Stefan Hammel
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Margaret and Lucy

There once lived two lizards in a little gap between the stones of a wall. Their names were Margaret and Lucy. Lucy lay on the wall all day sunbathing. Margaret spent most of her time hunting insects for herself and her children. She felt annoyed when she saw Lucy on the wall. "How you are wasting your time! If you were a decent lizard, you would be taking care of your children. What on earth are you doing up there all day long?" Lucy's eyes twinkled and she said: "I am collecting energy. You see, I am doing something for my children." "I see it differently", Margaret grumbled. "And besides, I will not be surprised if one day some buzzard or falcon snatches you from that wall." "We will see", Lucy responded, and stretched out in the sun. Margaret preferred to spend her time chasing ants. She appeared exhausted in recent days. Sometimes her life was endangered: She lacked the agility necessary to escape a weasel or a cat. Lucy's children, however, became strong and quick, like herself. They soon caught the largest spiders, the quickest running beetles, and even huge dragonflies. But their favourite pastime was to lie on the wall and to stretch out in the sunshine.

Stefan Hammel, The Blade of Grass in the Desert, page 26


What you Hear

A famous trombone player was asked about the secret of his art. He answered: "You not only hear the breath that you use, but also the one you retain."

Stefan Hammel, The Blade of Grass in the Desert, page 27



Granny Annie was celebrating her birthday in a large family circle with all her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. "How old are you? 90 years and still healthy?" one of the felicitators asked. "What do you mean by 'still'?" Granny Annie replied.

Stefan Hammel, The Blade of Grass in the Desert, page 51


The Sea Dog and the Land Dog

One day the old sea dog received a visit from the land dog. They both had known each other since puppy school. Then the sea dog had left and travelled the world far and wide, and had survived many adventures and finally returned home, rich in treasures and experiences. The land dog had remained in his native cave. He had found a land dog wife, and had land dog children. In the meantime, he had grandpuppies and great grandpuppies, and they had all become genuine good land dogs.
"Sometimes I wish I could live all over again", said the land dog to the sea dog. "I feel exactly the same way", the other answered. "I would do a lot of things differently", said the land dog. "Yes, me too", answered the sea dog. "I would go to sea", dreamed the land dog. "I would get married", sighed the sea dog. "I would have adventures", explained the land dog. "I would have some pups", stated the sea dog. "I would be a rich dog. I would experience terrible and wonderful things I could tell stories about", enthused the land dog. "I would have grand-puppies and great grand-puppies who would love and take care of me when I became old and sick", declared the sea dog. "And I would now sit with you in this sea dog lair", continued the land dog, "... and I with you ...", it occurred to the sea dog. The land dog nodded: "And then you would say to me now: 'Sometimes I wish I could live all over again', and I would answer: 'Yes, I feel exactly the same way.'"

Stefan Hammel, The Blade of Grass in the Desert, page 82