“A Fairy Tale” - by Georg Büchner

(This might be the most depressing “fairy tale” ever written. This little tale is told by an old woman to “entertain” a group of children in Büchner's unfinished drama “Woyzeck” which he began in 1836. He was dead the following year in his 24th year). Irma Walter finished the story with her own words. Irma Walter June 2010 http://www.scribd.com/englishontarget

Once upon a time there was a poor child and he had no father and no mother, everything was dead and there was no one else in the world.

Everything dead, and he went and he wandered day and night. And as there was no one else left on earth, he wanted to go up to the sky, and the moon looked at him in such a friendly way,

and when he came at last to the moon, it was a piece of rotten wood

and so he went to the sun and when he came to the sun, it was a faded sunflower

and when he came to the stars, they were little gold flies stuck on,

just the way the butcherbird sticks them on the thorns of the blackthorn bush

and when he wanted to go back to earth, it was an upturned pot and he was all alone and so he sat down and cried and he's still sitting there and he's all alone.
(Georg Büchner, translated by Gordon Wood, Edinburgh)


And as it goes with tears and crying, there is an end to it when no one else is watching. So the child turned his eyes away from the wrotten wood and the faded sunflower and the goldflies and wondered what else there might be to look at and as it goes with wondering, he turned inside to look at his own soul.

At first he saw nothingness to the end of the universe but then he noticed a faint light and as he approached the light he realised that it was warm and round and looked like rotten wood. He noticed a plant that looked like a faded sunflower and an upturned claypot that was out of use.

He crushed the rotten wood, filled it into the pot and planted the faded sunflower and because he was so good at it, he cried a little longer until he had watered the wood and turned it into soil. The child looked at his work and found it useless but it was all that he could do. Although he wished he was dead, the sunflower seeds dropped into the mud and started sprouting there.

A smile came upon the child's face and the smile shed a light, first on the seeds, then the pot and the whole universe of his soul and it didn't stop there, the light went on to spring from his eyes into the world and the claypot he was sitting on. The faded sunflower lifted its drooping head and dropped its seeds into the ground. Then it rose to take its place in the sky and smiled on the earth.

The rotten wood came together to form the moon and the goldflies moved their wings to make the stars glitter. When he stared at the wonder of it all, he heard laughter and song and children's clamour and he turned to see the world approach him with a warm breeze.

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