THE SATURN

Presentation of this planet and its moons, including ring and creatures

- Chapter 28 -
The one-eyed Bauor. Hunting the animal. The skin as a coat for the patriarchs.


 
T
he animal next in line and worthy of mention is very rare. In the countries of the continents it is a complete stranger. It is only native to some of the important southern islands. Whatever island this animal calls home, the Saturnites visit these islands as seldom as they visit the countries where the mud lives. Why this is so will be explained in the chapters that follow.
 
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This animal's name is bauor; in your language it means as much as "one eye." First we shall discuss why this animal is called "one eye. Does it actually have only one eye? No, it has two eyes to see with, like any other animal. But above its two eyes, in the center of its broad forehead, it has its weapon eye. And the animal's name is derived from this dangerous eye.
 
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But before we describe this eye, we shall describe the animal in accordance with its form and then we shall describe this eye.
 
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What does the bauor look like? What is its size and color? It resembles a horse with the exception of the neck and tail; the body is of course a hundred times larger.
 
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The tail resembles a snake without a head, and it reaches lengths of 720 to 780 feet, and in the anal area where this tail has its beginning it has a diameter of 9 feet. At the end of the tail it has three very strong barbed hooks, similar to a ship's anchor. This animal has most of its strength in its tail; with it, the bauor searches for its nourishment in the water; this is why it can usually be found at the shores of the ocean, with its long tail constantly moving about the water in order to catch a large fish or some other large water animal for its nourishment. The bauor is also very skillful in this matter. As soon as it suspects something alive in the water which could be for its benefit, it shoots its tail like an arrow to that particular spot, and when it projects its tail in this manner it never fails its target. This is the purpose of its tail.
 
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What does the bauor's head look like? Its head is extremely peculiar, as it sits on a long, strong neck and almost resembles the head of a sea-calf or common seal on earth. Only the head is proportionately larger than the head of a seal on earth, the same as the body is larger than that of an earthly horse. Except for the weapon eye, the head resembles the head of a seal!
 
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What is the actual purpose of this weapon eye? It is actually not an eye to see with, but an eye to feel with and to transfix or capture with. Usually this eye is closed, but should an enemy or something unfriendly move into the vicinity of the bauor, then the eye will open. And as soon as this eye opens, an intensive red ray of light bursts forth and it would be much easier to look into the noon sun than into this eye.
 
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When this ray is directed upon any living being, it is soon captured to such a degree by a kind of heaviness that it feels spellbound and is unable to move from the spot where it was struck by the ray. When the bauor notices that its enemy is sufficiently unable to move or spellbound, it slowly closes in, which is at approximately the distance of the length of its mighty tail. This animal never makes mistakes as far as the distance between its enemy and the length of its tail is concerned. Once that has been established, it projects its tail as quick as lightning upon its enemy and picks it up; the tail is used as an arm, and it places its catch into its extremely large mouth and crushes it with its powerful teeth for nourishment. This animal makes no distinction between an animal or a human being; because of its great voracity it eats any living being, whether it be an inhabitant of the air, earth or water.
 
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Except for the color of this animal, that is everything noteworthy about it.
 
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What is its color? In the abdominal area it is light blue; along the center of the abdominal area passes lengthwise a considerably wide dark stripe. The back of this animal is light red with small zebra-like yellow stripes. Beginning at the body, the legs are an orange-yellow. The hooves are completely black. The hair on its body is fairly short throughout; that is why the Saturnites are of the opinion that this animal was completely naked. But when a few of these animals were caught, they noticed their error.
 
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If the Saturnites wish to capture the bauor, it becomes a very expensive proposition for them, because if they want to apprehend it they must sacrifice many of their domesticated animals beforehand. Not until the bauor is surfeited with eating many of these animals does it become tired and exhausted; it lies down somewhere close to the shore, cuds up its tail and begins to digest the food it has eaten. As soon as the Saturnites who are hunting this animal notice that it is resting, they must make certain that they overpower its tail as quickly as possible; they usually do so by severing the tail from the body with one stroke. After the tail has been severed, it is advisable not to stay in the vicinity of the wounded animal, because the tail still has life for quite a while, and it throws itself back and forth in the most horrible contortions. The bauor itself enters into a rage and jumps and kicks with its hooves. The Saturnites are aware of this behavior, and that is why they immediately leave after they have severed the tail; they wait on their ships on the surface of the water until the animal collapses and remains motionless and its tail stretches out spasmodically.
 
