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Tue May 10, 2011 12:03 pm

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There was once a king's son, no one had so many or such beautiful books as he had. He could read about everything that ever happened in this world and see it all represented in the most beautiful pictures. He could get information on every nation and every country but the place where the Garden of Paradise could be found, no word he could find, and this was quite what he thought most about. His grandmother had told him when he was a boy and his school life was about to begin, that every flower in the garden of Paradise was a delicious cake, and that the pistils were full of wine. In one flower history was written in another geography or tables, you only had the cake and you knew the lesson. The more you ate, the more history, geography and tables that you knew. All this he believed then, but as he grew older and wiser and learned more, he easily perceived that the delights of the garden of Paradise must be far beyond this.

"Oh, why Eve from the tree of knowledge? Why did Adam eat the forbidden fruit? If only I would not have happened! never would sin in the world! '

This is what he said, and he said when he was seventeen, his thoughts were full of the Garden of Paradise.

He walked into the woods one day, he was alone, because that was his greatest pleasure. Evening came, the clouds and sent it rained as if the whole sky had become a sluice where the water poured in sheets, it was so dark as it is different in the deepest well. Now he slipped on the wet grass, and he fell on the bare stones which jutted out from the rocky ground. Everything was dripping, and finally the poor Prince had a dry thread on him. He had to climb over large rocks where the water flowed out from the thick moss. He was almost fainting, especially when he heard a strange murmuring and saw in him a great illuminated cave. A fire burned in the middle, big enough to roast a deer that was in fact done, a beautiful stag with its huge antlers was stuck on a spit, as it slowly turned round between the hewn trunks of two pine trees. An oldish woman, tall and strong enough for a man dressed up, sat by the fire to throw at the logs from time to time.

"Come in, by all means!" she said, "sit by the fire, so your clothes to dry!"

"There is a shocking design here," said the prince, as he sat down on the ground.

"It will be worse than this with my sons to come home!" the woman said. "You are in the cave of the winds, my sons are the four winds of the world! Do you understand? '

"Who are your sons?" asked the prince.

"Well that's not so easy to answer as the question was put stupid," the woman said. "My sons do what they want, playing rounders now with the clouds up there in the hall," and she pointed to the sky.

'Oh indeed! " said the prince. "You seem very loud, and you're not as soft as the women I generally see about me!"

"Oh, I dare say they have nothing else to do! I must be tough when my boys under control! But I can do, though a stiff neck much! See those four sacks hanging on the wall? They are as afraid of them as you used the reeds behind the mirror. I can double the boys, I can tell you, and then they have to go into the bag, we are not on ceremony, and it must remain, they can not play their tricks until he suits me to let them. But here we have one of them. "It was the North Wind, which came with an icy blast, great hailstones peppered about the floor and snowflakes drifted in. He was dressed in bearskin trousers and jacket, and he had a Sealskin cap pulled over his ears. Long icicles were hanging from his beard, and one hailstone after another dropped off the collar of his coat.

"Do not go directly to the fire," said the prince. "You could easily chilblains!

Winter Hands! " said the Northwind with a loud laugh. Winter Hands! They are my greatest joy! What kind of a small creature are you? How did you get into the cave of the winds? '

"He is my guest," the woman said, "and if you are not satisfied with that explanation you can go in the bag! Now you know my opinion!"

This had its effect, and the Northwind told them where he came from, and where he had worked for the last month.

"I'm from the Arctic seas," he said. "I have been on Behring Island with the Russian walrus-hunters. I sat at the helm and slept when they sailed from the North Cape, and when I woke up now and then the stormy petrels were flying about my legs. They are queer birds, they provide a solid flap their wings, and then they stretched and immobile, and even then they have enough speed. "

"Pray not too lengthy," said the mother of the wind. "So in the end you have to Behring Island!"

"It's perfectly wonderful! There you have a floor to dance to, as flat as a pancake, half-thawed snow, with moss. There were bones of whales and polar bears to lie, they appeared on the legs and arms of giants covered with green mold. One would think that the sun never shone on them. I gave a little puff to the fog so we could see the barn. It was a house built of wreckage and covered with the skins of whales, the flesh side was turned outwards, it was all red and green, a live polar bear sat on the roof growling. I went to the bank and watched the bird nests, watched the inexperienced boy screaming and gaping, when I blew thousands of their throats and they learned to their mouths. Lower down the walruses were rolling about like monster maggots with pigs heads and teeth a yard long! '

"You're a good storyteller, my boy!" said his mother. "It makes my mouth water to hear you!"

