17 December 2009

The Hoary Pollywog: Continued

The hoary pollywog's story began here, so please read it first.


The hoary pollywog moved toward the surface. He knew it was night, not by the absence of light, for the pond was often dark at the depths he lurked, but by the absence of noise. His disproportional legs kicked, unsuccessfully attempting to aide his flight, For flight it was, a long and tiresome flight, the outcome of which lay in the future, undetermined, and though a matter of concern for the hoary pollywog, uncared about.

For the hoary polllywog, having since come to the conclusion that justice was a word not in the dictionary when it came to him and his plight, had decided that he must himself venture to the surface and see. See the paradise that awaited him when he grew, as all frogs must, to maturity.

Deep in his heart, the hoary pollywog knew that he would never mature, he would die the way he lived, small and shrunken and deformed, with a slithery body and legs that stuck out at the sides, silly ornaments useless at everything but making a fool out of him. He knew that his gills would fail him in his moment of truth, that he would die, unless, and he told himself this unless, though he didn't admit anything else, the world above could include him, he could be made for it.

The hoary pollywog sensed weeds sliding across his black back, and shuddered internally. The sensation reminded him of his horrid deformities and too small body. He could see, and feel, the surface above him, though he had not reached it yet.

He looked up, seeing the orb that was the moon, a blurry feature whose beauty would soon be revealed to his wondering eyes. Steeling his determination, for he was determined he would not be timid and slip back into the water, breathe through wretched fills again and wallow in depression, he kicked his legs.

He found a slight grip on a pebble in the water, and thrust himself from it. He flew into the air, above the water, marvelling at the airiness, the darkness, the stars.

He landed with a slight *plop* on soft grass. The blades of grass seemed as though a comforting throne, fit for a king, someone who belonged. He took and deep breath.

He gasped. He couldn't breath. He shook his head, his eyes going blurry.


He would not die without having seen the moon. No. He flipped to his side. He craned his head. He flopped around the grass. The blades of grass, caressing moments before, seemed as though swords. They sliced into his back. He felt light-headed.

He wished to see the moon. To be in the water. Any fate but this. Dying, alone, shrouded in night. He wished that he could take just one more breath, see the moon, be deformed. Anything but this.

However, mused the sky, would such a wish be ill-granted? The hoary pollywog would perhaps just go back to sulking and complaining.

The sky sighed. The wish would be granted.

A breeze stole through the trees toward the hoary pollywog. It whispered among leaves and rustled branches.

The hoary pollywog looked up. He felt the breeze. No longer a breeze, the wind gushed toward him.

He prepared to die. He looked upwards. Clouds greeted him.

The moon had been hidden all along.

The clouds moved across the sky, flung backwards as though opposite poles.

He saw it. The moon, gleaming above him.

He sighed. What bliss, to die as the moon shone upon him, bathed in silver light. He closed his eyes.

The wind puffed one last time, and with a slight whoosh, the hoary pollywog was blown into the water.

He took a breath. He lived.

But most of all, he remembered. The moon.

The Hoary Pollywog

Word generator: hoary pollywog. (I did an adjective and a noun to make it more interesting)

The hoary pollywog was the wisest of the group, having somehow wandered astray on the road of growth and so carried within his small darting body a superior brain, far superior even to those of the eldest and esteemed frogs, while being eternally trapped in his adolescent body. He seemed to be condescending to those just hatched, even those who had swum for their whole lives and were just beginning to emerge triumphant above the surface of the water. But perhaps he was resentful of their ability to grow and leave the water, no longer entrapped in it's suffocating depths, so it must seem to him.

It must be said that while the hoary pollywog was by far the eldest - and so had no reason or desire to associate himself with those younger and more naive than himself - he did not fail to offer advice, though often cynical and bitter. However, no matter if it was asked for or not (which asked for it often was, general opinion being that someone who had survived so long without being killed, albeit a someone who was stunted in growth, was very knowledgeable in the ways of living undisturbed), the answer was delivered in such a harsh and rude way, though admittedly, at least answered at all, that it was never heeded by the foolish tadpoles.

Which is why the hoary pollywog had seen so many moons (be it a large silver droplet hanging somewhere in the blurry space above the water or the spherical orb holding a rabbit that those of the frogs who cared to venture back to the pollywog (being thoroughly bored above the surface) told of with great reverence) go by with less and less of the small tadpoles, and fewer more of the medium tadpoles, and fewer still of the large tadpoles, and of course those who survived to be frogs hardly returned at all, so their fates were left to the be imagined by the unfortunate youngsters whose minds worked up worse and worse deaths each night.

The hoary pollywog knew that although his life was unfortunate, he still lived. He ate, and breathed, and even had company (though maybe not enjoyable or polite company it was). Yet, something gnawed at his heart.

