The fairy tail about the sad Sadness

(by Inge Wuthe, translated into English by Franz Schäfer)

This story is also available in german.

Once there was a small woman walking a long a dusty sidewalk. She seemed to be very old, but she walked with a light foot and her smile shone like that of a reckless young girl. She stopped at a being which was squatting in the dust of the wayside. She could not recognise much. the figure was almost without a body and seemed to be just a flannel blanket with the outline of a human body. The small woman bend down and asked: "who are you?". Two nearly lifeless eyes tiredly looked up: "Me? I am the Sadness." whispered a low and stagnant voice so that it almost could not be heard at all. "Och! The Sadness!" the small woman shouted with a happy voice like if welcoming an old friend."You know me?" the Sadness asked suspiciously. "Of course i know you! You have often been my companion on the way" "Yes, but.. why don't you flee from me, then?" the Sadness, still suspicious, asked. "Aren't you afraid of me?" "Why should i run away from you, dear? You know that you can keep up pace with everyone. But I wanted to ask you: Why do you look so discouraged?" "I .... am sad," the grey figure answered with a broken voice. The old woman sat down beside her. "So you are sad..." she said and nodded, understanding. "Go on, tell me what depresses you" The Sadness sighed deeply: Could it be that this time someone wanted to listen to her? How often she wished that. "Oh. You know.." she started hesitating and wondering, "it is that just nobody likes me. It is my destiny to go among people and stay with them for a certain time. But when i come to them they are scared. They are afraid of me and avoid me like the plague. " The Sadness gasped, "They have invented sentences with which they want to banish me. They say: Shut up, life is fun. And their fake laughter leads to cramps in their stomach and makes them short of breath. They say: Let's praise what makes us tough. And than they get a pain in their heart. They say: You have to withstand the tear. And they feel a tear up their shoulders and in the back. They say: Only week ones cry. And with the tears jammed up they almost explode their heads. Or they deafen themselfs with drugs and alcohol so that they do not have to feel me." "Oh yes,"the old woman acknowledged, "I have met such people often". The Sadness sank down a little bit more into herself. "But i only want to help people. When i am close to them they can find themselfs. I help them to build a nest to nurse their wounds. Sad persons have a very thin skin. Some woe gets broken up again like a wound that would not heal, and that hurts a lot. But only someone who allows Sadness and cries all the cried tears can really heal his wounds. But people do not want me to help them. Instead they put on a garish laughter over their scars. Or they arm them self with a thick armour made of bitterness." The Sadness listened in silence. Her weeping was first weak than grew stronger and then totally desperate. The small old woman enclosed the sunken down Sadness into her comforting arms. How soft and tender she was, while she caressingly stroked the quivering bundle. "Just weep, my Sadness." she lovingly whispered, "Rest a little bit, so that you can gain power again. From now on, you should not walk alone anymore. I will accompany you, so that the chill does not become worse." The Sadness stopped weeping. She sat up and looked astonished at her new companion. "But .. but... Who are you?" "Me?" the small old woman said smilingly, and then she smiled benignly and recklessly like a little girl. "I am the Hope".