Presentation of this planet and its moons, including ring and creatures
- Chapter 3 -
The land Herrifa. The healing mountain Girp. The Sun Tree, The Rain Tree. The Hair Tree, The Broad Tree and the Ray Tree.
Presentation of this planet and its moons, including ring and creatures
egarding the countries and their character, amongst each other they are, as mentioned in the beginning, diverse in form, internal formation, and even so far as the vegetation and animals, waters, metals and stones are concerned. Not one country is similar to another in any one respect. The only exception in all the countries of this planet is the human inhabitants and the air that surrounds die planet; everything else is subject to the greatest diversity.
It is the land with the highest mountains, and on the whole is more mountainous than all the others. The highest mountain is called Girp by its inhabitants and, according to your earth measurements, is 243,150 feet high; despite its height this mountain is covered with grass and fragrant herbs even at the highest peak. It has gentle slopes throughout, and therefore the inhabitants can easily walk up this mountain, just as on a plateau. The mountain is also, at the same time, the apothecary for all the populace as well as the animals of this country. As already mentioned, you will find here the most fragrant herbs; therefore the proper healing herbs are available for whatever ails you. That is also the reason why this mountain and the surrounding area, which together comprise over 100,000 square geographic miles, is the most inhabited part of this country.
Amongst the trees the sun tree distinguishes itself especially. On Saturn this tree is called gliuba. It reaches a height of more than 600 feet. The trunk of this tree quite often has a circumference that one hundred human beings from earth could not encircle. The branches quite often extend about 2,966 feet from the trunk of the tree according to your calculations and measurements. In order that they do not break on account of their weight, they produce branches of support on the underside, similar to those of the bahahania tree on earth, which are perpendicular to the ground and which, when fully grown, form the most beautiful colonnade. These supporting branches extend even from the uppermost branches, so that such a tree, when fully grown, resembles a small basalt mountain on earth, though with one difference: enough space remains between the perpendicular supporting branches that you can reach the trunk of the tree from all sides without any obstacle.
One leaf of this sun tree, gliuba, is large enough to completely cover a coachman with his horse and a large wagon. The color of the leaf is as blue as the feather of a peacock, and is adorned with the most beautiful markings. It retains its freshness and richness of color even when it is dry, resembling a ripe leaf when it falls from a tree on earth, which of course applies on Saturn as well. However, there is a difference on Saturn: such a tree is never defoliated. Because as soon as one ripe leaf falls from the tree, another grows elsewhere. The inhabitants of this area gather these leaves, which are very durable and do not tear easily; that is why they are used for the manufacture of clothing, and very artfully I might add. This clothing serves the same purpose as your overcoats. But they can also be worn directly on the naked skin, because the leaves are very gentle and soft; the top of the leaf is not as smooth as some of the leaves on your trees. These leaves can be compared to velvet. In the sunlight these leaves become particularly iridescent, almost like the tail feathers of a peacock. However, the leaves have a much more brilliant shine than feathers. But as long as the leaves of this tree are still young, they look like polished gold which is covered with a light blue color.
What do the blossoms of the sun tree look like? One could say without hesitation that Solomon dressed in all his royal splendor would fade at the sight of this blossom. The blossom of this tree mostly resembles the roses on earth, but with the difference that this rose is not filled with petals; instead it forms a wide calyx, similar to bramble blossoms. Every blossom of the sun tree has thirty completely light red petals; each of these petals is about the size of a large piece of wrapping paper. The edge of each petal has a golden seam and, towards the inside of the calyx, it turns into a darker red. There are two filaments, as thick as an arm and 6 feet long, in the center of the calyx. These filaments are transparent and have the appearance of icicles in the winter. Where the anther is typically found in the flowers of earth, these two filaments have in its place two peculiar flowers which shine like a burning flame; one of these flowers shines greenish in color, whereas the other is red, but it is a lighter red than the color of the flower itself. The flower or the blossom disperses an extraordinarily exquisite fragrance. These petals and filaments are also carefully gathered by the inhabitants. The petals are used as a strengthening medicine, whereas the filaments are enjoyed as a particular favorite dish.
That is what the blossoms look like! What kind of fruit does the gliuba produce? It will be a bit difficult to give you a complete understanding of this, since there is nothing on earth with which to compare it. But to have some kind of concept of this fruit, imagine a long hexagonal fire-red stem, as thick as a man's arm, which has many stems at its end. Where this fruit is connected to the branch, there is a big knot which develops into the shape of a stem 18 inches from the stalk. On this stem hangs a knobby fruit so large that four strong men on earth would have trouble carrying it. Inside this knobby fruit is a small plain pip, green in color and as firm as a stone, approximately the size of a nut on earth. The flesh of this fruit has the taste of bread and almonds sweetened with sugar. All the knobs or gnarls that are present in this fruit are hollow and half-filled with a juice which is comparable to the most delicious mead on earth. The color of this juice is yellow like a good old wine on earth. The color of its flesh is whitish and the outer rind has a grayish appearance at times, as if it were silver-plated but lusterless.
