W. T. Everlovin’…
Forgot about this until yesterday:
A few nights ago I was talking to him and just decided to let it flow and listen (I have a hard time listening over my constant internal caucus AND he’s mute). Managed to write this down before passing out -
Njati moi sulewa
Sounds African to me. Google… Yup. “Njati” is Chichewa for “bison”. Can’t find “sulewa” other than in the Chichewan proverb, “Mutu ukakula sulewa nkhonya,” which means, “When the head gets big, it cannot dodge blows” (ie. the buck stops here). “Nkhonya” is “fists”, so I assume “sulewa” is “dodging” of some kind. “Moi” (pron. “moy”) I don’t know.
Chichewa is spoken in Malawi (parts of Zimbabwe & Zambia too). It’s 100% possible and plausible that I heard that phrase or parts of it sometime in my life and my brain stored it because the sounds are pleasing.
Better ask the party (at least partially) responsible -
Oh grrrrrrrreat. Courts can be difficult enough to interpret, but the Wildwood just takes them to a whole other level of “bash head here”. When I laid these cards I made the “Y U NO” face. And I just _know_ he’s that fox…
So I laughed, went to bed, closed my eyes and said, “Please to be explaining, Sir.”
(And then the only way I can tell the following without it getting incredibly clunky is in the first-person narrative.)
We’re by the Tree and the Stream. I look at him and yes, he’s a Fox, and I’m a… Swan?? And we’re Victorian, I guess, because he’s wearing a lovely morning suit (and a MONOCLE) and I have a little hat and I can feel a floofy skirt floofing around where my butt would be if I wasn’t currently an anthropomorphic Cygnina.
“Ohhhh, no, no,” I say, “I know how this fable ends and it’s not good for the swan. You try anything funny and I’ll peck your eyes out and break your legs.”
He just grins that foxy grin.
“Shall we have some tea, then?” I ask (and suddenly I’m a very proper lady). So we sit down – well, he lounges all casually nonchalant-like. I sip my tea; my feather fingers are very delicate and pretty and I can feel my tiny hat shifting around as I dip my head. I can see now that I’m also wearing one of those lovely ante-bellum jackets with the wide sleeves (you can take the girl out of the costume department…)
“So what am I supposed to do, oh wise, foxy guru? What is my holy vocation?” (I am a little snippy; it’s part of my Lady Swan persona.)
While I wait unexpectantly for him not to answer, I wonder about teacups for swans. The beak… the beak is an issue. The cup would have to be deeper and also narrower, so that tea didn’t just spill out around the sides and make a mess…
He laughs. “You’re a dreamer, so dream. It’s your gift.”
WELL. If I wasn’t such a proper lady with such proper lady social skills, I would sputter and spit my tea all over my finery. Instead, I pretend like HIS TALKING AUDIBLY isn’t a big deal at all.
“And what, pray tell, will that accomplish?”
He shakes his head a little, as if to ask, “Gods, woman, must you be so difficult?”
“Take a flying leap and trust that you will never hit bottom. What do you think you were given wings for?”
” . ” is my brilliant response to that. (In Life, the Universe and Everything Douglas Adams posits that the trick to flying is to throw yourself at the ground, and miss. It takes a lot of “missing” before you get it right.)
“Don’t you remember how good it felt to fly?…”
- (I’ve been having impromptu flying visualizations, largely underwater. Being a turtle was pretty cool [and it also gave me a taste of what it feel like to be immortal, as in, there is only now and then more now, and more now, forever]; being a ray was AWESOME.) -
“… Remember the feeling of resistance, aiding you, working together with your perfect wings to let you glide?”
He’s right – wings are amazeballs.
So I stand up and test them a little. They’re HUGE. WOO-WEEEE!! I won’t be able to fly in this get-up though, so I take off my little hat, and my floofy skirt and my pretty jacket and lay them neatly on the picnic blanket (I also admire my shapely swan legs and butt; no tail, as it turns out.).
Then I look at him because, what next? Swans don’t just *launch* themselves into the air. I guess they flap a bit and then sort of run along the surface… but I don’t have a lake, or even a pond. I feel a bit stupid now.
“Am I just supposed to run, like I’m dragging a kite behind me?… OK (you’re no help). I’m going over there.”
I hop over the Stream to where there’s some running room before the edge of the Forest. I extend my wings and drag them slowly against the air, curving and twisting to get the feel of them. They are so graceful; it’s hypnotic to watch the edge feathers flittering and adapting to the strokes. And then it’s time.
I do my awkward running thing, throw myself at the ground, and miss.
Flying rocks, y’all.
When I’m done gliding and flapping and surveying the scenery – him sprawled down below, grinning – I come in for a very professional landing on the picnic blanket, barely suppressing the giggles because I’ve got that Bette Midler song playing in my head, all operatic-like.
I don’t bother with my clothes – I might want to fly again in a bit – and pour myself another cup of tea. I think he gets out a “Told you so” before it fades to black.
p.s. Funny little unrelated story about a swan -
Our family used to make frequent trips to the zoo i.e. whenever I could convince my parents that they wanted to spend a day waiting around while I watched the animals for hourrrrrrrrs.
There was a black swan that would lose its mind whenever I came near the fence; if I moved, it would follow. Only me; nobody else. The thing is, the swan didn’t make the noises and movements that go along with a display of aggression and warning, it was just *rilly rilly excited to see me OMGOSH*.
This story has no conclusion, dramatic or otherwise.