In the Zixst desert, he met two Goetheists, one of whom was lame.
"We are searching for the Eternal W," they cried.
"The Eternal W?"
"The Eternal W--it lives in the oasis mirage and hops on one leg--these
are the marks of the Eternal W!" and he showed Francis something that
looked very much like a V.
"And what will you do with it when you find it?" asked Francis
for he was rather curious to see what it would look like and if it would
struggle at all.
"We will put it, spreadeagled, on a pedestal, and worship it,"
"And what exactly is it?"
"Some call it a fish, a bird, a cherry--its forms are as numerous as
the names of God."
"But what exactly is it?"
"Well" said one doubtfully,"Oscar Wilde has called it 'a
sphinx without a secret.'"
"But actually we don't know," said the other, smirking,
"although we do have very dirty pictures of it."
Francis saw the pictures and smiled. One was of a drowned monkey stuffed
in a porpoise tail. Another was of a roadkill."
"Goodbye," said Francis politely and went on his way.