[t h e  cl a s s i c s  p a g e s]l u c i a n' s    p a g e

“A True Story”

Page 4

WHILE living on the Moon, I observed some curious practices, which I will describe for you.
SEX: First of all is the fact that they are not born from women, but men. They marry men, and have never even heard of the word for woman! Everyone is a wife until age 25, and after that they are husbands. When they get pregnant, it's not their bellies that swell, but their leg below the knee. They don't go into labour, but just cut the dead foetus out of the calf: they bring it to life by propping it up in the wind with its mouth open. But here's something even more amazing; they have a kind of man called a Treen. They are conceived like this. They remove one of a man's nuts - the right one - and plant it in the ground. From it grows a big fat pink tree-trunk, like a huge erection. It has branches and leaves - and it produces nuts the size of a man's forearm. When they are ripe, they crack open the shells, and take out the men inside. Another thing: they use prosthetic willies when having sex, made of ivory - though the poor sometimes have to make do with wooden ones. [Splinters can be a problem. ed.]


A flying frog!BODY PARTS & BODILY FUNCTIONS: Old Lunese do not die, they simply fade away, like puffs of smoke. They all eat the same food, barbecued frogs. (There are always plenty of frogs flying around in the air.) They don't actually eat them - they all sit around the barbecue sniffing up the smoke; to them, that's a real banquet. To get a drink, they squeeze air into a cup - it gives a dew-like liquid. They don't piss or crap like us - they don't even have suitable apertures where we do. And for boys there's no bending over - instead they use the back of the knee. A good-looking man among the Lunese is bald and completely hairless. They can't stand hairy people. [Lucian has a joke here about comet-dwellers: comet in Greek mains "hairy" , and a comet was so called because it was a hairy star. Hence you'd expect long hair to be fashionable among Cometians]. They do grow beards - just above the knee, and they have no toenails - in fact no toes, or rather just one big one. Every man has an elongated cabbage leaf growing over his bum. It's always green, and never gets squished if he falls over on his backside. Their snot is honey, but it really stinks. When they exert themselves, they sweat milk - good enough to make a delectable cheese if a few drops of mucus-honey are added. They use a delightful sweet-smelling perfume as a deodorant - made from onions. They have a lot of water-vines; the grapes are like hailstones, which probably explains why we get hailstorms. It must be when the wind whistles through the vines and blows the bunches off. They use their stomachs - which they can open and shut - as pockets to keep things in. They haven't got any guts or messy bits inside - it's all soft and furry, and their kids love to snuggle in there when it's cold.


CLOTHES & APPEARANCE: the rich have theirs made of flexible glass, poor people wear clothes made of spun bronze. There's plenty of bronze there, which they wet with water and weave like wool. If I told you what sort of eyes they had, you would probably accuse me of lying - so I won't be revealing this information. Oh, all right then. They have eyes which are removable. They take them out and put them away until they want to see something; then they pop them in and have a squint. The eyes easily get lost, so they often have to borrow other people's. The rich keep a box full, just in case. Their ears are plane leaves - except for the men who came out of the nuts - theirs are plain wood. In the royal palace I saw an incredible thing. There's a big mirror fixed up over a well - not a deep one. If a man climbs down into the well, he can hear everything that's going on on Earth, and if he looks up at the mirror, he can see every city and every country - just as if he were hovering over it. When I tried it, I saw my family and my entire homeland - I'm not sure if they could see me! If anyone does not believe this, he will find if he ever goes there that I am speaking the honest truth.


To get back to where I was. We gave the king and his friends a hug, said good-bye, got back on our ship, and set off…