"Then there was a yacht! The harpoons were plunged into the walruses' breasts, and the steaming blood spurted out of them like fountains over the ice. Then I remembered my part of the game! I blew and made my ships, the mountain high icebergs, nip the boats; whew! how they whistled and how they cried, but I whistled louder. They were obliged to the dead walruses, chests and ropes to throw away on ice! I shook the snowflakes on them and let them drift south to the salt water to taste. They will never come back to Behring Island! '

"When you've been hurt!" said the mother of the wind.

"What I did well, others can tell you," he said. "But here we have my brother from the west, I like him best of all, he smells the sea and brings a wonderful cool breeze with him!"

"Is that little Zephyr?" asked the prince.

"Yes, certainly it is Zephyr, but he is not as much as all that. He used a pretty boy once, but that's over! '

He looked like a wild man of the woods, but he had a padded hat not to come to any harm. He carried a mahogany club cut in the American mahogany forests. Could not be less than that.

"Where are you from?" asked his mother.

"From the forest wildernesses! he said, 'where the thorny creepers make a fence between every tree, where the water hose is in the wet grass, and where human beings seem to be superfluous! "

"What were you doing there?"

"I watched the mighty river, saw where it paused over the rocks into dust and flew with the clouds to carry the rainbow. I saw the wild buffalo swimming in the river, but the current carried him away, he drove with the wild duck, who rose to the sky on the rapids, but was transferred to the water buffalo. I liked that and blew a gale, so the primal trees had to sail, and they were turned around like curls. '

"And you have not done anything else?" asked the old woman.

"I'm turning somersaults in the savannas, the ticking of the wild horses, and shakes cocoa nuts! Oh yeah, I have enough stories to tell! But one need not tell everything. You know very well, old woman! 'And then he kissed his mother so heartily that she nearly fell backwards, he was indeed a wild boy.

The Southwind appeared now in a turban and a flowing bedouin's cloak.

"It is scary cold here," he said, throwing wood on the fire, "it's easy to see that North Wind was here first!"

"It is hot enough here to roast a polar bear," said the Northwind.

"You're a polar bear yourself!" said the Southwind.

"Will you go in the bag?" asked the old woman. "Sit on the stone and tell us where you've been."

"In Africa, mother!" he replied. "I'm chasing the lion with the Hottentots Kaffraria! What's on the grass plains! as green as an olive. The gnu was dancing about, and the ostriches ran races with me, but I'm still the fastest. I went to the desert with its yellow sand. It seems that the bottom of the sea. I met a caravan! They were killing their last camel to get water to drink, but it was not much they got. The sun was bright above, and the burning sand below. There were no limits to the desert. Then I nested in the fine sand and turned it loose in Great column - it was a dance! You should have seen how despondently the dromedaries stood, and the merchant drew his caftan over his head. He threw himself at me as if I am Allah, his god. Now they are buried, and there is a pyramid of sand over them all, and when I blow, once the sun will bleach their bones, and then people will see that people have been there before, otherwise you would hardly believe in the desert! '

"Then you have only to cause damage!" said the mother. "In the bag you go!" And before he knew where he was she had Southwind by the waist and in the bag, but rolled on the ground, but went on and it had to be quiet.

"Your sons are lively fellows!" said the prince.

"Yes, indeed," she said, "but I can master! Here comes the fourth. "

It was the East Wind, and he was dressed as a Chinese.

"Oh, you're in that corner?" said the mother. "I thought you were in the Garden of Paradise. "

"I'm just going there tomorrow!" said the East Wind. "It is a one hundred years tomorrow since I've been there. I have just come from China, where I danced around the porcelain tower to all the bells rang. The officials were flogged in the streets, the bamboo canes were broken over their shoulders, and they were all men, ranging from first to ninth grade. She screamed "Many thanks, Father and benefactor," but they did not say what she said, and went on ringing the bells and singing "Tsing, tsang, tsu!" '

"You are pretty stormy over!" said the old woman. "It's a good thing you're going to the Garden of Paradise until tomorrow, but always has a good effect on your behavior. Mind you drink deep the well of wisdom, and apply some bottleful home for me. '

"I will," said the East Wind, "Why have you brought my brother from the south in the bag? With him. He must tell me about the phoenix, the princess always wants to hear about that bird when I call every one hundred years. Open the bag! then you my dearest mother, and I give you two bags of tea as green and fresh as when I picked him! '

"Well, because of the tea, and because you're my darling, I will open my bag!"

