You talk as if you thought you was Napoleon Bonaparte." He glared at the youth for a moment, and then strode away.
THE next morning the youth discovered that his tall comrade had been the fast-flying messen- ger of a mistake.
The youth felt, however, that his problem was in no wise lifted from him.
This man's se- rene unconcern dealt him a measure of con- fidence, for he had known him since childhood, and from his intimate knowledge he did not see how he could be capable of anything that was beyond him, the youth. Still, he thought that his comrade might be mistaken about himself.
When Zarathustra had said this, the youth
called out with violent gestures: "Yea, Zarathustra, thou speakest the truth.
From that time the youth never felt lonely as he walked along; he always had company, because he understood the language of birds; and in this way he learned many things which mere human knowledge could never have taught him.
The other replied, 'I do not know, certainly, where she is at present, but in three nights from now she will come to the spring to wash her face, as she does every month when the moon is full, in order that she may never grow old nor wrinkled, but may always keep the bloom of youth.'
The youth immediately resolved to follow the birds to the spring, only two things made him uneasy: first, lest he might be asleep when the birds went, and secondly, lest he might lose sight of them, since he had not wings to carry him along so swiftly.
'Will the youth have the sense not to let himself be caught in her toils?'
'From whence do you come?' 'I know not.' 'Who is your father?' 'That I may not tell you.' 'What is it that you are always muttering between your teeth?' 'Ah,' replied the youth, 'I do so wish I could shudder, but no one can teach me how.' 'Enough of your foolish chatter,' said the waggoner.
But the youth said: 'However difficult it may be, I will learn it.
The king looked at him, and as the youth pleased him, he said: 'You may ask for three things to take into the castle with you, but they must be things without life.' Then he answered: 'Then I ask for a fire, a turning lathe, and a cutting-board with the knife.'