Friday, February 04, 2011

Cure for neurosis – Gerald Berners and Robert Helpman

Ballet artist Robert Helpman (1909-1986) was very honored when he was invited to an afternoon visit to the house of English baron Gerald Berners (1883-1950), musician who was otherwise known as an eccentric man.

Mr. Helpman was received politely and escorted to the salon of the beautiful castle, not far from Oxford. To his immense surprise, in the saloon he came across – a horse.

Then, as if nothing unusual was happening, he was served with tea. Baron Berners asked Helpman whether he is drinking his tea with lemon or milk, and then he fed his horse with sugar cubes.

There was no one to explain to the startled guest what was happening. Finally, the Baron said that the horse ate enough and that the servant could escort him to the barn... Not long after, Helpman also left the baron’s home.

After some time, Baron and ballet dancer met again. Unable to restrain himself, Robert Helpman asked him:

- I do not understand. Why was a horse present in your luxurious salon during my visit to your castle?

Baron gave him an unusual explanation:

- You see, when people see a horse in the saloon, they immediately become nervous. I like that because I myself am a very nervous man. But when I see that my guests are nervous, I relax.

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