She opened it and the Southwind crept out, but he was very disappointed, because the strange Prince had seen his disgrace.

"Here is a palm leaf for the Princess! 'Said the Southwind. "The old phoenix, the only one in the world, gave it to me. He scratched his history with his bill for one hundred years of his life, and she can read for themselves. I saw the phoenix fire his own nest and sat on it while it burned, like the widow of a Hindu. Oh, how the dry branches creaked, how it smoked, and what a smell was there! At last it all flame, the old bird was burnt to ashes, but his egg lay glowing in the fire, but broke with a loud bang and the young flew. now rules over all birds, and it is the only Phoenix in the world. He bit a hole in the magazine that I you gave, that is his greeting to the Princess. "

"Let's get something to eat now!" said the mother of the winds, and they all sit down to eat the roast stag, and the prince sat at the side of the East Wind, so they quickly became good friends.

"I say," said the Prince, "tell me who is this princess and where is the garden of paradise?"

"Oh ho!" said the East Wind, "as that's where you want to go you must fly with me until tomorrow. But I may as well tell you that there is no man since the days of Adam and Eve. You know everything about them I think, your Bible stories? '

"Sure," said the prince.

"When they were expelled from the Garden of Eden sank into the ground, but it kept the warm sunshine, mild air, and all its charms. The queen of the fairies lives there. The island of bliss, where death never comes, and where life is a joy, is there. Get on my back tomorrow and I will with me, I think I can manage! But you must not talk now, I want to sleep. '

When the prince awoke in the early morning, he was not a little surprised to discover that he was high above the clouds. He sat on the back of the East Wind, who held him gently, they were so high that the forests and fields, rivers and lakes, looked like a large colored map.

"Good morning," said the East Wind. "You may as well sleep a bit longer, because there is not much to see in this flat country below us, unless you want to count the churches. They look like chalk dots on the green board. '

He called the fields and meadows' the green board. "

"It was very rude of me to leave without saying goodbye to your mother and brothers," said the prince.

'One is excused when one is asleep! " said the East Wind, and they flew on faster than ever. You could mark their flight by the rustling of the trees as they passed over the woods, and when a lake or sea crossing, the waves rose and the great ships dipped low in the water, like floating swans. Towards evening the large towns were amusing as it was dark, with all their lights now here, now there, like when you burn a piece of paper and see all the little sparks like children coming home from school. The Prince clapped his hands, but the East Wind told him he had better go out and hold, or he would fall and find himself hanging on a church tower.

The eagle flew into the forest quickly, but the East Wind flew faster still. The Kossack on his horse flew quickly across the plain, but the prince flew even faster.

"Now you see the Himalayas!" said the East Wind. "They are the highest mountains in Asia, we will soon reach Garden of Paradise."

They took a more southerly direction, and the air was scented with herbs and flowers. Figs and pomegranates grew wild, and wild vines were covered with blue and green grapes. They both descended here and stretched themselves on the soft grass, where the flowers nodded to the wind, so much to say, 'Welcome back. "

"Are we in the garden of paradise now?" asked the prince.

"Certainly not!" said the East Wind. "But we'll be there soon. You see that wall of rock and the large cave where the wild vine hangs like a big curtain? We have to go through there! Wrap yourself in your cloak, the sun is burning here, but one step further on it's freezing. The bird which flies past the cavern has one wing here in the heat of summer, and the other is in the cold of winter. '

"So that is the way to the Garden of Paradise! "Said the prince.

Now, they entered the cave. Oh, how was it icy cold, but it did not last. The East Wind spread his wings, and they shone like the brightest flame, but what a cave it was! Large blocks of stone from which the water dripped, hung over them in the most extraordinary forms, at one point was so low and narrow that they had to crawl on hands and knees, the following was so wide and tall as if they were given the outdoors. It looked like a chapel of the dead, with mute organ pipes and petrified banners.

"We seem to be traveling along the road of death to the Garden of Paradise! "Said the prince, but the East Wind never answered a word, he only pointed before them where a beautiful blue light shone. The blocks of stone above them grew dimmer and dimmer, and finally they were as transparent as a white cloud in the moonlight. The air was soft, as fresh as the mountain peaks and fragrant as down among the roses in the valley.

