Far, very far, from where you are now, there stands a mountain at the end of the earth.
The mountain is three miles high, three miles wide and three miles deep.
It is made all of adamantine diamond, the hardest thing that is.
Once, and once only in every thousand years, there comes to the diamond mountain a little bird, a tiny bird, a bird no bigger than the fingernail on your littlest finger.
|A tiny bird...|
The tiny bird, once in every thousand years, lights on the diamond mountain and sharpens its beak with three strops - One! Two! Three!
And when this tiny bird, which is no bigger than the nail on your littlest finger, and which comes to the mountain only once in every thousand years, when this little bird, with sharpening of its beak, has ground the diamond mountain, which is three miles high, three miles wide, and three miles deep...
When, with three strokes of its tiny bill, once in every thousand years, this little bird has ground the adamantine mountain all, all away...
Has ground it to the finest, finest dust...
And when the last grain of diamond dust has blown away on the wind, and there is not one grain left of the mountain...
Then, and only then, will be ended the first eye-blink of Eternity.
I've known this for ages, but remembered it the other night when we were in a folk club. I thought it was a suitably fairy-tale, Christmassy thing to post at this time of year.
It's a fragment from the Brothers Grimm - though this is my version, retold from memory and no doubt changed.