Martin Auer: The Strange War, Stories for Peace Education

   
 

The Slave

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Translated by Kim Martin Metzger

Reviewed by Martin Auer

The Dreamer
The Blue Boy
Planet of the Carrots
Fear
Fear Again
The Strange People from Planet Hortus
When the Soldiers Came
Two Fighters
Man Against Man
The Great War on Mars
The Sun and the Moon
The Slave
The Farmers who Were Good at Numbers
The Strange War
Arobanai
Star Snake
Traffic Jam
At Your Own Doorstep
The Two Prisoners
Justice
The Bewitched Islands
Money
In the War
The Story of a Good King
Report to the United Solar Systems' Council
Open Words
The Bomb
Foreword
Author's comments
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About the Author
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A man had a slave. And the slave had to do all the chores for him. The slave washed the man, combed his hair, cut up his food, and put it in his mouth. The slave wrote the man’s letters for him, shined his shoes for him, darned his socks for him, chopped the wood for him, and lit the fire in the stove. When the man saw some raspberries while taking a walk, the slave had to pick them and put them in his mouth. To keep the slave from running away, the man always kept him on a chain. Day and night, he had to hold on to him and haul him around, or he would have run away. In the other hand, the man always carried a whip because when the slave pulled on the chain and yanked at it, the man had to whip him. Then when his arms hurt, and he was exhausted from whipping him, the man swore at the slave, and at the chain, and generally at everything.

Sometimes he secretly dreamed of the times when he was still young and didn’t yet have a slave. In those times he could still roam through the woods free as a bird and pick raspberries without this constant tugging and tearing at the chain. Now he couldn’t even go to the can by himself. In the first place, because the slave would have run away, and in the second place: who would have wiped his butt? He himself couldn’t free up either hand for that.

One time when he was bellyaching like that, someone said to him: "Well, if it’s so terrible, why don’t you let the slave go free?"

"Sure," said the man, "so he can kill me!" But secretly the man dreamed of freedom.

And the slave? Did he dream of freedom too? No, he had long ago given up dreaming of freedom. The only thing he dreamed of was of being the master himself and leading the man around on a chain and whipping him and making him wipe his butt. That’s what he dreamed of!

   
 

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