inca Empire

Pachacutej, god of everything and Supreme Creator, determined on a certain occasion that the Sun and the Moon, always so distant from each other, have contact, at least for some moments, and know themselves to establish friendship. And just as he arranged it, it happened . The Sun and the Moon approached, And then the men, alien to the Supreme Maker's designs, found only that an enormous dark blemish appeared on the the king of star's surface. This shade, that terrified all of the humans, persisted while the Moon and the Sun were together to know themselves and loving each other. Before separating, two children were born of their love: A male, strong and gold of skin, and a delicate and pale maiden of mysterious beauty. Both predestinated to complete a difficult mission in the world, they became established at the Sacred lake, from where they received of the Sun the orders to rule over the world and to convert the men into slaves of the king of the stars. The two siblings, obedient to the received instruction, went through the world and they met with the presence of some men covered with skins of wild, hungry and combatant animals, the same as wild animals. They understood then that the mission would involve redeeming them from the slavery of that indomitable nature, and they decided to show the contents of a new life. The son of the Sun Huanacauti climbed to the top of the hill, and he spoke to all of the men that listened to him upon the slopes from the same summit. He let them know that he was the son of the great star that was giving life to the the world and that the envoy came from his father to teach them to work and to form a society that they would get to enjoy a life a thousand times better. While he spoke to the men the son of the Sun, his sister went to the women in the same way, making herself known as the emissary and daughter of the Moon. She gathered them in the plain and she promised to teach them to live a better existence by means of love, kindness and wisdom. The men and women, from that day, began to change their life and appreciated the favor that the children of the Sun had done redeeming them. They called him Inca; That is, emperor, prince, supreme authority. And to her, Mamauchic, or that is the same as, our mother. But they conformed and passed the days and the men's gratitude toward the envoy of the Sun grew, more inclined to adore him and to demonstrate the love that was declared with no end of adjectives that were not enough in a short while adding on their own

name to his. They called him Manco Capaj, that means "rich in justice and in goodness", and also Zapallan Inca, that signifies lord of the gentlemen. From the river Pancarpata to the Apurimac, the men went building the Inca Empire under Manco Capaj's instructions. The cabins of mud and straw populated little by little all of the Tahuantin, that ever since it began to be named Hanan and Hurin Cuzco. Fields were worked in such a way that they all could eat their fill. There were men in charge of cultivation and the ones that were providing the food, while the women, that had learned how to spin, wove dresses. Shortly, the Incas' life got perfectly organized, becoming an admirable town socially: They had safe homes, they ate in abundance and they sheltered themselves from the cold in winter, without need to fight with the wild beasts. The Sun, then, understood that his son had already completed his mission in the world, and he wanted to carry him off from there. Manco Capaj, like any human being, fell ill and went into agony rapidly. Foreseeing his death, all of Cuzco's inhabitants, sorrowful, they went filing by in front of his bed to say good-bye to him. The priests and soldiers could not contain the crying. And Manco Capaj, seeing the sadness of all, he tried to console them and he suggested to his last moment that they should keep on, like to that moment, dependable and trustworthy of his obligations; That, to maintain between all the peace and the harmony, they behaved very to each other and work. That they never stole and that they didn't lie, because any bad thing that they did would have ill-fated consequences. That way Manco Capaj died, to whom his father, the Sun, reclaimed him. But Cuzco's inhabitants from then on never forgot about him and faithfully obeyed his advice.

The spinner
Once a very poor miller that did not have in the world anything more than his daughter. She was a very beautiful girl. One day, the king sent for the miller, because he did not pay his taxes for a long time. The poor man did not have money, so it occurred to him to tell the king: - I have a daughter that can make gold threads with the straw. - bring her! - the king ordered . That night, the king took the miller's daughter to a roomful of straw and told her: - by dawn, you should have finished creating gold threads with all this straw. Otherwise, I will punish your father and also you. The poor young girl neither knew how to spin, nor had the slightest idea of how to make gold threads with the straw. However, she took a seat in front of the spinning wheel to attempt it. As her effort was in vain, disconsolate, she began to cry . Suddenly, the door opened and a strange little man entered . - good evening, sweet girl. Why do you cry? He said sobbing I have to manufacture gold threads with this straw -, and I do not know how to do it -. - what will you give me in return if I spin it? - the little man asked. The girl said - I can give you my necklace -. The little man said as he took a seat in front of the spinning wheel - good, I believe that that will be enough -. On the following day, all the straw had been turned into gold threads. When the king saw the roomful of gold, he got carried away with greed and he wanted to have still more. Then he led the girl to a bigger room, full of straw, and he ordered her to turn it into gold threads. The girl was disconsolate.

