is Nothing,' he told himself, as he lay sleepless at night. Nothing,
nothing, nothing. And this nothingness was like black, endless
space within and without. I wish I were dead. I wish I had never
been born. But this wish seemed senseless, for if he were dead
there would still be Nothing. But I wouldn't know it; I wouldn't
care, he tried to think. Yet this was inconceivable not to
know. Dead or alive, there would still be something knowing nothing.
There would be knowledge of emptiness for ever and ever.
God. God, Hari moaned. It was not the Sheep-God he
meant. He did not know what he meant. He just kept saying, God.
God. God, over and over.
This was the way
Hari spent his nights. In the daytime he tried to keep up
appearances, hiding the black hollow within him. He laughed and told
jokes, and he flirted with the adolescent lambs and invariably broke
their hearts. As time went on, he became more and more reckless and
boisterous. The sheep began to shake their heads again and to make
little clicking noises with their tongues. I always said there
was something queer about him, they told one another.