The Dromosophist

One day, they buried the dromosophist, and they buried his heavy burden with him, but not before transcribing the cryptic words written on the tall burden. For years, he had gone on pilgrimages, carrying this burden or burdens much like this one, planting them in odd places, and then uprooting them in order to carry them off to other lands. It was like watching someone carry a cross. There were numerous sightings, but nobody could quite agree as to whether it was always the same burden or numerous, different burdens with various meanings. The dromosophist made his last pilgrimage in the autumn, when they burn fields of straw, when orange and red leaves scatter and shudder across country roads. Halfway through the mountain pass, the dromosophist saw something beyond the cliffs, and went to plant his burden, but fell to his death at the bottom of the jagged, steep rocks. The body and burden were recovered by the good peasants of the mountains, who also summoned a scholar from far, far away to come and explain the burden. When the scholar arrived, he gazed at the broken body and the burden, a round, metal disc painted red and affixed to a long, wooden pole. The scholar transcribed the words for the peasants as requested. What does it say? all of the peasants asked. Do not enter, the scholar replied. It is a road sign.

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