ENGLISH

The snail and the rosebush

DANSK

Sneglen og rosenhækken


Around the garden ran a hedge of hazelnut bushes, and beyond it lay fields and meadows with cows and sheep; but in the middle of the garden stood a blooming Rosebush, and under it sat a Snail, who had a lot inside his shell - namely, himself.

"Wait till my time comes," it said. "I'll do a great deal more than grow roses; more than bear nuts; or give milk, like cows and the sheep!"

"I expect a great deal from you," said the Rosebush. "May I dare ask when this is going to happen?"

"I'll take my time," said the Snail. "You're always in such a hurry! That does not arouse expectations!"

Next year the Snail lay in almost the same spot, in the sunshine beneath the Rose Tree, which was budding and bearing roses as fresh and as new as ever. And the Snail crept halfway out of its shell, stretched out its horns and drew them back in again.

"Everything looks just as it did last year. No progress at all; the Rose Tree sticks to its roses, and that's as far as it gets."

The summer passed; the autumn came. The Rose Tree still bore buds and roses till the snow fell. The weather became raw and wet, and the Rose Tree bent down toward the ground. The Snail crept into the ground.

Then a new year began, and the roses came out again, and the Snail did, too.

"You're an old Rosebush now," the Snail said. "You must hurry up and die, because you've given the world all that's in you. Whether it has meant anything is a question that I haven't had time to think about, but this much is clear enough - you've done nothing at all for your inner development, or you would certainly have produced something else. How can you answer that? You'll soon be nothing but a stick. Can you understand what I'm saying?"

"You frighten me!" said the Rosebush. "I never thought about that at all."

"No, you have never taken the trouble to think of anything. Have you ever considered yourself, why you bloomed, and how it happens, why just in that way and in no other?"

"No," said the Rosebush. "I was just happy to blossom because I couldn't do anything else. The sun was warm and the air so refreshing. I drank of the clear dew and the strong rain; I breathed, I lived. A power rose in me from out of the earth; a strength came down from up above; I felt an increasing happiness, always new, always great, so I had to blossom over and over again. That was my life; I couldn't do anything else."

"You have led a very easy life," said the Snail.

"Certainly. Everything was given to me," said the Rosebush. "But still more was granted to you. You're one of those with a deep, thoughtful nature, one of those highly gifted minds that will astonish the world."

"I've no intention of doing anything of the sort!" said the Snail. "The world means nothing to me. What do I have to do with the world? I have enough to do with myself and within myself."

"But shouldn't all of us on earth give the best we have to others and offer whatever is in our power? Yes, I've only been able to give roses. But you? You who are so richly gifted - what have you given to the world? What do you intend to give?"

"What have I given? What do I intend to give? I spit at the world. It's no good! It has nothing to do with me. Keep giving your roses; that's all you can do! Let the hazel bush bear nuts, let the cows and sheep give milk. They each have their public; but I have mine inside myself. I retire within myself, and there I shall stay. The world means nothing to me." And so the Snail withdrew into his house and closed up the entrance behind him.

"That's so sad," said the Rose Tree. "I can't creep into myself, no matter how much I want to; I must go on bearing roses. Their petals fall off and are blown away by the wind, although once I saw one of the roses laid in a mother's hymnbook, and one of my own roses was placed on the breast of a lovely young girl, and another was kissed by a child in the first happiness of life. It did me good; it was a true blessing. Those are my recollections - my life!"

So the Rose Tree bloomed on in innocence, and the Snail loafed in his house - the world meant nothing to him.

And years rolled by.

The Snail had turned to earth in the earth, and the Rose Tree had turned to earth in the earth. Even the rose of memory in the hymnbook was withered, but in the garden new rosebushes bloomed, and new snails crept into their houses and spat at the world, for it meant nothing to them.

Shall we read this story all over again? It'll never be different.
Rundt om haven var et gærde af nøddebuske, og udenfor var mark og eng med køer og får, men midt i haven stod en blomstrende rosenhæk, under den sad en snegl, den havde meget i sig, den havde sig selv.

"Vent til min tid kommer!" sagde den, "jeg skal udrette noget mere, end at sætte roser, end at bære nødder, eller give mælk, som køer og får!"

