Veren of lood – de oorsprong van de naam

“So feathers or lead?” I asked him.

“Pardon?”

“It is the riddle of the kallikanzaros. Pick one.”

“Feathers?”

“You’re wrong.”

“If I had said ‘lead’…?”

“Uh-uh. You only have one chance. The correct answer is whatever the kallikanzaros wants it to be. You lose.”

“That sounds a bit arbitrary.”

“Kallikanzaroi are that way. It’s Greek, rather than oriental subtlety. Less inscrutable, too. Because your life often depends on the answer, and the kallikanzaros generally wants you to lose.”

“Why is that?”

“Ask the next kallikanzaros you meet, if you get the chance. They’re mean spirits.”

Roger Zelazny, This Immortal, 1966

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