-from The Book of Yelps and Growls

Once upon a time there was a red castle on an island in the middle of the ocean. In the castle lived a sour man who liked to call himself The Negation of Everything.
He wore long pants with stripes and kept his fingernails short. He had a passion for chess and dead art. With these two interests he passed the time while he waited for his seven wives to awaken. They had been sleeping for seven years.
This he attributed to woman’s laziness.

The Negation of Everything had a stout old servant named Gelda. In the evenings when she brought him his dinner he would sometimes try to seize her and kiss her, but she would push him away saying “Ach! You are as sour as old milk! Don’t touch me.” Then he would glower at her with hunched shoulders and imagine her suffering evils. But Gelda did not care because she was like an old horse with thick hooves.

One night a man came to the door of the castle. He was a pilgrim and was looking for suffering. Unfortunately, he was unlucky, and could not get what he wanted.
He knocked - Clang! And thunder-echo! - on the great wooden door.
“Gelda! Open the door!” cried The Negation of Everything, pointing his finger.

--(Untranslateable section including several colloquialisms and one proverb concerning ideas specific to the culture in which the story originated.)--

The next day The Negation of Everything took the pilgrim arm-in-arm to show him the Garden of Dead Sculptures. It was here that the pilgrim’s bad luck left him, for he fell in love with a dead statue and found his suffering. She was cold and beautiful and dead-weight marble, and when he tried to steal her later that night (for of course he had to have her) she fell upon him and broke his head. In the morning Gelda found him and her screams woke the seven sleeping wives of The Negation of Everything. They flew out of the castle window and into the trees and the unhealthiness of their arguments brought pestilence upon the island.

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