You say you
conceive only in the Spring. How do you control conception? Are
the females only fertile in the Spring?
We pay attention
to balances. Fertility partakes of balance.
You use that
word often. It must have special significance for you.
It is our
knowledge, just as the play between the real and imaginary has
I must ask you
this-how do you know English?
Nescomale was my
But how did he
From his teacher,
Fuscus. That's as far as I know, though I think your language has
been with us always. And it is very pretty in its own way,
though not like the fox's, so roughly eloquent, or like the wild
pigs, earnest and preoccupied. 11
Excuse me, but may
I ask you a question?
Do you have any
cashew nuts? 12
No...no, I dont.
No matter. The
last one of your people I talked with gave me some. I liked them
very much. Some would be good now.
You confound me.
I mean, how can you ask me that. You must have twenty broken
bones-doesnt it hurt?
The pain is very
But you don't
I will, later. It
is not necessary now.
You mean you can
I can manipulate
the necessity of its time, but not its inevitability. To do so
would torture balance.
Is balance like
a religion with you?
No. While we do
have many ceremonies celebrating our being, and respect all that
lies beyond our knowledge, we have no necessity for religion. I
assure you, we know no more of "God" or gods than you. It is one
of our powers. (long pause) You see, because our knowledge is
involved with balance we live very near the center of things.
Your knowledge being the way it is-the precision of extremes-you
live on the edge. For us it takes little energy to maintain our
existence; for you, the amount is huge. It would deform our
being to join you, it would leave the center unmediated-such a
journey! Understand, please, you are exhausting us. We cannot
mediate you much longer. You must return to the point of