What am I going to do now? she said. That night, the little man returned to find the young girl had made a sea of tears. This time, he accepted her gold ring in exchange for spinning all of the straw. When seeing such quantity of gold, the avarice of the king overflowed itself. He shut the girl in a tower full of straw. - if tomorrow morning you have turned all this straw into gold threads, I will marry you and you will be the queen. The little man returned in the evening, but the poor young girl no longer had anything else to give him. The little man proposed when you get married - - you will have to give me your first son -. As the girl did not find a better solution, she had to accept the deal. On the following day, the king saw with great satisfaction that the tower was full of gold threads. Just as he had promised her, he married the miller's daughter. A year after the wedding, the new queen had a daughter. The queen had completely forgotten the deal that she had made with the little man, until one day he appeared. The little man said - you must give me what you promised me -. The queen offered all kinds of treasure to be able to be left with her daughter, but the little man turned them down. He said - a living being is more precious than all the riches of the world -. Desperate when listening to these words, the queen burst out crying . Then the little man said : - I will give you three days to guess my name. If not you succeed, I am left with the girl.

The queen spent the night awake making out of a list all the names that she had heard in her life. On the following day, the queen read the little man the list, but the answer of this to each one of them was always the same: - no, that is not my name. The queen resolved then to send her emissaries to all the city to look for all kinds of names. The emissaries returned with some very weird names like soft Piedra and Aguadura, but not one was suitable. The little man always repeated: -no, that is not my name. On the third day, the desperate queen sent her emissaries to the kingdom's outermost corners. It was already night, the last emissary arrived and told a very peculiar story. - I was walking in the forest when all of a sudden I saw a strange little man dancing about a bonfire. While he danced he was singing : " the queen will lose, because she never will know my name. I am the great Rumpelstiltskin "! That same night, the queen asked the little man: - are you called Alfalfa? - no, that is not my name. - are you called Zebuln? - no, that is not my name. - will it be possible, then, for you to be named Rumpelstiltskin? - the queen asked at last. When he heard this, the little man felt so much rage that his face turned blue and then brown. Next he kicked the ground so hard that a big hole opened. Rumpelstiltskin disappeared in the hole that he opened in the ground and nobody ever saw him again. The queen, for her part, was forever happy with the king and her precious little daughter.

All are the same!!!!!!!!!

"Charmed toads. Authentic and guaranteed" said the sign on the glass aquarium. The idea was intriguing, and curiosity made me ask. The salesperson explained to me. "They transform into princes, you only have to follow the instructions" And saying this, she gave me a small booklet of instructions. Of course I didn't believed her but the salesperson took a toad at random and she gave it to me saying "ALL ARE THE SAME... Follow the instructions to the letter and tomorrow at this time you will have your prince!" Thank you I said. Don't mention it she answered. When arriving home I thought "What a wretched old woman! what will I do with this toad?" I almost called my friends, but I didn't want any witnesses to my insanity. I started to read the instructions. It was enough to feed the disgusting thing each half hour exactly for 24 hours, day and night, without delaying one minute. I would have to skip meals because otherwise, the charm would break and the toad would continue being a disgusting toad. I continued reading the manual and it said: "The charmed toads feed on love. Each half hour exactly, you should tell your toad affectionate tender words and compliments to make him feel that he is not a toad, but a prince. So to transform him, feed him with love" I said: "NO WAY!!! What kind of $%!*&! is this?". "But perhaps" I thought,"maybe he needs love". I looked at the clock. It was exactly 8:15 in the evening. I took the toad in my hands, and not looking into his ugly eyes, I began: "You are beautiful and I love you" I said to him.

