Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chapter 24: Gold

This afternoon, after finishing the old epic Beowulf (I have been reading it aloud to my Frogs,) and setting the book down with that too-satisfying feeling of having completed a book, Mote made it known that she was not quite comfortable with the description of Grendel's mother.  

Mote was not quite comfortable with the description of Grendel's Mother

Mote said that Grendel's mother had too many characteristics of Frogs, as she was Insatiable, an excellent hopper and swimmer, and could easily remain on land or in Wet, whichever she chose.  Mote said that this close similarity was perhaps offensive, as Grendel's mother was seen as a Spawn of All that is Horrid, and is generally portrayed to be Not a Good Thing.

Peaseblossom said that perhaps Beowulf, too, was Froggity because of his abilities with many of the same things (he had to swim for three days to get to the monster's lair,) and also because of his supreme valor.

I asked the Frogs what they thought about all of the gold in the epic - the bestowing of golden diadems and rings, of shimmering corselets and beautiful bodices.  I said that the gold seemed to have an ever-present role and that it was a bit like the currency which moves the characters and plot along, making an appearance in each scene and finally providing a backdrop for the finale of the book, when Beowulf fights the dragon near the beast's hoard.  

Mote and Peaseblossom looked between each other, confused.  

Mote and Peaseblossom looked between each other, confused

Mustardseed intuited their confusion, and explained to them that currency and gold were highly prized by Men for their beauty and the power which they could bestow.  After Mote asked how this love for a certain metal could have started, Mustardseed replied, saying that once, fifteen-thousand years ago, a man found a piece of the metal, noted its peculiar coloring that reminded him of the tone of his long-deceased mother's skin, and promptly began acting like the metal was very Precious, guarding it and hoarding it, much like the dragon, and eventually convinced, through his misplaced reverence for it (it was so much like his loving mother's comforting skin,) eventually convinced through jealousy many of his friends to covet the item: the man eventually sold the item to his friend in exchange for his friend's wife, and currency through gold was born, the first transaction being for the affections of one Sour and Unfortunate Lass.

This long and unlikely story (do you not think?) over, I asked the Frogs if they had any cur-

And I dropped the question, as Mote and Peaseblossom were so interested in the Ramifications of Mustardseed's story, and now a list of things made of gold (spoons, guns, rings, boxes for rings, toilets...) that the attention was quite diverted from me, perhaps because of their lack of interest, perhaps because at that moment I started to complain about numerous friends who had borrowed from me and not Paid Back, which, due to currency, had dampened our Lovely and Flowery Friendship, for which I would pay any amount, if only the relationship could return to its previous state.

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