Thursday, December 15, 2011

Palomar

In the early days Palomar the Duck roamed the earth in an innocent light walk that couldn’t hurt the land because the land couldn’t be hurt. Palomar was a small duck with red feathers, red legs and feet and yellow eyes. A fine orange beak trimmed his smooth face. He ate what was available and bothered no one. He swam in the great blue lakes.

When the land began to weaken, it hurt under the light walk and Palomar became conscious of stepping on things. He tried to avoid them and looked in mystery at WHY, and seeing what it was, seeing that its insulation didn’t work, he began trying to walk where he could, but by that time other animals had lost their light walk and they began stepping not only on the hurt land but on each other.

Palomar grew. His feathers turned bronze. In the distance, he looked like a mountainous slick statue. If Palomar chose, he could square his beak into a vacuum sucking up foliage and animals at will. He didn’t do this often, because there was enough to go around. He just took small bites here and there, but Something was in control.

Palomar’s brain became a gold nuclear reactor with round doors on the top and bottom of one end. The doors opened in great rushes of light and capsules of steel balls and silver space ships passed into the dark interior where red and yellow lasers beamed streaks and multimillion of a second pulse beat endlessly.

Palomar sorted what he ate. He had a penchant for banana slugs that sometimes swept in with a couple of ruffled owls, or squirrels or occasionally a howling ape. He filtered out the other animals and left them unharmed in soft grass, a little wet perhaps, but the banana slugs washed down with ceremony and leaves.

As the land began to hurt more and more, Palomar found less and less space to walk the light walk and began swimming more, but this disturbed his insatiable lust for banana slugs. He ‘d waddle ashore in a strange country scaring the inhabitants because of his size, which measured just the height of a five story building at the base of the neck and careened up another four to the head. When the Lacandons saw the nine story duck for the first time, they ran into Chiapas and never came out.

Palomar seemed to disappear at the end of the sixteenth century. He swam to a remote part of the land where it didn’t hurt so much, where there were still plenty of banana slugs and where he could build more confidence in his light walk so nothing would be hurt. He was reported at the opening of the Suez Canal by two shepherds who caught him making off with a goat and six camels. Rumors prevailed. He was swimming thirty kilometers down the Canal when Verdi began conducting Aida. Someone commented that was the only reason such a magnificent bird would come so close.

He was reportedly at Rudyard Kipling’s funeral and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Someone dug-up a document that said he ‘d been seen lurking around Genghis Kahn’s camp, at the tail end of the Holy Wars and there is reason to believe he sat in the mountains outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1939, when the Alligator boy married the Monkey girl. The marriage made Life Magazine, but no one could get Palomar to come out for a picture, nor could anyone prove he was really there.

1 Comments:

At December 16, 2011 at 10:00 AM , Blogger aturtlespeaks said...

A most lovely and sensitive tale.

 

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