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The Book of Schmendrick: Chapter 6

Death had been busy in Dibbick while Schmendrick was away.

Death had been busy in Dibbick while Schmendrick was away.

Upon arriving in Dibbick, Schmendrick’s hometown, a shock befell Schmendrick and his women. Apart from themselves, no people were in Dibbick. There were no men. There were no women. There were no adult hermaphrodites. There were no children. Nor were there any of those people whose sex was impossible to determine.

This was a great puzzle for Schemdrick. At first, he thought that the whole town had gone to the country for a picnic. But that could not be because there were no fresh tracks leading away from Dibbick. What’s more, the ants had not followed them out of the town. And, in two of the homes in the town, Schmendrick had seen heaping plates of fresh cold cuts and jars of mustard sitting untouched on the kitchen tables. No, they could not have gone on a picnic.

Then, Schmendrick figured that they must have all died of starvation, shunning, for some reason, the delicious cold cuts. But he soon realized that he had not been away long enough for them to starve. Besides, the townsfolk’s crops were all flourishing and their cattle and sheep were great in number, fat and healthy. No, thought Schmendrick, they could not have died of starvation.

Then he came up with what he was sure must be the answer: They had all died of a hideous disease. That must be it. He had warned them about drawing drinking water immediately downstream from where their community latrine emptied into their lazy river, but they wouldn’t listen. Surely, he though, disease must have finally killed them.

But he thought some more and realized that his last theory must be wrong too. He had done a thorough search of the town and he hadn’t seen a single body. (He didn’t know why he had not thought of that point when he came up with his starvation hypothesis.) He had been gone from Dibbick barely long enough for rigor mortis to have set in. There had certainly not been enough time for all of the bodies to decay into nothingness.

Schmendrick was not able to divine an answer to the puzzle. At the camel path-side cafe where he had stopped on the way back from Nebbish, he had heard a rumor that God One slew all of the inhabitants of Dibbick and made them disappear from the Earth as punishment for consistently mispronouncing His name as “God’un” rather than “God One.” But Schmendrick realized that this could not be true for he knew that God One was a merciful god Who would never do such a thing. (Schmendrick had already conveniently forgotten the commandment that he had recently carried out on God One’s behalf.)

Schmendrick Repopulates Dibbick

No matter what the explanation for the townfolk’s dissapearance, Schmendrick knew what he must immediately do: He must get busy being fruitful and multiplying so as to repopulate the town. That is, no doubt, what God One commands of him.

So Schmedrick went into each of his new wives and concumbines in turn; at least two or three a day; five or six on weekends; and eight or nine on special holidays. And Schmendrick’s seed hit its mark in no more than three tries and often on the first going into of one of his wives or concubines. It wasn’t long before he regretted not widowing, taking and bringing back more women.

And Schmendrick’s women begat him many children. And the descendents of Schmendrick became a great nation. And the power and prominence of Schmendrick’s nation continued for 500 years. Then God One smote them all for forgetting to honor one of His feast days.

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