Study of Beelzebub's Tales




1 The Arousing of Thought


At that age I committed acts such as the following.

If for example when learning to catch a ball with the right hand, my brother, sisters and the neighbors’ children who came to play with us, threw the ball in the air, I, with the same aim in view, would first bounce the ball hard on the ground, and only when it rebounded would I, first doing a somersault, catch it, and then only with the thumb and middle finger of the left hand; or if all the other children slid down the hill head first, I tried to do it, and moreover each time better and better, as the children then called it, “backside-first”; or if we children were given various kinds of what are called “Abaranian pastries,” then all the other children, before putting them in their mouths, would first of all lick them, evidently to try their taste and to protract the pleasure, but… I would first sniff one on all sides and perhaps even put it to my ear and listen intently, and then though only almost unconsciously, yet nevertheless seriously, muttering to myself “so and so and so you must, do not eat until you bust,” and rhythmically humming correspondingly, I would only take one bite and without savoring it, would swallow it—and so on and so forth.