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Once these events have transpired, then our hunters approach the shore. They cut the tail into smaller pieces and, while they are doing so, the pieces still jump around for quite a while. Then they approach the animal itself and probe it by stabbing it in the area of the back to see if there is still some life left in it. Should the animal not react, they then remove the beautiful skin. But before they begin this task, they cut off the head and throw it into the water, because they believe that the animal could open up its terrible eye while they are skinning it, and all of them would be poisoned by it. That is of course impossible, because this eye does not contain any poison at all, and the powerful red light of the eye becomes completely extinct as soon as this animal has lost all its vital energy.
 
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Once the animal has been skinned and the skin has been loaded onto the ships, they leave everything else to rot. The decomposition of the animal gets a helping hand from all the hungry guests that live along the shore, and for others it is an opportunity to revenge themselves on their well-known enemy.
 
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For what purpose do the Saturnites use the skin, which is obtained with such great effort? The skin is treated with oil so that it remains soft. Once it has been properly treated in this manner, the skin is prepared and cut and then it is tailored into a half-length coat. A coat like that on the back of a man means more than an entire kingdom. There is a saying on Saturn: It is the bauor which lends the prince or the most superior patriarch the proper respect and what he is supposed to represent.
 
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Conquering a bauor is one of the greatest and most daring feats that the Saturnites can carry out. Whoever has caught such an animal and wears its coat shows to his fellow man the great courage he possesses. This testimony carries the greatest significance to the Saturnites because they feel that they cannot be properly served by a ruler or leader who lacks courage. Such a coat is proof to them that the person who obtained it under those circumstances was willing to sacrifice a great many things. This leads them to believe that the wearer of the coat, besides his great courage, is a very generous person because he did not spare any costs for the benefit of his brothers. And finally they attach to the owner of such a coat a great amount of intelligence, because he conquered this monster, which has to the Saturnites a considerably more terrible reputation than a dragon or tapeworm on Earth.
 
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If a person has conquered the hauor, then he should have the ability to deal with any other situation or undertaking with the proper intelligence. Therefore it makes the owner of such a coat unfailingly and immediately a grand patriarch, even if he is three or four times younger than any other minor patriarch. But he is only a grand patriarch as long as this coat lasts.
 
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Since it ensures the honor of being a grand patriarch, nothing is cared for more than such a coat. That is why the bauor coat is worn by a grand patriarch under the most extraordinary circumstances. Since there are all kinds of little deceptions on this planet, this also applies to the life span of such a coat; the concept is that it lasts forever. Even if the coat is falling apart and can no longer be worn, it is replaced by a false one from the skins of other animals, and is paraded as a real bauor coat.
 
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A grand patriarchate which has been acquired as the result of such a coat is inherited by all the children and the children of the children of the grand patriarch as long as the coat can be produced or its existence can be proven by showing it. Should someone else, however, come into the possession of a new coat by hunting the bauor and shows this coat to the people in his country, this ends the old patriarchate. The old patriarch however, still enjoys the position of an esteemed person. In a case like that, even the smallest piece of a bauor coat still represents a valid patent. of nobility. This entitles the owner to bauor-coat privileges, but only as long as he can produce a piece of it, no matter how small. But once the moths have eaten up the last little piece, he then loses his position of archpatriarch, and nothing more remains but an empty memory.
 
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But at this point we shall not pursue the political conditions on Saturn any further, since we have not reached that point yet; and since we are not yet dealing with human beings, we shall return to the animals. Before we begin with the domesticated animals, we shall take a general overview of the entire wild animal kingdom.