Now consider the tortoise and the eagle.
The tortoise is a ground-living creature. It is impossible to live nearer the ground without being under it. Its horizons are a few inches away. It has about as good a turn of speed as you need to hunt down a lettuce. It has survived while the rest of evolution flowed past it by being, on the whole, no threat to anyone and too much trouble to eat.
-Terry Pratchet, Small Gods.
En nog een – maar die keer erens in die middel van die boek. Ek vrek oor die Feegles se aksent.
‘They want tae get married?’
‘A lot o’ them do, aye,’ said Billy.
‘So there’s nae more boozin’, stealin’ an’ fighting?’
‘Hey, ah’m still allowed some boozin’ an’ stealin’ an’ fightin’!’ said Rob Anybody.
‘Aye, Rob, but we cannae help noticin’ ye also have tae do the Explainin’, too,’ said Daft Wullie.
There was a general nodding from the crowd. To Feegles, Explaining was a dark art. It was just so hard.
‘Like, when we come back from boozin’, stealin’ an’ fightin’, Jeannie gives ye the pursin’ o’ the lips,’ Daft Wullie went on.
A moan went up from all the Feegles: ‘Ooooh, save us from the pursin’ o’ the lips!’
‘An’ there’s the foldin’ o’ the arms,’ said Wullie, because he was even scaring himself.
‘Oooooh, waily, waily, waily, the foldin’ o’ the arms!’ the Feegles cried, tearing at their hair.
‘Not tae mention the tapping o’ the feets…’ Wullie stopped, not wanting to mention the tapping o’ the feets.
‘Aargh! Ooooo! No’ the tappin’ o’ the feets!’ Some of the Feegles started to bang their heads on trees.
‘Aye, aye, aye, BUT,’ said Rob Anybody desperately, ‘what youse dinnae ken is that is part o’ the hiddlins o’ husbandry.’
Feegles looked at one another. There was silence except for the creak of a small tree as it fell over.
‘We never heard o’ any sich thing, Rob,’ said Big Yan.
‘Well, an’ ah’m no’ surprised! Who’d tell ye? Ye ain’t married! Ye
dinnae get the po-et-ic symi-tree o’ the whole thing. Gather roound
till I tell ye…’
Rob looked around to see if anyone apart from
about five hundred Feegles was watching him, and went on: ‘See… first
ye get the boozin’ an’ the fightin’ an’ the stealin’, OK. An’ when you
get back tae the mound it’s time for the tappin’ o’ the feets–’
‘- an’ the foldin’ o’ the arms–’
‘- an’, o’ course, the pursin’ o’ the lips and– will ye scunners knock it off wi’ the groanin’ before I starts bangin’ heids together! Right?‘
All the Feegles fell silent, except for one:
‘Oh, waily, waily, waily! Ohhhhhhh! Aaarrgh! The pursin’… o’… the–’
He stopped, and looked around in embarrassment.
‘Daft Wullie?’ said Rob Anybody, with icy patience.
‘Ye ken I told yez there wuz times ye should listen to whut I was sayin’?’
‘That was one o’ them times.’
Daft Wullie hung his head. ‘Sorry, Rob.’
‘Aye! Now, where wuz I…? Oh, aye… we get the lips an’ the arms an’ the feets, OK? An’ then–’
‘I’s time for the Explainin’!’ said Daft Wullie.
‘Aye!’ snapped Rob Anybody. ‘Any one o’ youse mudling want to be the one who dares tae do the Explainin’?’
He looked around.
The Feegles shuffled backwards.
‘Wi’ the kelda a-pursin’ an’ a-foldin’ an’ a-tappin’,’ Rob went on in a
voice of Doom. ‘An’ that look in her bonny aye that says: “This
Explanation had better be really guid”? Well? Do ye?’
By now Feegles were crying and chewing the edges of their kilts in terror.
‘No, Rob,’ they murmured.
‘No, aye!’ said Rob Anybody triumphantly. ‘Ye wouldnae! That’s because you don’t have the knowin’ o’ the husbandry!’
-Terry Pratchet – Wintersmith.