A river ran there as clear as the air itself, and the fish in it were gold and silver. Purple eel, which gave out blue sparks with every curve, jump around in the water, and the broad leaves of water lilies were tinged with the colors of the rainbow, while the flower itself was like a fiery orange flame, nourished by the water just as oil keeps a lamp lit. A firm bridge of marble, delicately carved and expertly as it were lace and glass beads, led over the water to the island of bliss, where the Garden of Paradise bloomed.

The East Wind took the prince in his arms and carried him over. The flowers and leaves there sang all the beautiful old songs of his youth, but she sang more delicious than a human voice could sing them.

Were these palm trees or giant water plants grow here? The prince had never seen such rich and mighty trees. The most beautiful climbing plants hung in wreaths, are found only as depicted in gold and colors on the margins of the ancient books of the Saints or entwined among their initial letters. It was the most extraordinary combination of birds, flowers and curls.

On the grass near a flock of peacocks with their brilliant tails outspread stood. Yes, indeed, it seemed so, but when the Prince touched them he saw that they were not birds, but plants. They were big dock leaves, which shone like peacocks' tails. Lions and tigers sprang like agile cats among the green hedges, scented with the blossom of the olive, and the lion and the tiger were tame. The wild dove, glistening like a pearl, hit the lion's mane with his wings, and the antelope, usually so shy, stood by nodding, as if he wanted the game.

The fairy of the garden now advanced to meet them, her dress shone like the sun, and her face shone like that of a happy mother's joy over her child. She was young and very beautiful, and was surrounded by a band of pretty girls, each with a shining star in her hair.

When the East Wind gave her the inscribed leaf from the Phoenix's eyes shone with joy. She took the prince the hand and led him to her palace, where the walls were the color of the brightest tulips in the sunlight. The ceiling was a large, bright flowers, and the longer one gazed into the deeper the cup seemed to be. The Prince went to the window and looks through one of the windows saw the Tree of Knowledge, the serpent and Adam and Eve ready.

"Are they not driven out? "He asked, and the Fairy smiled, and explained that Time had a picture in each pane burned, but not the kind one usually sees, they were alive, the leaves on the trees moved, and people came and went, as the reflections in a mirror.

Then he looked through another window, and saw Jacob's dream, with the ladder going straight up to heaven, and angels with big wings fluttering up and down. Everything that ever happened in this world lived and moved the panes, only time can such a beautiful photo prints.

The Fairy smiled and led him into a large, high space, the walls were like transparent paintings of faces, each more beautiful than the other. These were millions of the Blessed who smiled and sang, and all their songs melted into one perfect melody. The highest they were so small that they seemed smaller than the smallest Rosebud, no larger than a pinpoint in a drawing. In the middle of the room stood a large tree, with handsome tree branches, golden apples, large and small, hung like oranges among its green leaves. It was the tree of knowledge, whose fruit Adam and Eve ate. From each leaf hung a shining red drop of dew, it was as if the tree wept tears of blood.

"Now let us in the boat," said the fairy. "We will find refreshment on the swelling waters. The boat rocks, but not move, all countries of the world will pass before our eyes. "

It was a strange sight to see the whole coast move. This was lofty snow-capped Alps, with their clouds and dark fir trees. The horn sounded unfortunately among them, and the shepherd yodelled sweet in the valleys. Then broker trees bent their long drooping branches over the boat, black swans float on the water, and the strangest animals and flowers appeared on the shore. This was New Holland, the fifth part of the world, which they glided, in view of the blue mountains. They heard the song of the priests, and the dances of the savages saw the sound of drums and pipes of bone. The pyramids of Egypt to the clouds, with fallen columns and Sphynx half buried in the sand, next sailed past them. Then came the Aurora Borealis blazing over the tops of the north, they were fireworks that could not be imitated. The Prince was delighted, and he saw a hundred times more than we have described.

"Can I stay here always?" he asked.

"That depends on you," replied the Fairy. "If you do not like Adam, you will be enticed to do what is forbidden, you can always stay here."

"I will not be the apples on the tree of knowledge to get," said the Prince. "There are thousands of other fruits here as beautiful."

Test yourself, and if you are not strong enough, then go back to the East Wind that brought you. He is going away, and will not return for another one hundred years, time will fly this place a hundred or so hours, but that's a long time for temptation and sin. Every night when I leave you I must say, "Come with me," and I must beckon to you, but remain behind. Do not come with me, because with every step you take your desire will grow stronger. Reach the hall where grows the tree of knowledge, I sleep under its fragrant drooping branches. You will bend over me and I smile, but if you a kiss on my lips Paradise will sink deep into the earth, and it will be lost to you. The sharp wind of the desert will whistle at you, the cold rain will fall from your hair. Sadness and labor will be your fate. '

"I will stay here!" said the prince.