I felt stupid. But suddenly a golden light came from the animal, so intense that it dazzled me and I heard the distant sound of bells. !!??!! I thought. But the thing in my hands continued being an ordinary toad, oily and full of warts. I thought maybe I was becoming a madwoman, but at 8:45 I took it in my hands again and I told him: "You are a prince, the most beautiful of all, I love you". The golden light was now more intense than ever and the sound of bells seemed to surround me... I spent the whole wretched day, each half hour, telling the toad the most beautiful things I could think of. I read poetry, I sang songs, I told him that I loved him and what a beautiful thing he was, and every time the golden light was more and more radiant, the sound of bells was more intense. I did not eat or go to the bathroom and continued with the process. I didn't even waste precious time to get a handkerchief for my stuffy nose . That whole day I was dedicated to my toad. The following evening, I was so tired that I fell asleep.. I dreamt that I kissed the wretched toad on the mouth. Noooooooooooo!!! I never did that!!!! But when I woke up there was a man in my room! My dream was fulfilled! He turned to me and he said: "Thank you for breaking the charm, I am your prince, do you love Me? I didn't think twice and I answered him: "YES! OF COURSE I LOVE YOU!!". "Tell me that you love me" he said. "I love you, I love you, I love you" I told him.. "How much do you love me?" he said. I started to wonder, but I responded "A lot, a lot, a lot!"!!! "What are you able to do for me?" and like an idiot I said "Everything, everything, everything, everythinnnnggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!"

AAAh! It turns out that the little prince is very well dressed and only wants the finest most expensive clothes. He spent hours every day admiring himself in the mirror, brushing his hair and trimming it with scissors. And he has to be taken out for dinner to the very best places. One day, while I cleaned the house and washed his clothes, he took my car without asking me and smashed it in an accident at the intersection in front of the house. He tried to evade the issue by saying that he had done me a favor because the car was ugly and that I needed a new one anyway.. And I had not finished paying for it!! He never stopped telling me: "You are fortunate to have me by your side! Your friends are saying SHE HAS A PRINCE!!!!!" The demands were increasing. Besides the new car, I had to give my prince a large part of my salary, vacations, and more. And to pay for it, I had to work overtime. And then my prince began to complain that I needed to do more. Since I spent so many hours outside of the house he felt alone, and that I no longer loved him as before. The bills continued arriving. I became enraged when I arrived home at ten at night, after having worked all day, and finding him watching television, with a glass of brandy in his hand. What a lazy slug!! I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. It was frightening! I didn't recognize myself! I looked tired, my hair needed a good cut, my rough hands, my worn clothes... My prince took so much that I could not afford new clothes! Whenever I tried to speak to him about it, he turned a deaf ear. So the toad was given his luxuries and in response he said: "Princes don't give explanations"!!! One day he said to me: "I went out to look for what you don't give me at home, because you no longer love me, you no longer help me, you no longer look pretty for me and if you don't do anything to change, I will leave you, and if I leave, you will die from sadness without me. I am a prince. I am the best thing that you have in your life!" I thought of the bills I had to pay.

I thought of working extra hours, I thought of the fatigue, the frustration and the rage. I didn't know what to do! I got mad!! His time had expired!!!! I grabbed the wretched manual of instructions and on the last page, in letters as small as fleas, I could read: "To undo the charm, remind the prince that he is a toad. Remember that you are real. Recover faith in yourself and recover your strength. Tell your prince that you don't need a prince to be happy." I ran straight up the stairs and I planted myself before my prince, and suddenly, he no longer seemed so beautiful nor so perfect. I screamed at him: "You are a lazy selfish green toad!" "Nooo!" he said "I am a prince! I am the best thing in your life! You love me! You need me!" "You are an evil toad that disgusts me!!".. I screamed at him again. "Nooo!" He said, but in his voice the insecurity was noticeable... "You love me! You cannot leave me!" I surprised myself and began to laugh. "You are a hollow stupid toad who is disgusting!!! blab, blab, blab....." And as I screamed at him, his self-esteem got smaller and smaller..... "I surrender " he wept... and my prince became a toad. My vengeance wanted to dig a huge hole for his grave , but I returned him to the salesperson to get my money back . She smiled and said again "All are the same... They get conceited and believe they are the eighth wonder of the world. So don't treat a toad like a prince because it is simply a toad!"

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