My first completed book for 2008
Posted January 4, 2008on:
She adored a kid at the Torano farm. Its eyes were as gentle and tender, as full of wonder as hers. She locked it in her arms and ran with it pressed against her chest. The warmth of the little animal filled her with confusion and fear, she was sure, however, that the kid was a pure spirit, a soul, a mysteriously incarnated person. She even compared it to the Divine Lamb Father Paoli spoke of at church. Nervously she would kiss its trembling muzzle, and remain a whole hour in ecstasy gazing into its eyes with the horizontal cleft of the pupils that gave it so diabolical a look. She loved above all to take it with her in the evening when the moon rises in the green sky before the hot season sets in; that’s when their talks were full of the admirable and dreadful poetry of things doomed to an awful end. The farmer, who disliked Paulina, let it be known that he’d slit the throat of the animal as he would any other. Paulina wanted to run all the way to Milan and throw herself at the feet of her father; she hadn’t the time and the kid was to be killed that very evening. Her mother was away on a trip, no one in the world could save her beloved now, indifferent as always and nibbling the grass before its oblique eyes. So Paulina’s mind underwent an abrupt conversion; entering the barn she declared that the kid would be killed all right, killed, but killed by her own hand. The mean farmer smirked, helped her, pushed her hand. She felt the knife penetrate the neck of the beast, her hand was wet with hot blood, she stood straight, frozen, with a terribly absent look and only her little lower lip showed any palpitation.
From Paulina 1880 by Pierre Jean Jouve, translated by Rosette Letellier and Robert Bullen.