And the East Wind kissed him on the mouth and said, "Be strong, we will meet again in a one hundred years. Goodbye! Goodbye! "And the East Wind spread his great wings, they shone like poppies at the harvest time, or in a cold northern winter.

"Good-bye! Good-bye! 'Whispered the flowers. Storks and pelicans flew in a line like waving ribbons, conducting him to the borders of the Garden.

"Now we begin our dances!" said the Fairy, "at the end, when I dance with you when the sun goes down you'll see me invite you and say," Come with me ", but not come. I must repeat each night for a one hundred years . Every time you can resist, you stronger, and finally do not even think of next. To-night is the first time. Remember my warning! "

And the Fairy led him into a great hall of white transparent lilies, yellow stamens in each formed a golden harp, the sound of strings and flutes echoed. Beautiful girls, slim and lithe, dressed in floating gauze, their exquisite limbs, glided in the dance, and sang revealed the joy of life - that she would never die - and the Garden of Paradise would ever bloom.

The sun was setting and the sky was bathed in golden light which gave the lilies the effect of roses, and the Prince drank of the foaming wine handed to him by the girls. He felt such joy as he had never known before, he saw the light of the hall opening where the Tree of Knowledge stood in a Radiancy that blinded him. The song was coming from the soft and beautiful like his mother's voice, and she seemed to say: "My child, my beloved child!"

Then the Fairy beckoned to him and said so tenderly, "Come with me," he rushed towards her, forgetting his promise, forgetting everything on the first night she smiled and beckoned him.

The smell of the scented air around stronger, the harps sounded sweeter than ever, and it seemed that the millions of smiling heads in the room where the tree grew nodded and sang, "One must know everything. Man is the Lord of the earth. "They were no longer tears of blood that fell from the tree, it seemed to him that they were red shining stars.

"Come with me, come with me," said the trembling tones, and at every step of the prince cheeks burned hotter and hotter and his blood coursed more rapidly.

"I must go," he said, "it's not a sin, I must see her asleep, nothing is lost if I did not kiss her, and I will not do. My will is strong. '

The Fairy dropped her shimmering garment, drew the branches, and a moment after was hidden in their depths.

"I have not sinned!" said the Prince, "nor will I," then he pulled back the branches. There she slept already, beautiful as only the Fairy in the Garden of Paradise can be. She smiled in her dreams, he bent over her and saw the tears in her eyes Welling up.

"Are you crying for me?" he whispered. "Do not cry, pretty girl. I only now understand the full bliss of Paradise, the spikes in my blood and my thoughts. I feel the power of the angels and eternal life in my mortal limbs! If it ever night for me, a moment like this was worth it! "And he kissed away the tears from her eyes, his mouth touched her.

Then came a sound like thunder, louder and worse than he had ever heard, and everything around collapsed. The beautiful Fairy, the flowery Paradise sank deeper and deeper. The Prince saw it sink into the darkness of the night, it seemed far away when a tiny twinkling star. The chill of death crept over his limbs, he closed his eyes and lay long as if dead.

The cold rain fell on his face, and the sharp wind blew around his head, and at last his memory came back. "What have I done?" he sighed. "I have sinned like Adam, sinned so heavily that Paradise has sunk low beneath the earth!" And he opened his eyes, he was still the star, the distant star shone like Paradise to see it was the morning star in the sky. He got up and stood in the forest near the cave of the winds, and the mother of the wind was at his side. She looked angry and raised her hand.

"So once the first night!" she said. "I thought so, if you're my boy, you have to go in the bag!"

"Ah, he is soon to go there!" said Death. He was a strong old man with a scythe in his hand and big black wings. "He will be laid down in a coffin, but not now, I only mark him and let him for a time to wander the earth to atone for his sins and grow better. I will take some time. When he least expects me, I will come back, put him in a black coffin, put it on my head, and fly to the sky. The Garden of Paradise blooms there too, and if he is good and holy he shall enter into, but if his thoughts are bad and his heart still full of sin, he will sink deeper in his coffin than Paradise sank, and I will only go once in one thousand years to see if he is to go deeper sink or rise to the stars, the twinkling stars up there. "



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