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Strauch, Dora; Brockmann, Walter / Satan came to Eden

Chapter I: The end of one life,   pp. 1-17

Page 1

     experienced, I have never ceased to thank my good parents 
     for letting us be children so long. Although my father was a 
     schoolmaster, he never pressed his children into a set system 
     of upbringing, as so many educators do, and my mother has 
     always shown me that instinctive understanding which certain 
people are gifted with, and which enables them to grasp with their 
hearts things that are often obscure to their minds. 
  All my life I have liked to think back upon my earliest years, 
and if my most vivid remembrances of that time are concerned 
with animals rather than with people, the reason is perhaps that 
I have always felt a special intimacy with so-called dumb creation 
which is, I think, unusual in one born and brought up in cities. I 
remember as a four-year-old spending a holiday with my grand- 
mother on a farm, being told that the big watch-dog had to be 
chained up by day because he was very savage. But on the same 
afternoon I called upon him in his kennel and told him I had 
come to keep him company. We told each other many things, and 
spent a delightful afternoon, at the end of which I was discovered 
side by side with my new friend fast asleep inside the kennel. 
Thirty years later my little donkey friend on Floreana once 
reminded me of that old watch-dog, Pussel, and other animal com- 
panions of my childhood with whom I had been able to talk as 
I never could with human beings, and who, no matter how they 
often seemed to dislike other members of the human race, were 
always ready to be friends with me. 
  It must not be thought that I was one of those strange and soli- 
tary children who seem unable to adapt themselves to their environ- 
ment; on the contrary, I was always glad to play with anyone my 
own age, and cannot remember that I was ever very different from 
my playmates except in one respect, and that only as I began to 
grow a little older. 
  A feeling then began gradually to take root in me that I was 
somehow not like other children, and I found myself going my own 
way, as though I had no real part in their lives, but had to lead a 
life of my own. When this feeling became really strong I was no 

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