FOURTH AND LAST PART.
64. LXIV. THE LEECH.
And Zarathustra went thoughtfully on, further and lower down, through
forests and past moory bottoms; as it happeneth, however, to every one who
meditateth upon hard matters, he trod thereby unawares upon a man. And lo,
there spurted into his face all at once a cry of pain, and two curses and
twenty bad invectives, so that in his fright he raised his stick and also
struck the trodden one. Immediately afterwards, however, he regained his
composure, and his heart laughed at the folly he had just committed.
"Pardon me," said he to the trodden one, who had got up enraged, and had
seated himself, "pardon me, and hear first of all a parable.
As a wanderer who dreameth of remote things on a lonesome highway, runneth
unawares against a sleeping dog, a dog which lieth in the sun:
--As both of them then start up and snap at each other, like deadly
enemies, those two beings mortally frightened--so did it happen unto us.
And yet! And yet--how little was lacking for them to caress each other,
that dog and that lonesome one! Are they not both--lonesome ones!"
--"Whoever thou art," said the trodden one, still enraged, "thou treadest
also too nigh me with thy parable, and not only with thy foot!
Lo! am I then a dog?"--And thereupon the sitting one got up, and pulled
his naked arm out of the swamp. For at first he had lain outstretched on
the ground, hidden and indiscernible, like those who lie in wait for swamp-game.
"But whatever art thou about!" called out Zarathustra in alarm, for he saw
a deal of blood streaming over the naked arm,--"what hath hurt thee? Hath
an evil beast bit thee, thou unfortunate one?"
The bleeding one laughed, still angry, "What matter is it to thee!" said
he, and was about to go on. "Here am I at home and in my province. Let
him question me whoever will: to a dolt, however, I shall hardly answer."