He had never seen the surface. He sat, watching the tadpoles grow legs and leave, hearing the slight splash of water running off their backs as they rose from the water like monsters, the silence at dawn, and the noise at midday. He saw them leave, and he never saw them return, and so he had come to the conclusion (helped in part by the sparse one or two which had returned, if only to laugh at him) that above the surface, it was one of two ways. It was either a living hell where as soon as one left the water, one was immersed into a panicked world of hiding from predatory birds and watching one's back day and night; or it was a paradise, an oasis of peace where one had as much food as one could hope for and mates running everywhere, with not a rival in sight.

He had chosen to believe, inevitably, that the world above must be a paradise, for what reason could there possibly be of keeping him below the water whilst all his fellows were free, other than to deprive him of this great joy, as some sadistic joke from the heavens?

to be continued...

From wikipedia:
The name "tadpole" is from Middle English taddepol, made up of the elements tadde, "toad", and pol, "head" (modern English "poll"). Similarly, "polliwog" and "pollywiggle" are from Middle English polwigle, made up of the same pol and wiglen, "to wiggle".
Tadpoles are young amphibians that live in the water. As a tadpole matures, it most commonly metamorphosizes by gradually growing limbs (usually the legs first, followed by the arms) and then (most commonly in the case of frogs) outwardly absorbing its tail by apoptosis.Lungs develop around the time of leg development, and tadpoles late in development will often be found near the surface of the water, where they breathe air. During the final stages of external metamorphosis, the tadpole's mouth changes from a small, enclosed mouth at the front of the head to a large mouth the same width as the head. The intestines shorten to make way for the new diet.

13 December 2009

Christmas Crones

I just used a random word generator, which is actually cool if you can't think of anything to blog (or write) about.
The word is glockenspiel, which I figured was some sort of doppelgänger or something of that nature, wizened, wrinkled and witchy maybe. However, I was surprised to find that it was a musical instrument, rather like a xylophone.
Well, you learn something new every day (it's the old ting I forget that I worry about...such as that 'h'). The Germans do come up with some cool words, especially short ones that express complicated ideas (check out these cool German words; Schadenfreude and Verschlimmbesserung).

Two wizened crones crouched on a peak.
They squatted in between goat droppings and rocks.
Goats wove their paths around them, hardly noting the two.
They sat, and it seemed for eternity they never moved.
Then one twitched an eyebrow.
Suddenly, the other knew it was time.
Standing, she opened her mouth and wailed.
The goats ran hastily away from the racket, calling to the others as they rushed.
But the first took from her pocket a golden hammer.
And the second pulled from her cloak a glockenspiel.
The first drew up the hammer...
...the second wailed and screamed and the sound echoed through the mountains.
With a soft *ping* the hammer fell upon the glockenspiel.
The note trickled through the hills.
The goats twitched their ears and turned.
Slowly, slowly, but then faster, faster,
they began to walk toward the crones.
They ran toward them.
And the crones reached into their pockets and drew out food.
They scattered it across the ground.
The goats gobbled it.
A feast for Christmas.

03 December 2009

December and the Snowflake

It's December, the whimsical month of snow flurries and ice skating.
For some of us.
Here, well, it hardly ever snows. Ever.
So I thought I would send a friendly snowflake to have a little discussion with December.

December: I am the best of all the months. I am cold and frosty and windy. I make people hunch up in their jackets. I force them to hurry inside and not come out.
Snowflake: I am dainty and white and when I fall, everything is silence. When I come flitting, floating, everyone runs outside. I wrap loving blankets around the trees' twiggy shoulders.
December: I howl frosty winds through the trees and make their branches snap off and thump onto the ground.
Snowflake: I am different, unique, unlike all those of my kind. Children clap their hands and stick out their tongues and twirl around to snatch me in fun from the sky.
December: And then you melt from their grasp, giving them a short burst of happiness only to tear it away. I stay for as long as they'll have me, and longer. Every year I am the same, and every year people look at the calendar in suspense, waiting for me. Me!
Snowflake: People look toward the icy gates of December with apprehension. They envision red noses and purple fingers and toes.
December: That is true, I give them what they wish for.
Snowflake: They do not wish for December! They hate you! They despise you! And the only reason they suffer through your tortuously short days is for Christmas. Yes, Christmas!
December: They suffer through Christmas knowing that I am almost leaving! They sob and wail at my departure!
Snowflake: They throw parties! Parties to welcome January. Parties to cast you out, parties to celebrate seeing the end of you for a blissful eleven months!
December: You are lying! You spite me! You despicable thing!
Snowflake: Those who have seen me wish for me again and again. They marvel at my glittering facets, my diamond features. Everyone has known you. Few like you.
December: Ah, Snowflake, you have not played your game as skilfully as I have. See here, the southern hemisphere. You cannot bother me here.
Snowflake: You are wrong, my dear December. Quite wrong. See look, we are here, both of us.
December: You have failed to notice your melting limbs. Your "glittering facets" are nothing, you are dripping into water.
December: See, my foolish foe, you have no more words. You cannot speak to defend your infantile actions and childish words.
December: Snowflake, what's this? You wish to return to the northern hemisphere, where you can live once more? Well no can do, I'm afraid. It's vacation time here, and I have a hankering for balmy skies and smooth seas.
December: Well, you'll have to take it up with June. I'm off-duty.