ENGLISH

The little green ones

DANSK

De små grønne


A rose tree drooped in the window. Not so long ago it was green and blooming, but now it looked sickly - something was wrong with it. A regiment of invaders were eating it up; and, by the way, it was a very decent and respectable regiment, dressed in green uniforms. I spoke to one of the invaders; he was only three days old but already a grandfather. Do you know what he said? Well, what he said is all true - he spoke of himself and the rest of the invaders. Listen!

"We're the strangest regiment of creatures in the world! Our young ones are born in the summertime, for the weather is pleasant then. We're engaged and have the wedding at once. When it gets cold we lay our eggs, and the little ones are snug and warm. The ant, that wisest of creatures (we have a great deal of respect for him!), studies us and appreciates us. He doesn't eat us up all at once; instead, he takes our eggs and lays them out on the ground floor of his and his family's anthill - stores layer after layer of them, all labeled and numbered, side by side, so that every day a new one may creep out of the egg. Then he keeps us in a stable, pinches our hind legs, and milks us, and then we die. It is really a great pleasure. The ants have the prettiest name for us - `little milch cow!'

"All creatures who have the common sense that the ant has call us that; it's only humans who don't, and that is an insult great enough to embitter all our lives. Couldn't you write us a protest against it? Couldn't you put those people in their right place? They look at us so stupidly, look at us with jealous eyes, just because we eat rose leaves, while they eat everything that's created, everything that is green or grows. Oh, they give us the most despicable, the most distasteful name: I won't even repeat it! Ugh! It turns my stomach; no, I won't repeat it - at least not when I'm wearing my uniform, and I am always wearing my uniform!

"I was born on a rose leaf. My whole regiment and I live off the rose tree; but then it lives again in us, who are of a higher order of beings. Humans detest us! They come and kill us with soapsuds - that's a horrible drink! I seem to smell it even now; it's dreadful to be washed when you're born not to be washed. Man, you who look at us with your stupid soapsud eyes, consider what our place in nature is; consider our artistic way of laying eggs and breeding children! We have been blessed to accomplish and multiply! We are born on the roses and we die in the roses - our whole life is a lovely poem. Don't call us by that name which you yourself think most despicable and ugly - the name I can't bear to speak or to repeat! Instead, call us the ants' milch cows, the rose-tree regiment, the little green ones!"

And I, the man, stood looking at the tree and at the little green ones - whose name I'll not mention, for I shouldn't like to hurt the feelings of a citizen of the rose tree, a large family with eggs and youngsters. And the soapsuds I was going to wash them in, for I had come with soap and water and evil intentions - I'll blow it to foam and use it for soap bubbles instead. Look at the splendor! Perhaps there's a fairy tale in each. And the bubble grows so large with radiant colors, looking as if there were a silver pearl lying inside it!

The bubble swayed, and drifted to the door, and burst; but the door sprung wide open, and there was Mother Fairy Tale herself! Yes, now she will tell you better than I can about - I won't say the name - the little green ones.

"Tree lice!" said Mother Fairy Tale. "You should call things by their right names; if you do not always dare to do so, you should at least be able to do it in a fairy tale!"
I vinduet stod et rosentræ, nys var det ungdomsfriskt, nu så det sygeligt ud, det led af noget.

Det havde fået indkvartering, der åd det op; forresten meget honnet indkvartering i grøn uniform.

Jeg talte med en af de indkvarterede, han var kun tre dage gammel og allerede oldefader. Ved du, hvad han sagde? Sandt var det, hvad han sagde; han talte om sig og hele indkvarteringen.

"Vi er det mærkeligste regiment af jordens skabninger. I den varme tid føder vi levende unger; vejret er jo da godt; vi forlover os straks og holder bryllup. Mod den kolde tid lægger vi æg; de små ligger lunt. Det viseste dyr, myren, vi har megen agtelse for den, studerer os, vurderer os. Den æder os ikke straks, den tager vore æg, lægger dem i sin og familiens fælles tue, underste etage, lægger os med kendskab og nummer, side om side, lag på lag, at hver dag en frisk kan springe ud af ægget; så sætter de os i stald, klemmer os over bagbenene, malker os, så vi dør; det er en stor behagelighed! Hos dem har vi det yndeligste navn: 'søde lille malkeko!' Alle dyr med myreforstand nævner os således, kun menneskene, og det er os en krænkelse, det er til at miste sin sødme over, – kan De ikke skrive derimod, kan De ikke vise dem til rette, disse menneskene! – de ser så dumt på os, ser med sudle øjne, fordi vi spiser et rosenblad, medens de selv æder al levende skabning, alt, hvad grønnes og gror. De giver os det foragteligste navn, det væmmeligste navn; jeg nævner det ikke, uh! det vender sig i mig! jeg kan ikke sige det, i det mindste ikke i uniform, og jeg er altid i uniform.

Jeg er født på rosentræets blad; jeg og det hele regiment lever af rosentræet, men det lever igen i os, der hører til den højere stillede skabning. Menneskene tåler os ikke; de kommer og dræber os med sæbevand; det er en fæl drik! jeg synes, at jeg lugter den. Det er forfærdeligt at blive vasket, når man er født til ikke at vaskes!

Menneske! Du, som ser på mig med de strenge sæbevandsøjne; tænk over vor plads i naturen, vor kunstige udstyrelse i at lægge æg og levere unger! Vi fik velsignelsen: 'at opfylde og formere!' Vi fødes i roser, vi dør i roser; hele vort liv er poesi. Hæft ikke på os det navn, du finder mest væmmeligt og stygt, det navn –, jeg siger det ikke, nævner det ikke! Kald os myrens malkeko, rosentræets regiment, de små grønne!"

Og jeg, mennesket, stod og så på træet og på de små grønne, hvis navn jeg ikke skal nævne, ikke krænke en rosenborger, en stor familie med æg og levende unger. Sæbevandet, jeg ville vaske dem med, for jeg var kommet med sæbevand og onde hensigter, vil jeg nu piske og blæse i skum, puste sæbebobler, se på den pragt, måske ligger der et eventyr i hver.

Og boblen blev så stor med strålende farver, og der lå i den ligesom en sølvperle på bunden. Boblen svajede, svævede, fløj mod døren og brast, men døren sprang op, og der stod eventyrmor selv.

"Ja nu kan hun fortælle bedre end jeg om – jeg siger ikke navnet! – de små grønne."

"Bladlus!" sagde eventyrmor. "Man skal nævne enhver ting ved sit rette navn, og tør man det ikke i almindelighed, så skal man kunne det i eventyret."




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