Life Answers Zarathustra


Then life answered me thus, covering up her delicate ears: “0 Zarathustra, don’t crack your whip so frightfully! After all, you know that noise murders thought and just now such tender thoughts are coming to me. We are both two real good-for-nothings and evil-for-nothings. Beyond good and evil we found our island and our green meadow — we two alone. Therefore we had better like each other. And even if we do not love each other from the heart — need we bear each other a grudge if we do not love each other from the heart? And that I like you, often too well, that you know; and the reason is that I am jealous of your wisdom. Oh, this mad old fool of a wisdom! If your wisdom ever ran away from you, then my love would quickly run away from you too.”
Then life looked back and around thoughtfully and said softly: “0 Zarathustra, you are not faithful enough to me. You do not love me nearly as much as you say; I know you are thinking of leaving me soon.
There is an old heavy, heavy growl-bell that growls at night all the way up to your cave; when you hear this bell strike the hour at midnight, then you think between one and twelve-you think, 0 Zarathustra, I know it, of how you want to leave me soon.” “Yes,” I answered hesitantly, “but you also know -” and I whispered something into her ear, right through her tangled yellow foolish tresses.
“You know that, 0 Zarathustra? Nobody knows that.”
And we looked at each other and gazed on the green meadow over which the cool evening was running just then, and we wept together. But then life was dearer to me than all my wisdom ever was.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra , Part III
Walter Kaufmann translation from

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