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The World of Poo

The World of Poo

Titel: The World of Poo
Autoren: Terry Pratchett
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    WHAT TO TELL children about the reality of the human world is always a subject very close to the thoughts of all parents; traditionally, requests from young ones for enlightenment as to where babies come from can be steered in the direction of the stork and the gooseberry bush with no great harm done. Although, of course, when the child is, shall we say, of the age to understand, the parent should make haste to see that they are fully informed. In a well-run household this ought to be achievable without too much blushing, if the parents are sensible.
    However, I fervently believe that not to talk to children about what goes into and out of their bodies, is to let the subject become furtive with a tendency to cause sniggering. What we eat and subsequently excrete plays a major role in human society and especially in what we are pleased to call civilized society. In my experience the thinking of intelligent parents, faced with the subject, tends to fall between two stools, as it were. Surely we can do better than saying it’s nasty?
    Our touchstone here is the commonality of mankind: kings and queens and even the likes of our own Lord Vetinari have to eat and excrete. Why should this be a subject of comment or mirth to anyone? Therefore, I decided that young Geoffrey might have a little stroll through what we may call the underside of our world, facing it with interest, curiosity and common sense; after all, one man’s waste is another man’s compost. On this particular point, I must say that I was brought up in the countryside where, on a weekly basis, the night soil was buried in the garden, in an area set aside to be the recipient. I can recall, along with many of my countryfolk, that tomatoes would grow on that site the following year without anyone having to make shift to plant them. And what marvellous tomatoes they were!
    As they say, what goes around comes around, although you don’t have to look at it as it floats past. But acting like a cat and believing that if you can’t see it then it’s not there is no way for polite society to behave. Without muck, without dung, there would be no agriculture and without agriculture there would be no people worth talking about.
    And so I dedicate this book to my old friend Sir Harry King, a man who can turn dung into gold!

    IT WAS A long journey for young Geoffrey from his home in the Shires to his Grand-mama’s house in the big city of Ankh-Morpork. For the first time in his life he was travelling alone in the coach and he sat, looking out of the window, feeling a bit scared but also a bit excited. There had been so much going on at home; Cook had said that Mama was having great expectations. Quite what that meant no one would tell him, but he did know he’d been moved out of his nursery and was promised a whole new room of his own with space to keep his model boats and his collection of interesting sticks and potato-shaped objects, which was some consolation. And Papa was always busy going off to foreign places on ‘business’, which meant that he was hardly ever there. The upshot of all this was a suggestion that Geoffrey visit his Grand-mama while developments took place.

    The landscape gradually changed from hills and forests and farms to acres and acres of cabbages on either side of the road like an endless greeny-yellow sea.
    There was no sound apart from the rumbling of the coach wheels and the occasional soft trumpeting of the horses’ farting. What with that and the cabbages, Geoffrey’s world became quite a smelly place. If greeny-yellow could have a smell, Geoffrey thought, it would smell like this, as if the whole world had farted at once.
    He knew he was getting near the city when the smell changed to that of wood-smoke and sooty chimneys and, more than anything else, something a bit like the gardener’s outdoor privy at home. 1 If this smell could have a colour, thought Geoffrey, it would probably be brown. 2
    The coach rumbled through the Least Gate and Geoffrey saw, for the first time, City Watchmen in uniforms, dray-horses pulling massive high-sided carts, and tall buildings looming up and blocking out the sky. He saw the commotion and hustle of a street market where pedlars and greengrocers and butchers were shouting out their wares: more people in one place than he had ever seen in his life. After a while, the streets lined
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