Karl Wiener

Between yesterday and tomorrow

 
       Once upon a time, far away from here there lived two brothers. The eldest brother was an earnest boy who treated everyone with kindness. When needed he was always ready to help his parents, and was generally ready to lend a hand whenever required. By contrast his younger brother was an easy-going fellow. To him life was only meant for fun and play. He always made himself scarce when there was work to be done.  Although both boys were different in so many ways, that nobody at first sight would recognise them as  brothers, during their youth they were good friends. Following the advice of their parents, they attended the best schools of the country. However, whilst the eldest brother was diligent and used his time at school preparing himself for later life, the younger boy didnt have a care about the future. To him school was just a place to have fun and to pass away the time.
     Both brothers were keen horsemen and they were both crazy about their horses. But as you may know, the temperament of a rider is reflected in his horse. The white horse that belonged to the elder brother was a good-natured and resolute animal, which given enough time would have carried him to the end of the world. On the other hand the younger brother rode a passionate black stallion, which pawed impatiently in the dust when it felt the tug of the bridle. So, the brothers could never ride together, for whilst one of the horses trotted steadily on to its objective, the other galloped back and forth and often failed to arrive at its intended destination.
     When the brothers were older and no longer needed the protection of their parents, they each went their own way. The younger brother lived the life of a playboy together with his many so-called friends but the money, his parents had given to him to invest in his future was soon gone and his friends deserted him. But he still wanted the good times to continue without let up. Just before sunset he mounted his horse and chased after the daylight as it gradually disappeared over the western horizon. In this way the sun never set for him and his life became one long festive day. But this life proved to be very strenuous, because the sun never stopped on its way. So he had no choice other than to follow it indefinitely round the world, for fear that his day might come to an end.
     The elder boy too didnt stay with his parents. He also saddled his horse and went his way. But in contrast to his younger brother he rode towards the east, towards that direction where the sun rises each morning. The route, which he had chosen, was very arduous. He rode throughout the night, crossed dry steppes and endless forests where he was threatened by robbers and wild animals. But he never felt disheartened, for he wanted to achieve his objective by sunrise. Just before dawn broke and the first rays of sunshine twinkled on the summits of the mountains the birds awoke from their sleep. The silence of the night was replaced by the busy chirping of the feathered inhabitants of the forest. The horse breathed heavily, bursting for action, the air from its nostrils turning to steam in the fresh morning air. The horseman too was full of curiosity about the events of the coming day. When he finally arrived at the edge of the forest, sun drenched meadows and fields extended before his eyes. In the distance the first rays of the sun glittered on the roofs of a town from where bells rang out to greet the new day. His troublesome route had proved to be a worthwhile adventure, for whilst he had gained the day of tomorrow. His brother was still in quest of yesterday.

 

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Published on e-Stories.org on 01/11/2008.

 

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