beat sterchi

In the Land of Abstrusia

Abstrusia (formally Royaume Abstruse). Abstrusia is a beautiful land. When the caravan treks through Abstrusia the leading camel casts a rosy shadow before the feet of the caravan leader. Even in Abstrusia there is no progress without the shadow of the leading camel. But in Abstrusia the shadow is rosy. The rosy shadow of the leading camel is the compass, the guiding thread and anchor in the desert. Where are the oases in the desert of Abstrusia? The rosy shadow knows. The rosy shadow can point the way. The rosy shadow of the leading camel guides the caravan to the desert spring. The rosy shadow takes the caravan to the palm trees. In Abstrusia you always stop and rest for three days. Under the shadow of the palm trees the caravan leader lies on his back with his arms crossed behind his head. When he wakes up it is night and the gold dust gleams in the black sky, which is a joy to behold. Abstrusia is also beautiful at night, the caravan leader tells the boy who serves the tea. But this oasis is especially beautiful, the caravan leader says. When you have seen all the oases in Abstrusia you will see that I am right. The oasis is called Fata Morgana Seven. Write that behind your ears and remember it well! Nowhere else do the palm trees flutter more friendly, nowhere else does the spring gurgle so happily. But the tea boy already has cold feet. He puts his pencil away, nods and looks forward to continuing the journey. Once more the caravan follows the leading camel over the passes and through the valleys of the Abstrusian desert, without making a single stop the whole day long. The tea boy takes charcoal from his trouser pocket and, as he walks along, lights a small fire in the small stove under the small pot and laughs as the hot sand tickles between his toes. Apart from the precious salt of the earth, firewood and water, the caravan is also laden with gold and silver, ginger and coriander, indigo and crimson.  Some guests are riding along too. Draped in blue robes, Baumann and Conti sit on their camels and offer “a thousand thanks” when the tea boy hands them one of the small cups, before running away, darting from camel to camel, on through the sands of the Abstrusian desert. Towards evening the caravan leader looks at the rosy shadow, which is getting longer and longer. But the caravan leader has done his sums: you can tell the time of the day by the length of the rosy shadow; you can’t go astray in Abstrusian, because the gold dust in the sky will also be there. And the tea boy also has a thing or two written behind his ears.
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