The Third Flight of Beelzebub to the Planet Earth

“And at times, if the offended one had greater physical strength, and an important power-possessing being with whom he was not on very good terms was not watching him, he would simply maul the offender as the Russian Sidor once mauled his favorite goat.

“Very well knowing this aspect also of their strange psyche, I had no desire to offend them and to incur their wrath; furthermore, I was always profoundly aware that to outrage anybody’s religious feeling is contrary to all morality, so, when existing among them, I always tried to do as they did, in order not to be conspicuous and attract their attention.

“Here it does no harm to notice that owing to the existing abnormal conditions of ordinary existence there among your favorites, the three-brained beings of that strange planet Earth, especially during recent centuries, only those beings who manifest themselves, not as the majority of them do, but somehow or other, more absurdly, become noticed and consequently honored by the rest; and the more absurd their manifestations and the more stupid, mean, and insolent the ‘tricks’ they play, the more noticed and famous they become, and the greater is the number of the beings on the given continent and even on other continents who know them personally or at least by name.

“On the other hand, no honest being who does not manifest himself absurdly will ever become famous among other beings or even be simply noticed, however good-natured and sensible he may be in himself.

“And so, my boy, what our Ahoon so mischievously reminded me about concerned just that custom, which developed there in the city Gob, of attaching significance to the voices of beings of various forms and particularly to the voice of what are called ‘donkeys,’ of which there were then, for some reason or other, a great many in the city Gob.