Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Monkey of the Inkpot

“This animal, common in the north, is four or five inches long; its eyes are scarlet and its fur is jet black, silky, and soft as a pillow. It is marked with a curious instinct – the taste for India ink. When a person sits down to write, the monkey squats cross-legged nearby with one forepaw folded over the other, waiting until the task is over. Then it drinks what is left of the ink, and afterward sits back on its haunches, quiet and satisfied.” 

- Jorge Luis Borges "The Book of Imaginary Beings" citing Wang Tai-Hai, 1791

(I tend to get though ink pretty quickly, and I suspect there may be one of these little creatures nesting in the drawer of my desk)

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