Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Existential Children's Tales

Frog Learns to Sit


Frog said to Log, "Get up. It's raining!"
Log was apathetic and full of chagrin.
"Why can't I lie down and die, like the rest of my rotting family?"
"Ah, you mustn't talk like that Log," said Frog.
"Why don't you hop away and go play with Bunny and leave me alone?" Log replied.
"Friends don't leave friend's alone!" Frog cried.
"Ha!" Log grumbled. "I have been a corpse my whole life. Sat on and never noticed, slick with moss."
"A corpse cannot smile"
"Exactly!"
"Log, I will teach you to hop."
"Why don't I teach you to sit?"
"Yes," cried Frog," why don't you?"
"Ah, you could never learn!" Log retorted.
"Oh yes! Please show me Log." Frog begged.
"Well," Log began, "the first thing is you have to learn how to frown."
"Oh!" Frog said.
"Yes. It is imperative that you wipe your smile away. There is no cause for such pride."
"Pride?"
"Yes, pride in being able to move. That which does not move has no need to smile."
"Oh my!"
"Oh my indeed. Next, you must renounce the Days."
"Renounce the days?"
"Yes, and the nights. When you are Log, these things have no meaning."
"No?"
"No. Time is a seamless garment,a vulture that picks at the flesh. Or in my case, the bark."
"My skin is so smooth!"
"That's because you cannot see your warts, friend."
"Whar..."
"Now, your legs. You will be tempted to use them, to bound away in terror of the lack of day and night. Frogs are most susceptible to this. It would be proper for you to sever them. Maybe you could talk with Rock about this."
"No, I don't want to do that!"
"What is wrong with Rock?"
"No, my legs!"
"Yes, they will need to go. You want to sit like me, you will need to cut them off like dead branches. You could offer them to Human as a gift, a del-i-ca-te-sy they call it."
"Log, did you ever have legs?"
"What kind of silliness is this? Do you see above you? I used to be a Tree. This was my family. We had legs that stretched to the core of the Earth. Our arms...spread like rivers through the sky. But once I fell..."
"Fell?"
"Was pushed, rather. By the Wind. I wouldn't have gone down willingly. But my roots, they grew soft. My body, brittle. All it took was a push."
"Now you are a Log!"
"I become Everything. And everything is in me. You will learn this. Perhaps."
"What fun, this sitting!"
"Yes, fun. Now, about those legs..."