The skeleton got up every morning, clean as a Gillette blade. He decorated his bones with herbs, brushed his teeth with ancestor marrow, and laquered his nails with Fatma Red.
In the evening, at cocktail time, he went to the cafe on the corner, where he read the Necromancer's Journal, the paper favoured by high-toned corpses. Often he amused himself by playing dirty tricks. Once he pretended to be thirsty and asked for writing materials; he emptied the inkpot between his jaws into his carcass: the ink stained and spotted his white bones. Another time he went into a joke shop and bought himself a supply of those Parisian pleasantries, imitation turds. One evening he put some in his chamber pot, and his servant never got over the shock in the morning: to think that a skeleton who neither ate nor drank did his business like the rest of us.
It happened that one day the skeleton drew some hazelnuts that walked about on little legs across mountains, that spit frogs out of mouth, eye, ear, nose and other openings and holes. The skeleton took fright like a skeleton meeting a skeleton in bright daylight. Quickly he had a pumpkin detector grow on his head, with a day side like patchouli bread and a night side like the egg of Columbus, and set off, half-reassured, to see a fortune-teller.