But there was
plenty of soup and plenty of bread and wine, and then there was cake, the kind
you get a piece of for breakfast in Germany. I was full and happy. Everyone was
talking and laughing there under the trees, and then I realized that someone
was standing behind me. It was Hans with his bright blue sweater, and he was
still smiling. "My father has asked me to speak with you," he said,
sitting beside me.
I thought that
maybe I had done something wrong, violated an 800-year-old law of Frederick
Barbarossa or something, and I started to get nervous.
"What did he
say?" I asked.
that you would be interested in the examination."
examination?" I said, wondering if I had to take it, and what you needed to
"It is the
examination in order to hunt in Germany," Hans said. "Everyone must
take it who hunts."
I felt better.
Everyone but me, I thought, because very shortly after graduation from high
school, from college, from graduate school, from Uncle Sam, from driving
school, from the eye doctor, right after I had done my SSATs, PSATs, SATs, GREs
and GCTs I had decided I would never take another examination again, ever. And
said. "I'd like to know about it. What's it like?"
Hans said, "In
Germany we call it 'The Impossible Examination.' "
"Tell me about
it," I said, and he did.