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The Bottle Neck

But she did not recognize the Bottle, nor did it recognize her; and thus it is that we pass one another by in this world - though sooner or later we are sure to meet again, as did these two, who were now residents of the same town.

From the garden the Bottle went back to the wine merchant's; there it was once more filled with wine and then sold to an aeronaut, whose next balloon ascension was to be on the following Sunday. A crowd of people came to see the event; there was military music, and many elaborate preparations had been made for the occasion. The Bottle saw it all from a basket, where it lay with a live rabbit, who was very disheartened because he knew he was going up only to come down again by parachute. The Bottle knew nothing about going up or coming down, but it saw how the balloon swelled out larger and larger, and that when it could grow no larger it began to raise itself, higher and higher, and rolled uneasily; then the ropes that held it down were cut, and it floated up with the aeronaut, the basket, the rabbit, and the bottle. The band played, and all the people cried, "Hurrah!"

"It's funny to go up in the air like this!" thought the Bottle. "It must be a new kind of sailing; you can't run onto rocks up here!"

Many thousands of people looked up at the balloon, and the old maid watched it, too. She was standing at the open attic window, beside the cage with the little canary, who at that time didn't have a glass for his water but had to get along with an old cup. In the window was a flowering myrtle, which the old woman had moved aside so it wouldn't fall out when she leaned forward to see the proceedings. She could see the aeronaut in the balloon basket; he let the rabbit fall by parachute, then drank a toast to all the spectators and flung the Bottle high into the air. She naturally had no thought of having seen the same bottle fly through the air on that happy day in the green woods, in her youth.

The Bottle didn't have time to think at all, so suddenly did it reach the highest point of its life.

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