The saint laughed at Zarathustra, and spoke thus: "Then see to it that they accept your treasures!
They are distrustful of anchorites, and do not believe that we come with gifts.
The fall of our footsteps rings too hollow through their streets.
And just as at night, when they are in bed and hear a man abroad long before sunrise,
so they ask themselves concerning us: Where goes the thief?
Go not to men, but stay in the forest!
Go rather to the animals!
Why not be like me--a bear among bears, a bird among birds? "
"And what does the saint in the forest?" asked Zarathustra.
The saint answered: "I make hymns and sing them;
and in making hymns I laugh and weep and mumble: thus do I praise God.
With singing, weeping, laughing, and mumbling do I praise the God who is my God.
But what do you bring us as a gift?
"When Zarathustra had heard these words, he bowed to the saint and said:
"What should I have to give you! Let me rather hurry hence lest I take aught away from you! "
And thus they parted from one another, the old man and Zarathustra, laughing like schoolboys.
When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: "Could it be possible! This old saint in the forest has not yet heard of it, that GOD IS DEAD! "