chapter  1
The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies Robert Kastenbaum
Pages 16

Children are playing and shouting in the early morning sunshine near the end of Alban Berg's opera Wozzeck. They are chanting a variant of the very familiar rhyme: "Ring-a-ring-a roses, all fall down! Ring-aring-a roses, all...." The game is interrupted by the excited entry of other children, one of whom shouts to Marie's child, "Hey, your mother is dead!" But Marie's child responds only by continuing to ride his hobbyhorse. "Hop, hop! Hop, hop! Hop, hop!" The other children exchange a few words about what is "out there, on the path by the pool," and run off to see for themselves. The newly orphaned child hesitates for an instant and then rides off in the direction of his playmates. End of opera.