Drunter und Drüber
From the Publisher...
How the people of Schilda went about rebuilding their town.
The stupidity of the inhabitants of the town of Schilda is legendary. Every sort of craziness can be found within their city walls. Once they built a triangular Town Hall, hoping that such a remarkable building would make their town world-famous. Once finished they soon noticed that inside it was very dark and gloomy. So every available person was set to collecting sunshine in buckets and baskets and then hauling it into the building. But it didn't help. Next they tried taking off the roof. This let plenty of sunshine in, unfortunately it also allowed in plenty of rain. It was some time before one of the cleverer Schildans noticed that they'd forgotten to build any windows. One day a cat found it's way into Schilda. The townspeople had never seen a cat before, and they decided that this "Mousedog", as they called must be a very dangerous beast indeed. The cry came forth, "How can we rid our town of this fearful creature?". The only method seemed to be to smoke it out, so they set fire to the Town Hall where the cat was resting. The cat quickly decided that this was no comfortable resting place, so it sprang across to the next building. So the Schildans set fire to that too, and to the next building, when the cat moved on. Further and further the cat ran, and more and more was put to flame, until the whole town was alight.
The next morning the townsfolk breathed easy. Their town was free of the dreadful menace of the Mousedog, which was sunning itself on the meadows outside the town. But when they returned to their houses all they found were soot and ashes. What now? Some of the folk were for packing up their few remaining possessions and moving to another town but they were halted by the voice of the Mayor. "Stop people!, let us build Schilda anew, Schilda can become the most famous town in the World. We'll build many museums so that Schilda will be known worldwide as the Town of Art." But we've got no exhibits to put into the Museums", remarked the Shoemaker's wife acutely, "No problem" rejoined the Mayor, "We'll build the museums without windows, then no one will be able to see that the walls are empty."The Publican was the first to pick up on the Mayor's ideas, Yes, and we'll build lots of pubs, very tall and narrow, they'll be the only pubs in the world where the drinkers can't fall over, no matter how much they have to drink". "We've got to have lots of schools too said the Teacher, and lets make them with tall towers so that the pupils have the best posible view.(German pun).
We need more triangular Town Halls", said the Smith, "We want to be a town where the Mayor can jump around in triangles when he's happy", "We should learn from our mistakes", said the Fire chief, " let's build lots of fire towers, and we can put huge bellows on top of them to blow the fires out". "Let this be a town of churches" intoned the priest in a clear voice, " And the renovation costs?", broke in the swineherd disrespectfully, "Who's going to pay?, let`s just put up the church towers, no one will notice that the rest of the church is missing". Lastly the Shoemaker spoke up, he'd always fancied the idea of being Mayor himself. " And who has thought about the needs of the people? this must be a town which considers it's people's needs and provides the neccesary conviniences. Let us build toilets everywhere". "Right", came the voice of the people, pleased that their needs would be taken care of in their town in future, and that there would be conveniences everywhere.
So, the people of Schilda built their town back up. Firstly, naturally enough, the windowless museums, then the tall, narrow pubs, the high towered schools, the triangular town halls, the fire towers, complete with bellows mounted on the roof, the church towers, (without churches), and huge numbers of toilets. And when they were finished they contentedly walked around their new buildings. But then came the previously unheard voice of the Mayor's wife. "Where are then the town walls, the streets, and the river where we women do our washing?". I've already thought of that of course" said her husband, in a tone which made it clear what a stupid woman he had to deal with. But when the Schildans then went on to build their town walls, their streets and to allow the river to flow back through the town, then the chaos began. Everywhere that they wanted to build, the new buildings stood in the way. So they had to knock many of their fine new constructions back down again. Everything got mixed and muddled as the walls, streets and river twisted above and below one another. And of course, each of the townsfolk tried with all their might to preserve their particular favourite type of building.................
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