In this dialogue, America’s beloved philosopher is walking in Walden Woods. He happens upon a slave and he strikes up a conversation.
Henry David Thoreau: Hello in the woods.
Slave: Yes, what do you want?
HDT: I want you to join me for lunch. I saw you there at the last second and I wanted to announce myself.
S: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
HDT: You could thank me by eating my great creation which some say passes for a veggie sandwich.
S: I eat your food, but I have no money and I have nothing to wash it down with.
HDT: Please, I have hot tea. And why don’t you join me on the feast on this log.
S: Thank you. I am so hungry. Excuse my manner’s.
HDT: I do, if you excuse mine. I have been walking since sun up and it is going on noon.
S: Please, tell me, about yourself and I am a stranger in these woods.
HDT: I am living in a cabin by the pond. It is about 1 mile walk North East of here. But I have been living here for almost a year. I visit in town, but I am lonely today. And I am grateful for your company. Will you not stay for lunch or some nuts and another cup of tea or water?
S: I have never been to these woods before. I am trying to go north. But I am down on my luck. So I travel light and hope to get to Canada before the snow falls. And yes, I’ll have some tea and nuts. I would be happy to talk and visit with you for lunch.
HDT: I am only a slave. I must eat well or not at all. I am afraid I am not a master of my appetite.
S: I do not eat at all. Or I should say, I eat when I can. But I have not eaten for days. But when I walked past the pond, I stopped to drink water. I hope I did well. There was no one there to contest my actions.
HDT: You did well in my eyes. But I tend to look too much with my eyes. I try to shut them as often as I can. I am a slave to my eyes.
S: I must not be in a hurry to use my eyes. I find too many people who hurt me when I use my eyes.
HDT: Really, I tend to hurt myself by using my eyes too much. And I always seem to be in a hurry.
S: I have all the time in the world. But I am tortured by a lack of freedom.
HDT: Exactly, I too have a lack of freedom.
S: I get up early each morning to walk north. I look for food and water everyday. I am afraid someone will question me. And then, I may get into trouble.
HDT: I too get in to trouble. But it is I who ask too many questions. And it is my mind that judges me too harshly.
S: You seem more like a man who has much to say and do. You seem very free to me.
HDT: You seem like a good man. I only wish to be the same: a good man.
S: Thank you for lunch. I must be off.
HDT: If I can help in any way, please ask.
S:No, sorry, I must be on my way.
HDT: Here, take this pack and look in it often. You will find food and water. And other things to use. If you ever happen by here again, visit me at the cabin.
HDT:Yes, gods speed my man.