Fifty-One Tales: The Unpasturable Fields

The mountains say the clouds will pass away, yet they do not mind. They hold greater things than time in their unpasturable fields.

This story is from Lord Dunsany’s Fifty-One Tales, originally published in 1915, and is read aloud by Kay Mack.

You can read the story here, or online at: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/7838

Thus spake the mountains: “Behold us, even us; the old ones, the grey ones, that wear the feet of Time. Time on our rocks shall break his staff and stumble: and still we shall sit majestic, even as now, hearing the sound of the sea, our old coeval sister, who nurses the bones of her children and weeps for the things she has done.

“Far, far, we stand above all things; befriending the little cities until they grow old and leave us to go among the myths.

“We are the most imperishable mountains.”

And softly the clouds foregathered from far places, and crag on crag and mountain upon mountain in the likeness of Caucasus upon Himalaya came riding past the sunlight upon the backs of storms and looked down idly from their golden heights upon the crests of the mountains.

“Ye pass away,” said the mountains.

And the clouds answered, as I dreamed or fancied, “We pass away, indeed we pass away, but upon our unpasturable fields Pegasus prances. Here Pegasus gallops and browses upon song which the larks bring to him every morning from far terrestrial fields. His hoof-beats ring upon our slopes at sunrise as though our fields were of silver. And breathing the dawn-wind in dilated nostrils, with head tossed upwards and with quivering wings, he stands and stares from our tremendous heights, and snorts and sees far-future wonderful wars rage in the creases and the folds of the togas that cover the knees of the gods.”

Photo by Dean Hinnant on Unsplash

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