38. XXXVIII. SCHOLARS.
When I lay asleep, then did a sheep eat at the ivy-wreath on my head,--it
ate, and said thereby: "Zarathustra is no longer a scholar."
It said this, and went away clumsily and proudly. A child told it to me.
I like to lie here where the children play, beside the ruined wall, among
thistles and red poppies.
A scholar am I still to the children, and also to the thistles and red
poppies. Innocent are they, even in their wickedness.
But to the sheep I am no longer a scholar: so willeth my lot--blessings
For this is the truth: I have departed from the house of the scholars, and
the door have I also slammed behind me.
Too long did my soul sit hungry at their table: not like them have I got
the knack of investigating, as the knack of nut-cracking.
Freedom do I love, and the air over fresh soil; rather would I sleep on ox-skins
than on their honours and dignities.
I am too hot and scorched with mine own thought: often is it ready to take
away my breath. Then have I to go into the open air, and away from all
But they sit cool in the cool shade: they want in everything to be merely
spectators, and they avoid sitting where the sun burneth on the steps.
Like those who stand in the street and gape at the passers-by: thus do
they also wait, and gape at the thoughts which others have thought.
Should one lay hold of them, then do they raise a dust like flour-sacks,
and involuntarily: but who would divine that their dust came from corn,
and from the yellow delight of the summer fields?