"Jeg venter grumme meget af den!" sagde rosenhækken. "Tør jeg spørge, når kommer det?"

"Jeg giver mig tid!" sagde sneglen. "De har nu så meget hastværk! det spænder ikke forventningerne!"

Næste år lå sneglen omtrent på samme sted i solskinnet under rosentræet, der satte knop og udfoldede roser, altid friske, altid nye. Og sneglen krøb halvt frem, strakte ud følehornene, og tog dem til sig igen.

"Alt ser ud, som i fjor! der er ingen fremgang sket; rosentræet bliver ved roserne, videre kommer det ikke!"

Sommeren gik, efteråret gik, rosentræet havde stadigt blomster og knopper lige til sneen faldt, vejret blev råt og vådt, rosentræet bøjede sig mod jorden, sneglen krøb i jorden.

Nu begyndte et nyt år, og roserne kom frem, og sneglen kom frem.

"Nu er De en gammel rosenstok!" sagde den. "De må snart se at gå ud. De har givet verden alt, hvad De har haft i Dem; om det betød noget, er et spørgsmål, jeg ikke havde tid at tænke over; men det er da tydeligt, De har ikke gjort det mindste for Deres indre udvikling, der var ellers kommet noget andet frem af Dem. Kan De forsvare det? De går nu snart op i bare pind! Kan De forstå, hvad jeg siger?"

"De forskrækker mig!" sagde rosenhækken. "Det har jeg aldrig tænkt over!"

"Nej, De har nok aldrig givet Dem meget af med at tænke! har De nogensinde gjort rede for Dem selv, hvorfor De blomstrede, og hvorledes det gik til med at blomstre. Hvorledes og ikke anderledes!"

"Nej!" sagde rosenhækken. "Jeg blomstrede i glæde, for jeg kunne ikke andet. Solen var så varm, luften så forfriskende, jeg drak den klare dug, og den stærke regn; jeg åndede, jeg levede! Der kom fra jorden en kraft op i mig, der kom en kraft fra oven, jeg fornam en lykke, altid ny, altid stor, og derfor måtte jeg altid blomstre; det var mit liv, jeg kunne ikke andet!"

"De har ført et meget mageligt liv!" sagde sneglen.

"Tilvisse! Alt blev givet mig!" sagde rosenhækken; "men Dem blev endnu mere givet! De er en af disse tænkende, dybsindige naturer, en af de højt begavede, der vil forbavse verden!"

"Det har jeg aldeles ikke i sinde!" sagde sneglen. "Verden kommer ikke mig ved! hvad har jeg med verden at gøre? jeg har nok med mig selv og nok i mig selv!"

"Men skal vi ikke alle her på jorden give vor bedste del til de andre! bringe hvad vi kan –! ja, jeg har kun givet roser! – men De? De, som fik så meget, hvad gav De verden? Hvad giver De den?"

"Hvad jeg gav? Hvad jeg giver? jeg spytter af den! den dur ikke! den kommer ikke mig ved. Sæt De roser, De kan ikke drive det videre! lad hasselbusken bære nødder! lad køer og får give mælk; de har hver deres publikum, jeg har mit i mig selv! jeg går ind i mig selv, og der bliver jeg. Verden kommer ikke mig ved!"

Og så gik sneglen ind i sit hus og kittede det til.

"Det er så sørgeligt!" sagde rosentræet. "Jeg kan med bedste vilje ikke krybe ind, jeg må altid springe ud, springe ud i roser. Bladene falder af, de flyver hen i vinden! dog en af roserne så jeg blive lagt i husmoderens salmebog, en af mine roser fik plads ved en ung, dejlig piges bryst og en blev kysset af en barnemund i livsalig glæde. Det gjorde mig så vel, det var en sand velsignelse. Det er min erindring, mit liv!"

Og rosentræet blomstrede i uskyldighed, og sneglen dvaskede i sit hus, verden kom ikke ham ved.

Og åringer gik.

Sneglen var jord i jorden, rosentræet var jord i jorden; også erindringsrosen i salmebogen var vejret hen, - men i haven blomstrede nye rosenhække, i haven voksede nye snegle; de krøb ind i deres hus, spyttede, – verden kom ikke dem ved.

Skal vi læse historien om forfra igen? – Den bliver ikke anderledes.




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