The Bottle Neck
It remembered the flaming furnace in the manufacturing plant, where it had been blown into existence. It still remembered how warm it was at first, how it looked into that roaring furnace, its birthplace, and longed to leap back into it. But then as it gradually cooled, it found itself well off where it was, standing in a long row with a whole regiment of brothers and sisters. All had been born from the same furnace, but some had been blown into champagne bottles, some into beer bottles, and that makes a difference. To be sure, as things happen in the world, a beer bottle may hold the costliest Lachryma Christi wine, while a champagne bottle may be filled with black ink; but what each one was born for may still be clearly seen in its form; nobility remains nobility, even with black ink inside.
All the bottles were soon packed up, our Bottle among them. Little did it think then that it would end as a bottle neck, serving as a bird glass, and yet that is an honorable existence - it's at least something. It did not see daylight again until it was unpacked, together with its comrades, in the cellar of a wine merchant; and then for the first time it was rinsed out - that was an odd sensation. It then lay empty and corkless, and felt strangely dull, as if it lacked something, though it didn't know what. But then it was filled with good, glorious wine received a cork, and was sealed up; a label was pasted on it, "Best Quality," and it felt as if it had been awarded the highest rating as the result of its examination - though it had to be admitted that the wine was good, as well as the Bottle.
When one is young, one is a lyric poet! The Bottle was singing inwardly of things it knew nothing about - green, sunlit mountains, where the vineyards grow, and where merry maidens and happy youths sing and kiss. Yes, it is wonderful to be alive! Indeed, the Bottle inwardly sang of all this, as do young poets, who frequently also know nothing about the things of which they sing.
One morning it was bought.