No sense in assuming an academic tone, we’re in the woods, after all. Peculiarities abound. Here the hedgehogs can be coniferous or deciduous, occasionally mixed. Vegetarian lions prance through the meadows. Snails and deer: they’ve both got horns. Otherwise you grasp for similarities in vain. A squirrel suffering from amnesia cannot recall where it hid its salubrious nuts last autumn. The butterflies while away the hours tracing nonsensical poems in the heated air. They say that butterflies are the souls of wilted flowers. Most likely this doesn’t concern domesticated flowers—perhaps this is why it is so hard to tame a butterfly. We make all these conjectures, however, with no scientific basis. There are too many butterflies and flowers here to make room for scientists. And only every so often the light flashes, and the woods fall still. The woodpecker stabs his beak into a tree trunk. The wolves stretch open their mouths. Silence falls. The cage closes, everyone keeps on drinking from the mud puddle.
This text was based upon Zbigniew Batko’s novel Z powrotem, czyli fatalne skutki niewłaściwych lektur [Returning, or: The Dire Consequences of Reading the Wrong Books] (Warsaw, 1985). Edited by: Nadia Dziurdzia