-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 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.