Another Moth Wing
Another Moth Wing
Monkey ChildI get lonely sometimes, living by myself on Plague Island, so I decided to make a monkey. First I shaved my head to make his fur. I had to cut off my hair, beard, moustache, and eyebrows to get enough material to finish. I thought that made me look weird, so I put on a Hawaiian shirt, and ran around the beach being festive.
For the blood and guts I used a slurry of ferrous-oxide and coconut milk. His heart was an old pocket watch I found on one of the sailors who washed ashore on the last full moon.
Last of all, some friends of mine from an island to the north had a baby and mailed me its brain.
Finally my monkey was complete! As soon as I sewed in his brain and touched up his head with a little epoxy, he turned to me with a smile.
"Hello Papa. Why?"
"Why what, my child?"
"This, that. Everything. Why is the beach?"
"The beach is how the ocean cuddles the land."
"Why is the land?"
"The land is so people and monkeys and grapefruit can grow."
He smiled and ran up a tree and down the beach and into a cave. He came out dirty and happy and hungry and we went swimming and ate jellyfish pie.
For many days we ate and played and talked and learned. One day he was very quiet and went off to the volcano to be by himself. When he returned to our hut around sunset he sat by the fire and looked into my eyes.
"Papa, why are the other animals made out of meat, and I am made out of sack and sticks and spit?"
"When I made you, I wanted to save all the meat so we could have a barbecue to celebrate your birth."
He smiled at this, but then he turned serious again.
"Papa, it is time to go home."
I sighed and feared he was right.
"Papa, what is wrong?"
I sighed again and sat down by the fire. First I told him the history of my home planet, how civilization first emerged from the caves and built great cities and temples. How nations warred even as they progressed, and how the entire world seemed always to take one step back after every two steps forward. I told him about politics and technology and the modern world, where science would be weilded to cure the sick and feed the hungry in the morning, and used to kill the innocent and starve the hungry that same afternoon. I told him of the three great world wars, of my nation's defeat and shame. Finally I explained the concept of "war criminal", and "exile".
"That's ok papa, we'll just stay here on the beach."
I smiled, and we both got up and walked along the beach, looking for good skipping stones.