The girl picks up creatures from the side of the road. They’re too exotic even for a freak show: the pink elephant who cannot stop talking about his failed marriage to a Swiss cuckoo though he always hated the regularity of the fowl’s call and the sexual frustration, bird beak versus mammal marshmallow organ; the very large sulphur-colored butterfly, who escaped from Damien Hirst’s slaughterhouse and who’ll forever be depressed because it had to leave its friends behind on a wall littered with tiny skewered bodies, an installation called “papilionaceous artistic miracle” by the Guardian; or the labrador, who’s not special at all except that she’s the original dog from the line “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog”. The girl takes care of them, or perhaps they take care of the girl, it’s not clear: the boundary of a great fantastical brain is like a membrane between two worlds. It swings and sways in the mind breeze. The animals are transponders, answers to her call for stimulation. At night, she steals their skins, puts them on, traverses jungles and cities, larks in the skies, turns the heads of ancient stone sculptures. “We’re family now,” she says to them. “Kewl,” says the dog who wags the tail that hits the butterfly who lands on the pink back of the blundering elephant bull.

This piece has a strange origin: my daughter’s Waldorf school asks the parents to adorn the envelope that contains their term’s final report. It’s a nice way to soften the blow of a bad evaluation or heighten a good one. The added challenge is that the child has to recognize her own envelope…it’s like an enigma—”how well do you know your makers?” —this is what I drew for the occasion this year. The story scene came later. All art is connected, like subterranean rivers of liquid jewels. Happy holidays, sweetie. [Deutsche Version der Geschichte]

4 thoughts on “Kewl

    • It’s not clear yet: I’ll let you know next week when the final reports will be distributed and the envelopes shown…thankfully she’s not on the net (yet)…though the pressure is mounting from this generation of 11-year (!) olds to also wither over a keyboard, typing their lifetime away as we do. If she should see the story she’d know instantly…she’s largely responsible for the appearance of dragons, angels, butterflies and princesses in my writing. As she grows up, I may mature also. Or not.

  1. Yes, very happy holidays, Lucia.
    If indeed you are “largely responsible” for the best in your father’s writing, then I like you even better than I did when I first met you (and that was: a lot).Luisa

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