Oskar Matzerath 3

There are still a dozen or more snapshots aged one, two and two and a half, lying, sitting, crawling, and running. They aren’t bad; but all in all, they merely lead up to the full-length portrait they had taken of me in honour of my third birthday.

Here I’ve got it. I’ve got my drum. It is hanging in front of my tummy, brand new with its serrated red and white fields. With a solemnly resolute expression, I hold the sticks crossed over the top of it. I have on a striped pull-over and resplendent patent leather shoes. My hair is standing up like a brush ready for action and in each of my blue eyes is reflected the determination to wield a power that would have no need of vassals or henchmen. It was in this picture that I first arrived at a decision which I have had no reason to alter. It was then that I declared, resolved, and determined that I would never under any circumstances be a politician, much less a grocer, that I would stop right there, remain as I was – and so I did; for many years I not only stayed the same size but clung to the same attire.