Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chapter 19: Ants

Lately, at the Lily Pad, we have been discussing Morsels, as I have decided that the Frogs are a little fat, and could perhaps benefit from fewer feedings.

Peaseblossom has come up with a stratagem to satisfy his hunger.  He reasons that, since Frogs are attracted to the colors and bodies of other Frogs (Peaseblossom especially, I may add), Morsels of the cricket type may possibly feel the same.  And so he set out stones, more and less the size and color of a cricket, in front of the log.  In the log he hides, ready to snatch up the Morsel when it approaches, the poor bug expecting "a friendly and crunchy friend".

Peaseblossom set stones in front of the log, and waited.

Mustardseed asked me which type were the most numerous Morsels on the Lily Pad.

I said that the most numerous Morsels were probably ants, who live in colonies and have queens, and grand colonies, some of which stretch for miles, and consist of millions or billions of members.

At this, Mustardseed perked up and hopped closer, his too-big belly coming to rest upon two of Peaseblossom's cricket-stones.  Mustardseed thoroughly questioned me on these Morsels, and was quickly unsatisfied with how little I knew.

Mustardseed questioned me on these Morsels.

And so, returning from many days' work, I often found Frog-slime on my Book of Mac, which contains much information on any topic that a Frog might want to learn.  I imagined that Mustardseed was doing research.  My suspicions were confirmed when Mustardseed, giddy with his new knowledge, said that ants were indeed the most numerous Morsel, and perhaps the most successful of them all, and, in fact, were in so many places in the Lily Pad and beyond, that he wagered that they would fill up many ponds or even lakes, if one were to pour all of the ants into them.

Mustardseed continued by saying that they had inspired him to write a poem.  After my urging, he recited it with much pride and confidence, and his distinguished voice rang out in the Dwelling, bouncing and echoing.  Mustardseed gestured as he spoke.  I have copied the poem below:

Who are the kings of the moving things?
Some say the lion, some the bear, some the hulking whale.

In fact, they are the weakest,
The smallest, and the meekest.

Little though forever large,
Weak though infinitely strong,
The Ants
Have only to wake,
And the marble is theirs to take.

I applauded the Frog.  Upon hearing the recitation of the poem, an unnerved Peaseblossom looked again at his small stones laid about, and was about to me ask if crickets looked much like ants, but stopped his sentence short, and, after a long pause and many sidelong looks at me, he hopped to Mustardseed and casually asked him about the qualities of the appearance of ants, what color they were and how large.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chapter 18: Snow

This past weekend, as I sat at my table, while reading the news and eating a bowl of oats, I noticed a whiteness dropping from the sky, as if the clouds were themselves falling.  The whiteness came in small bits and fell lazily, resting upon the ground and blanketing the area in a very clean and pretty white powder, which seemed to turn the whole area into a sea of cloud-guts.  The scene confused me greatly, as I had never seen such a thing.

After marvelling at this strange and slightly alarming phenomenon, I realized that I in fact knew all along that the substance was snow, and had spent much of my history moulding, rolling, and playing with snow, but for some reason my mind had failed (or refused) to acknowledge my memories of the whiteness.  I wondered at this peculiarity, why my brain had failed me, or what had caused my perception to change.

I asked Mote and Mustardseed if they had seen snow before, and while doing this, picked them up and took them over to the window.

As I took her in my hand, Mote asked what that was, and if it was a thing, how large.

I said that snow is the solid form of Wet, and is actually formed into miniscule crystals, each one being unique.  Quite a topic for a piece of a poem, or any piece of contemplative writing, I said to Mustardseed, with a nudge.  We looked out at the snow.

Mustardseed said that upon first seeing the snow, he thought that perhaps it was actually the clouds falling, on account of the whiteness falling so lazily, blanketing the ground so evenly, and being so soft and powdery-looking.  A bit like a sea composed of the guts of clouds, he said.

I was struck, for this was exactly what had gone through my mind one minute previously, verbatim, to the note.  The words imagined even rung through my head with Mustardseed's voice and intonation, which I related to the reader in the first paragraph of this entry.  

And in slipped a thought, a conjecture from the outskirts of my mind, like a creative idea might be caught in the wide net of a writer's searching mind, unexpectedly, but surely providing a great and hulking piece to the puzzle which the thinker was trying to put together.  Mustardseed and I had Positively the same reaction to the snow, both of us seeing it with an explorative and wondrous feeling of perception and detailed description, using the same adjectives and metaphors in the describing of the substance.  

In my hand, Mustardseed looked at me, or perhaps into me, or perhaps through me, as I was not able to tell, for my world had been shaken and my abilities of perception vehemently quaked.

It seemed as though our minds had perhaps merged in a way, like that of friends who adopt one another's mannerisms.  There was a very grave feeling to this, however, in this situation, that unnerved me completely.  For this behavior of mine seemed to erase my previous way of perceiving, and even, my Human Memory, and replaced it all with the workings of the mind of Mustardseed.

Am I becoming a Frog?