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The Bottle Neck

The garden of the house was magnificently decorated; colorfully lighted lamps were hung in garlands, and paper lanterns glowed festively, resembling big, seemingly transparent tulips. It was a beautiful evening, too; the air was calm and mild; the stars twinkled brightly, and there was a new moon; people with sharp eyes could see the whole round moon, which looked like a blue-gray globe half encircled with gold.

There was some illumination along the outlying walks, too - at least enough to enable one to find his way along them. Rows of bottles, each with a candle in it, had been set up along the hedges. Among these stood the Bottle we know - that which was to end as a bottle neck, a bird glass - and it found everything here completely delightful; it was again out among the greenery; again it heard the sounds of gladness and festivity, song and music, the buzz and chatter of many people, especially from the section of the garden where the lamps were burning and the paper lanterns showed their bright colors. Though the Bottle stood along an out-of-the-way walk, even that gave it food for thought; in standing here and bearing its light, it was being both useful and enjoyable to others, and such was its rightful purpose. In an hour like that one can forget twenty years in an attic - and that is a good thing to forget.

A couple passed close by, arm in arm, like the betrothed pair out in the woods - the naval officer and the furrier's daughter; it seemed to the Bottle that it was living its life over again. Guests strolled to and fro in the garden; there were also passers-by who had ventured here for a glimpse of the guests and the festivities, and among them was an old maid who had no relatives or family but was not friendless. She was thinking of the same thing that the Bottle was; she thought of the green woods and the young betrothed couple of so long ago. That indeed concerned her, because she had been a part of it - she was one of the two lovers! That had been the happiest time of her life, a time never to be forgotten, however old an old maid may be.

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