by Erik Koht

A sculptor hew the figure of a beautiful woman from a block of fine marble. The statue was perfect in every way. As he stood admiring his work, it was inevitable that the young sculptor should fall in love with his creation. Those of my readers endowed with some knowledge of the world will know that the young sculptor's plight is a familiar one, its a hazard of the profession. In accordance with the demands of his infatuation, he dearly wished the object of his desire should become flesh and blood, so he wouldn't have to declare his love to deaf ears. His wish became reality. The statue turned into a living thing and at once she jumped down from her pedestal.

The tragedy of the story was that the young sculptor would still be talking to deaf ears, at least figuratively. She found her suitor wanting in many ways. Though his shoulders were broad, his hair was a dusty mess, the skin of his hands was hardened and he had no money. She was a product of her time and did not mind pre-marital sex, but if she were to indulge, then she wanted to chose a lover on her own, rather than be chosen.

Committed to this project, she eagerly grabbed hammer and chisel and started chipping away at a suitable boulder. She had a knack for it. Soon the shape of a handsome youth emerged from the stone. The male figure looked strong yet compassionate and wise. Admiring her creation, she fell in love with it, as had been her intent. With all the power of her being she wished the stone figure would turn to flesh and blood, jump down from its pedestal and take her on the spot. But no, nothing happened, no matter how much she begged and pleaded the statue remained rock hard in all the wrong ways.

"It worked for you, why doesn't this work for me?" she complained to the young sculptor who was just returning home from the pub where he had sought to console himself with something strong in a glass.

"I'm sorry it's not working for you, it should," he responded, trying to sound as though he was sorry. "You should try again. Make another. Maybe a new one will surely make the transition."

This she did. While she was working, the young sculptor ordered a crane to move her first sculpture out of the studio and into the street below. People passing by on the sidewalk marvelled. What great art! The young sculptor was happy to receive the praise, and even happier to receive the cheque for several thousand Euros that he was paid for selling it.

This was just the first of several more times that gave him cause to celebrate his good fortune. she kept on turning out astonishing sculptures and he kept on selling them to the highest bidder. Each time she sought his advice he would confound her with profundities like: "Can a stone look into its own heart?" or "You must hold a mirror to your soul." These remarks and all the hard work gave her so much to think about that she hardly noticed time slipping by, weeks turning to months and years. The young sculptor hadn't touched his tools for a long time. He kept his broad shoulders, but now he was well groomed, his hands were soft and he could easily afford to pay for life's comforts.

One day as he emerged from the shower, the young lady spied him through a crack in he door. He was so handsome! For a moment she thought he was one of her own creations come to life. Without hesitation she opened the door wide, rushed in and threw her arms around his neck. These days she looked much as he had done at the start of the story. Her hair was full of stone dust, her hands were like sand paper, and she wore whatever worn-out clothes she could find in his closet. Not easily perceived as an object of men's desires.

Of course she realised her mistake in a matter of seconds. Blushing, she let go of his neck and ran off to hide her shame and confusion. Looking back, it's hard to say which one of them was the most embarrassed by this episode.

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