A BRIEF EDUCATIONAL COURSE FROM FLIES
Two flies have met over a dirty pan in the kitchen of a third-class wine cellar and, there they have had their lunch. No one noticed them, for the customers busy having their lunch too. The waiters were carrying out pyramids of full plates from the kitchen, while the chef was preparing more. The flies, satisfied with their meal, have flown around the corner for a sip of fresh, sweet, fermented grape juice spilt on the barman's counter. Pleasantly nourished and a little drunk, the flies fancy that some culture would do them good.
Fly One says: "Let's go to the hospital. Can you imagine how instructive it must be? Always something going on...."
Fly Two replies: "Education! That's my sport. I hate it when I'm regarded as a stupid fly. Let's fly!"
Well, somewhat clumsily, for their bellies were still full and their senses dulled, but in high spirits, they took off. People were coming in and out from the hospital through a single entrance. The other entrance was locked, and the whole building was wrapped in rusty scaffolding. The facades were just being newly painted -- or to be completely honest, they weren't being painted, because the workers did not feel like working after lunch. The corridors inside were full of wheelchairs, tools, and stray people. The two flies flew across the lobby and over the rundown staircase up to the second floor. Turning around the corner, they arrived directly at the surgery department. A young doctor in white was talking hurriedly to two other doctors.
"The lady in number 16 is hardly breathing! She is dying. It's a clear exitus."
The other two doctors nodded, but had probably been interrupted from a more interesting debate, since they did not even pause to speak with him.
The young doctor continued on unaffected, dashing downstairs -- it was his time for lunch. The two flies just barely caught a part of his explanation to his girlfriend, who had been waiting for him: "You see, number 16 is a special case....It's not worth trying resuscitation."
The two flies anxiously increased their speed but were stopped by the closed doors on the women's ward, where in number 16, the special case not worth trying to resuscitate, was dying. The flies alighted elegantly on the tarnished glass door.
"See," says Fly One, "just as we arrive, a goner. I told you we were sure to learn something here."
"Now it's clear to me", says Fly Two, " that when a human being becomes a hospital case, it may die, just like that, right around lunchtime. It's announced on the corridor, but nobody is surprised and no one cares. Dying in a hospital is probably an unattractive and unrewarding human activity...." "Dying simply doesn't pay off...." Fly One was attempting this philosophical reflection, but was prevented from arriving at a conclusion. Both were delicately smashed by a fresh newspaper in the hand of a patient standing nearby. Half of the people in the corridor had turned at the sound; some farewell remarks could be heard, and also some laughter. This was in fact a minor local event. You know, killing two flies in one blow....
Translated by Peter Duba and Jerry Weir