Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Every world spins in pain"

Today I'm watching my cat die from kidney disease. He's hurting and nauseated. Hiding it admirably well, even by feline standards.

I'm reminded of a quote from Terry Pratchett:

"I have told this to few people, gentlemen, and I suspect never will again, but one day when I was a young boy on holiday in Uberwald I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, I'm sure you will agree, and even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged on to a half-submerged log.

"As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature's wonders, gentlemen: mother and children dining upon mother and children.

"And that's when I first learned about evil. It is built into the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior."


  1. Isn't it amazing how often a Pratchett quote is appropriate? Lord Vettinari is a fave character of mine.

  2. I only started reading Pratchett about 2 years ago. Until then I'd avoided it and had no idea how powerful his work was. Now that I think about it, I'm delighted that I put it off so long; my younger self's passing over Pratchett turned into a fabulous gift to my elder self.

    I'm only sorry that I'm nearly done with this body of work. Frankly, if ever there was someone who should have an apprentice and pass on the kingdom to them, it's Pratchett. I look forward to finding out that he's done just that.