WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU HADN'T SAVED HIM? "Yes! The sun would have risen just the same, yes?" NO "Oh, come on. You can't expect me to believe that. It's an astronomical fact." THE SUN WOULD NOT HAVE RISEN. ... "Really? Then what would have happened, pray?" A MERE BALL OF FLAMING GAS WOULD HAVE ILLUMINATED THE WORLD.
Picture a tall, dark figure, surrounded by cornfields... NO, YOU CAN'T RIDE A CAT. WHO EVER HEARD OF THE DEATH OF RATS RIDING A CAT? THE DEATH OF RATS WOULD RIDE SOME KIND OF DOG. Picture more fields, a great horizon-spanning network of fields, rolling in gentle waves... DON'T ASK ME I DON'T KNOW. SOME KIND OF TERRIER, MAYBE. ...fields of corn, alive, whispering in the breeze... RIGHT, AND THE DEATH OF FLEAS CAN RIDE IT TOO. THAT WAY YOU KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE. ...awaiting the clockwork of the seasons. METAPHORICALLY.
A witch who is bored might do ANYTHING. People said things like 'we had to make our own amusements in those days' as if this signified some kind of moral worth, and perhaps it did, but the last thing you wanted a witch to do was get bored and start making her own amusements, because witches sometimes had famously erratic ideas about what was amusing.
The most prudent thing any intelligent animal can do, if it would prefer its descendents not to spend a lot of time on a slab with electrodes clamped to their brains or sticking mines on the bottom of ships, or being patronised by zoologists, is to make bloody certain humans don't find out about it.
We're dealing here," said Vimes, "With a twisted mind." "Oh, no! You think so?" "Yes." "But... no... you can't be right. Because Nobby was with us all the time." "Not Nobby," said Vimes testily. "Whatever he might do to a dragon, I doubt if he'd make it explode. There's stranger people in this world than Corporal Nobbs, my lad." Carrot's expression slid into a rictus of intrigued horror. "Gosh," he said.
He'd noticed that sex bore some resemblance to cookery: it fascinated people, they sometimes bought books full of complicated recipes and interesting pictures, and sometimes when they were really hungry they created vast banquets in their imagination - but at the end of the day they'd settle quite happily for egg and chips. If it was well done and maybe had a slice of tomato.
Interesting thing, these fellows never seem to get the idea of perspective-' The Bursar thought, or received the thought: that's because perspective is a lie. If I know a pond is round then why should I draw it oval? I will draw it round because round is true. Why should my brush lie to you just because my eye lies to me?
It's an old magical principle - it's even filtered down into RPG systems - that magic, while taking a lot of effort, can be 'stored' - in a staff, for example. No doubt a wizard spends a little time each day charging up his staff, although you go blind if you do it too much, of course.
There are plenty of people who believe that Elvis is alive, or that aliens occasionally land here to do highly personal things to people, or that the whole idea of evolution is a conspiracy of godless scientists. Almost all of these people can vote and some of them have got guns.