We are lucky to have with us today the renown scientist Dr. Schwab of Frütigen-am-See University. He’s a depth psychologist and an expert on human-bird relations. He has kindly accepted to talk about Alan McCluskey’s short story, The Path.
Tell us Dr. Schwab, what do you make of The Path?
I think the author must be a little bit troubled, nicht wahr?
Troubled? What exactly do you mean?
Well. How desperate do you have to get to seek advice from a bird? (He laughs)
Jokes apart, surely this piece raises fundamental questions?
You are right. Let’s be serious. That is what we are here for. Most people are obsessed with where they are going, some are worried about how they will get there, but few are so taken by where and when it all started. This man is quite stuck with the idea. He’s got his head up his… how do you say it?
I don’t understand. Stuck?
Don’t you English say, stuck in a butt?
Ah. (surprised and amused if not embarrassed) Surely you mean stuck in a rut.
Rut? What a strange language yours is. I hardly see what torrid sex has to do with it? Hm! Maybe Freud was right. (pause) Well never mind. If you ask me, this is a typical teenage reaction.
I don’t follow.
Exactly. He’s not a follower. He wants to go before God, not after him. He is convinced he could have done things better. All young people are the same. They are dotted with spots, plagued with uncontrollable desires and yet they believe they are all powerful.
So why this round path?
It’s obvious, wirklich wahr. He wants to go before, but instead he comes afterwards. Think about it! The only way you can be both before and after is by walking in circles.
Good Lord! You are right.
Nein! Gott has no role in this. It’s a question of geometry and logic. Walking in circles gives the impression you follow yourself and no one else.
So the bird does him a favour, you mean?
I doubt it. The truth is, birds can’t abide human stupidity. Why else do you think they make such a noise in the early morning. It’s the thought of watching humans make a fool of themselves once again.
Thank you Dr. Schwab for explaining things with such (he pauses) lucidity. I remind our listeners that your latest book entitled “The bird in each of us” is now available from your local ornithological society.