This is how you raise strong children
A learned man once went from the northern regions of Europe on a journey south. One night he was sitting on his terrace while the fire behind him cast his shadow on the balcony opposite. As he sat there, the man watched with amusement as his shadow mimicked his every move, as if he were really sitting on the other balcony. When he finally got tired and went to sleep, he imagined the shadows as he did in the house across the street.
The next morning, however, the man was surprised to find that he really had lost his shadow overnight. However, when a new shadow grew out of his toes, he stopped thinking about it and returned to Northern Europe to write again.
Several years passed before a man knocked on his door one night. To his surprise, it was his shadow that he had lost in Africa years ago. This shadow now stood in his front door with an almost perfect human appearance. Astonished by his sudden reappearance, the learned man invited him to his house. They both sat by the fireplace, where the shadow told the man how he had become a man himself.
The learned man was a calm and meek person. His main interests were good, beauty and truth. These were the subjects he often wrote about, but didn’t seem to interest anyone else. The shadow told his master that he did not understand the world, but that he himself had seen the real world, with its wickedness and the bad people in it.
The shadow grew larger and livelier over the years as the writer became thinner and paler. Eventually, the man became so sick that his former shadow suggested a trip to a spa at his own expense, but on the condition that the former shadow himself could act as a gentleman, while the writer had to pretend to be the shadow. As absurd as this suggestion sounded, in the end the learned man accepted it. Together they went on trips and the shadow played the gentlemen. In the spa, the shadow met a beautiful princess. After they had talked and danced together for a night, the princess fell in love with the shadows.
Shortly before the wedding came, the shadow offered his former master a high position in the palace, under the Condition that this now finally became its own shadow. The writer immediately refused and threatened to tell the princess everything, but the shadow arrested him. Hypocritical, he met the Princess and told her:
I have experienced the most horrible thing you can experience! ?? said the shadow, ?? think you ?? such a poor shadow brain can’t stand much! ?? think my shadow has gone crazy He thinks he is human and I ?? just think ?? I would be his shadow! ??
"It’s terrible," said the princess, "he’s locked up ???"
??That’s him! I’m afraid he’ll never get his mind back. ??
Poor shadow! said the princess, “he is very unhappy. It would be a real boon to free him of the little life he has. If I think about it correctly, I think it will be necessary to settle it with him in silence.
When the shadow and the princess married later that night, the learned man was already dead.
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