DANSK

Tepotten

ENGLISH

The teapot


Der var en stolt tepotte, stolt af sit porcelæn, stolt af sin lange tud, stolt af sin brede hank; den havde noget forud og bagud, tuden for, hanken bag, og det talte den om; men den talte ikke om sit låg, det var knækket, det var klinket, det havde mangel, og sin mangel taler man ikke gerne om, det gør nok de andre. Kopper, fløde- og sukkerskål, den hele teopstilling ville nok mere huske på lågets skrøbelighed og tale om den, end om den gode hank og den udmærkede tud; det vidste tepotten.

"Jeg kender dem!" sagde den ind i sig selv, "jeg kender også nok min mangel og jeg erkender den, deri er min ydmyghed, min beskedenhed; mangler har vi alle, men man har da også begavelse. Kopperne fik en hank, sukkerskålen et låg, jeg fik nu begge dele og én ting forud, den de aldrig får, jeg fik en tud, den gør mig til dronning på tebordet. Sukkerskålen og flødepotten forundes det at være velsmagens tjenerinder, men jeg er den givende, den rådende, jeg udbreder velsignelsen blandt den tørstende menneskehed; i mit indre forarbejdes de kinesiske blade i det kogende, smagløse vand."

Alt dette sagde tepotten i dens frejdige ungdomstid. Den stod på det dækkede bord, den blev løftet af den fineste hånd; men den fineste hånd var kejtet, tepotten faldt, tuden knak af, hanken knak af, låget er ikke værd at tale om, der er talt nok om det. Tepotten lå besvimet på gulvet, det kogende vand løb ud af den. Det var et svært stød, den fik, og det sværeste var, at de lo, de lo ad den og ikke ad den kejtede hånd.

"Den erindring får jeg nu aldrig ud af mig!" sagde tepotten, når den siden fortalte sig selv sit levnedsløb. "Jeg blev kaldt invalid, sat hen i en krog og dagen derpå foræret bort til en kone, der tiggede madfedt; jeg kom ned i armoden, stod målløs, både ud og ind, men der, som jeg stod, begyndte mit bedre liv; man er ét og bliver et ganske andet. Der blev lagt jord ind i mig; det er for en tepotte at begraves, men i jorden blev lagt et blomsterløg; hvem der lagde det, hvem der gav det, ved jeg ikke, givet blev det, en erstatning for de kinesiske blade og det kogende vand, en erstatning for den afbrudte hank og tud. Og løget lå i jorden, løget lå i mig, det blev mit hjerte, mit levende hjerte, et sådant havde jeg før aldrig haft. Der var liv i mig, der var kraft og kræfter; pulsen slog, løget skød spire, det var ved at sprænges af tanker og følelser; de brød ud i blomst; jeg så den, jeg bar den, jeg glemte mig selv i dens dejlighed; velsignet er det at glemme sig selv i andre! Den sagde mig ikke tak; den tænkte ikke på mig; – den blev beundret og lovprist. Jeg var så glad derover, hvad måtte den da ikke være det. En dag hørte jeg, der blev sagt, at den fortjente en bedre potte. Man slog mig midt over; det gjorde voldsomt ondt; men blomsten kom i en bedre potte, – og jeg blev kastet ud i gården, ligger der som et gammelt skår, – men jeg har erindringen, den kan jeg ikke miste."
There was a proud Teapot, proud of being made of porcelain, proud of its long spout and its broad handle. It had something in front of it and behind it; the spout was in front, and the handle behind, and that was what it talked about. But it didn't mention its lid, for it was cracked and it was riveted and full of defects, and we don't talk about our defects - other people do that. The cups, the cream pitcher, the sugar bowl - in fact, the whole tea service - thought much more about the defects in the lid and talked more about it than about the sound handle and the distinguished spout. The Teapot knew this.

"I know them," it told itself. "And I also know my imperfections, and I realize that in that very knowledge is my humility and my modesty. We all have many defects, but then we also have virtues. The cups have a handle, the sugar bowl has a lid, but of course I have both, and one thing more, one thing they can never have; I have a spout, and that makes me the queen of the tea table. The sugar bowl and the cream pitcher are permitted to be serving maids of delicacies, but I am the one who gives forth, the adviser. I spread blessings abroad among thirsty mankind. Inside of me the Chinese leaves give flavor to boiling, tasteless water."

This was the way the Teapot talked in its fresh young life. It stood on the table that was prepared for tea and it was lifted up by the most delicate hand. But that most delicate hand was very awkward. The Teapot was dropped; the spout broke off, and the handle broke off; the lid is not worth talking about; enough has been said about that. The Teapot lay in a faint on the floor, while the boiling water ran out of it. It was a great shock it got, but the worst thing of all was that the others laughed at it - and not at the awkward hand.

"I'll never be able to forget that!" said the Teapot, when later on it talked to itself about its past life. "They called me an invalid, and stood me in a corner, and the next day gave me to a woman who was begging for food. I fell into poverty, and was speechless both outside and inside, but as I stood there my better life began. One is one thing and then becomes quite another. They put earth in me, and for a Teapot that's the same as being buried, but in that earth they planted a flower bulb. Who put it there and gave it to me, I don't know; but it was planted there, a substitution for the Chinese leaves and the boiling water, the broken handle and spout. And the bulb lay in the earth, inside of me, and it became my heart, my living heart, a thing I never had before. There was life in me; there were power and might; my pulse beat. The bulb put out sprouts; thoughts and feeling sprang up and burst forth into flower. I saw it, I bore it, and I forgot myself in its beauty. It is a blessing to forget oneself in others!

"It didn't thank me, it didn't even think of me - everybody admired it and praised it. It made me very happy; how much more happy it must have made it!

"One day I heard them say it deserved a better pot. They broke me in two - that really hurt - and the flower was put into a better pot; then they threw me out into the yard, where I lie as an old potsherd. But I have my memory; that I can never lose!"




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