Extracts from Adam’s Diary
Monday – This new creature with the long hair is a good deal in the way. It is always hanging around and following me about.
I don’t like this; I am not used to company. I wish it would stay with the other animals …
Cloudy today, wind in the east; think we shall have rain … we? Where did I get that word – the new creature uses it.
Tuesday – Been examining the great waterfall. It is the finest thing on the estate, I think.
The new creature calls it Niagara Falls – why, I am sure I do not know. Says it looks like Niagara Falls.
That is not a reason, it is mere waywardness and imbecility. I get no chance to name anything myself.
The new creature names everything that comes along, before I can get in a protest.
And always that same pretext is offered – it looks like the thing. There is a dodo, for instance.
Says the moment one looks at it one sees at a glance that it “looks like a dodo”. It will have to keep that name, no doubt.
It wearies me to fret about it, and it does no good, anyway. Dodo! It looks no more like a dodo than I do.
Wednesday – Built me a shelter against the rain, but could not have it to myself in peace.
The new creature intruded. When I tried to put it out it shed water out of the holes it looks with,
and wiped it away with the back of its paws, and made a noise such as some of the other animals make when they are in distress.
I wish it would not talk; it is always talking. That sounds like a cheap fling at the poor creature, a slur; but I do not mean it so.
I have never heard the human voice before,
and any new and strange sound intruding itself here upon the solemn hush of these dreaming solitudes offends my ear and seems a false note.
And this new sound is so close to me; it is right at my shoulder, right at my ear, first on one side and then on the other,
and I am used only to sounds that are more or less distant from me.
Friday – The naming goes recklessly on, in spite of anything I can do.
I had a very good name for the estate, and it was musical and pretty – GARDEN OF EDEN.
Privately, I continue to call it that, but not any longer publicly.
The new creature says it is all woods and rocks and scenery, and therefore has no resemblance to a garden.
Says it looks like a park, and does not look like anything BUT a park.
Consequently, without consulting me, it has been new-named NIAGARA FALLS PARK.
This is sufficiently high-handed, it seems to me. And already there is a sign up:
My life is not as happy as it was.
2010 Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, München
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