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Midnight Mucilage

Dozens of elfin men with braided beards and top knots (each uniquely coiffed) scurrying through a dense mushroom  forest laden heavily in places with dangerous brier, each carrying a scroll and quill pen, mumbling, “How and Why? How and Why?” mucilageMost of the little men blunder, tripping over their beards, bumping into one another, excusing themselves,  grunting and making comical sounds, until a rare one wanders off from the madness to the edge of the wood and into an open glade. There, he finds an old mushroom seat that seems designed for the occasion; he sits and appears to ponder deeply. Reaching inside his coat he produces a ragged feather quill and begins to scratch something in a curious dialect backwards upon his scroll which he has laid out upon his crossed leg. (The quill pen appears to contain its own ink!) As he gazes off, apparently scrutinizing a distant landscape that doesn’t exist, he sighs, deeply satisfied. The chaos around the solitary elf subsides as the blithering hoard grows quiet in the distance. The singular elf is remarkably alone; thinking, seeking and finding—creating something. He pauses, reflects  a moment, produces a long stemmed pipe from beneath his beard, lights the freshly tamped dottle, and puffs a curious, small cloud into the air. “Aha,” he exclaims to himself, followed by, “Ahem,” and then dismissively adds: “There’s no one who will get this but me.” And then, “That’s fine . . . really okay,” he muses and begins to scratch with his pen  again in random openings upon the scroll; this time with a slow, but purposeful zeal. “Aha,” he says to the air. “Ahem! . . . This is How and this is Why!”

*Mucilage: an aqueous, usually viscid solution or excretion (as of gum) from plants       used especially as an adhesive.

 

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