Thursday, August 21, 2008

The salesmen in the swamp...

The frogs were selling all sorts of stuff in the swamp.

"We have power, fame, and ultimate happiness. We also entertain you, tell you what’s going on outside. Let us show you how the outside world really is. Ask us. It’s easy; just know that everything comes at a price. Pay the price, and we’ll be happy to serve you."

"How much is the price?" asked someone.

"Just a tiny little bit of your soul, and we don’t actually take it forever, it’s like a rent. It won’t hurt, we borrow it for some time, as long as you listen to our stories and buy power or fame or simply a comfortable life, and then you can take it back. Think about it, with such big souls that we all creatures have, there wouldn’t be a problem if we get some of it only for some time..."


"….and they are really buying things from you?" asked a lady frog in their huge luxury house in the middle of the swamp.

"Of course, what did you think of me? I am not only selling them stuff, but also even images. They are all under the water and cannot get out, or they’ll die you know. So I am telling them whatever I see from the outside world…and you know your husband. What would I tell them?"

"Your own version, you smart frog. I know you, and that’s why I like you, even though I know about your flaws. But I believe in you. But what about the other insects who know what’s going on out there? Mosquitoes and flies are not our problem. They give anything in return of the favor that you don’t eat them. The butterflies are our main problem."

"I know, I know. I have thought about it too. At first I tried to get friends with them, which you know didn’t work. They stubbornly don’t give me any bit of their souls. But then I tried to get mosquitoes and flies to lead them to the good old spider on the far end of the swamp, and for the rest of them who don’t get trapped, I use my "soul-changing" trick, not on them, but on the swamp’s residents. Everything works better when we work from deep within them. That’s why I take a tiny little bit of their souls. I shape them as I want, and return them. They won’t notice it that after awhile, my lies look like the reality, and nothing bothers them any more. They just won’t care about what is "really" going on out there."

They started laughing, such an ugly laugh that one single small lotus behind their backyard, shrank in a heartbeat, and sank in the water…


But it was not completely hopeless yet, as the salesman frog wasn’t noticing or considering the small little caterpillars who were everywhere on the leaves, listening to their conversations, watching the trapped butterflies, getting friends with the nicer flies and talking to crickets, waiting for the day that they could fly away from the swamp, and experience the real reality, with their souls intact. The smart frog was smart, but couldn’t see them. They were there, waiting for the day of metamorphosis...


Anonymous said...

Such a nice story which made me go to my old books and find this piece by Forough Farokhzad:

Perhaps truth was those young hands,
They are now buried under the unending blow of snow
But when spring makes love
to the blue reflection of sky
and green stream of fresh grass
flows in its veins
they will flourish, my beloved

Be happy my dear Nava.

Robert said...

Thank you for this story! It is a powerful metaphor and it gives me hope that there will be a colourful future full of butterflies exploring the real world :)
Have a beautiful day,

Nava said...

Hi Parinaz,
Thanks for the poem. Hope seems to be always there, even when you don't see it.

Hi Robert,
Thanks for visiting.
You know, one of my favorite writers has a quote:
"To live, and to live well and happily, we hardly need more than a little hope, and some faith".
I guess I believe in it too. We have to, otherwise, life wouldn't be beautiful and worth the struggles.

Mommy Homeopath: said...

Hi Nava,
You have a talent for story telling….I hope you nurture it seriously…

I am not sure is it the state that I am in these days or just the “reality” but as soon as I read your story I felt what a huge number of “frogs” are leading our world…leading and ruling and dictating....well maybe HOPE is the only answer, hope for the caterpillars….but then there are those moments of fear, the glimpses of fears that what if the caterpillars also become enchanted with the “songs” that frogs are singing!

Nava said...

My dear MH!
I know what you mean, and not all of it is because of your current state.

To be honest with you, my story had a much bitter ending, one closer to the reality, and you know my being "realistic" has a tendency to shift toward being "pessimistic".

But then I thought it's not the matter of if it's there or not, it's just that we need it to live, and to live well, and to go through all the struggles, I'm referring to "hope" you know. I for one, desperately need it, even if it is a tiny little beam of light, it better be there...