Friday, September 30, 2011

I Wish I Could Pray and Wrestle as Wooly and Horny as the Big Ones Do

"Well, there is quite a clatter in the mountains this morning, Kit," Strange Buffalo was saying in happy admiration. "The deep days, the grass days like this one, aren't come by easily. It's a wonder the mountains aren't knocked to pieces when the big prophets pray so noisily and wrestle so strong. But, as the good skin says, we must work out our salvation in fear and thundering."

"Is it not 'In fear and trembling'?" Christopher asked as he lounged on the lively bale of rags.

"No, Kit-Fox, no!" Strange Buffalo pealed at him. "That's the kind of thing they say during the straw days; not here, not now. In the Cahooche shadow-writing it says 'In fear and chuckling,' but the Cahooche words for thunder and chuckling are almost the same. On some of the Kiowa antelope-skin drawings, 'In scare-shaking and in laughter-shaking.' I like that. I wish I could pray and wrestle as wooly and horny as the big ones do. Then I'd get to be a prophet on the mountain also, and I'd bring in more days of grass. Yes, and days of mesquite also."

-R. A. Lafferty, 'Days of Grass, Days of Straw' (1973)


Daniel Otto Jack Petersen said...

Thanks to Kevin Cheek for suggesting this one. (And typing it and sending it to me!)

I'd be happy to post Lafferty quotes from anyone else also.

Kevin Cheek said...

I especially like "In scare-shaking and in laughter-shaking" but "In fear and chuckling" is easier to work into conversation. I believe that one phrase succinctly sums up a lot of Lafferty's theology.

Daniel Otto Jack Petersen said...

Absolutely, Kevin.

'It was all strong talk with the horns and hooves still on it.'
(R. A. Lafferty, The Devil is Dead)