They were a pair of fools, husband and wife, and none of their labors prospered. Their mint grew ragged, their chives sprouted thorns, and their child swelled and shrank with the weather. Nobody knew what this child’s sickness was. In winter he filled up with poisonous gas, his limbs grew too stiff to move, and his parents had to drag him about in a wagon. In summer he withered and red streaks appeared on his skin. His desperate parents devoted their every instant to keeping him alive. They tried hot baths, ice baths, sunshine, darkness, vegetables, sweetbreads, gruels, exercise.