Those who live under this tree are taken care of in regards to all their needs and do not require any other property or piece of land; their share of the land is such a tree, which does not wither away or decompose, but continues to grow, more so in breadth than in height. Now the question might arise: If this tree reaches such tremendous heights, how can it be scaled in order to harvest the fruit? Even that is taken care of. The trunk of the tree as well as every branch has thorny shoots to the right and left. They almost resemble a pigeon ladder, which allows the people to scale the tree to the very top as well as to the outermost tips of the branches without encountering the slightest danger. And if it should happen that someone were to fall, no harm could come to any person on Saturn, since human beings and animals on this planet can sustain themselves in the air for a time when in dire need. Therefore, for their amusement, they can jump off the tops of the trees, which the younger generation does quite often. That such a feat is possible on Saturn is easily explained by the fact that the ring, which is at a distance of a few thousand geographic miles, divides the power of the attractive force (gravity) between itself and the planet at a ratio of 1 to 3/5. If, in addition to these weight-lightening circumstances, there is another useful organic condition, then this difference is easily nullified and a person is placed in a position where he can maintain himself in the air for a longer period of time.
Particularly notable is the rain tree, which on Saturn is called briura; besides the animals, human beings also derive some benefit from this tree. Like the pine tree on earth it has only one trunk, which often reaches heights of 240 feet, and it has the diameter of a medium-sized church tower. This tree spreads its branches very far and almost in the same order as the pine on earth. Its leaves are like many little whitish-green tubes, from which the purest water continuously drips. That is why the Saturnites build a large storage tank with a diameter of 600 feet around this tree, and it seems that most of these trees stand in the center of a pond. These storage tanks are built, of course, for the purpose of gathering the water which comes in plentiful amounts from the tree, and it is used by the people as well as for the few domesticated animals they keep.
Now you will probably say: Is there no spring water on Saturn, and especially in this mountainous area, as in the mountains of earth? Yes, there are many springs, some of which produce enough water to put your river Mur to shame. But this spring water is considered too crude for human consumption and is therefore not used by human beings. However, as far as the Saturnites are concerned the tree water is as much as purified and similar to boiled water; that is why they use this tree water for all their water requirements. That is why they say: "spring water is made only for the animals in the water and in order to water the soil. But for human beings and the nobler animals, the great God created the rain tree so that it produces well-prepared water."
Now we will direct our attention to the white hair tree which the Saturnites call kiup. This tree has a straight trunk which often reaches a height of 180 feet and is almost perfectly round. It has no branches; instead it grows silvery white threads at the top, which form a large bundle because of their abundance. The hair or threads often hang from the top to the middle of the trunk and surround the trunk at a thickness of several fathoms. These trees present a beautiful picture to onlookers, regardless of whether the wind blows or if it is quiet. A forest of these trees appears to be a forest covered with snow. The people carefully gather the threads that fall from this tree, from which they produce a kind of linen out of this material. This material is very elastic, soft and durable. This is about all which is usable from this tree and benefits the Saturnites.
Following this tree, we will be dealing with the broad tree, which on Saturn is called brak. On earth there is not one tree which resembles this one. It grows out of the soil like a goldenred wall. In the beginning it looks like a line of round tree trunks, which in time grow so close and tightly together that they turn into a real wall. A wall like this often has a length of several hundred fathoms and reaches heights of 120 to 150 feet. The wall does not have branches, twigs or leaves, but the upper edge looks like a bluish-green, thick espalier. The leaves are similar to the leaves of the platane or platanus tree on earth. In the center of this espalier, fairly high pointed little stems grow forth and produce the blossoms and the actual fruit. The fruit is eaten only by birds and not by human beings; it is a kind of reddish long berry. But when the blossoms fall, the people gather them and fill sacks with them, upon which they rest; the reason for this is because of its strengthening effect and fine fragrance. A forest of these trees resembles a large maze. And when the people enter such a forest to gather the blossoms, they mark their path so that they will find their way home again. When such a group of trees is illuminated by the sun, the wall has a very strong reflection, similar to a golden surface.
The next tree which I shall describe is the ray tree called bruda. This tree is completely yellow in color, has a straight trunk, and only grows branches and twigs on the left and right side and always in a straight line. The lower branches have some kind of green stars which taper off into six regular tips. Each tip has a small blue flower, similar to a bell-flower on earth. The flower is followed by reddish fruit, which is similar to a rosehip on earth.