Monday, September 12, 2016

Potato Journeys

The garden contains a vast beanstalk that reaches up into the sky. It is every colour you have seen only in dreams, and some you have never seen at all. There are shades of green that jealously would wish it could turn when it is envious of itself. The beanstalk is not what is special about the garden. Indeed, it can only be seen sometimes if one stands in the right angle, or looks at it at precisely the right time. It does not hide, but you know it is not for you. It has stairs, unlike the one in stories, and perhaps they would even be an escalator if one was to ask.

The beanstalk is alive. It listens. It waits. There are giants at the top of it. They are human. They are also giants, the human magnified to some perfect ideal of friendship. The giants are not real, not even like the beanstalk is, but anyone seeing them would wish that they were. Even those whose images they wear balk at these versions of themselves. It is a hard thing to be a god; it is harder to be something far more than any god could ever be.

But the true wonder if the garden lies is how ordinary it is, given who found t, and how it was made. It is, aside from a beanstalk, a very ordinary garden until one digs deep into the roots of the stalk. There is a cornucopia of worms and insects around the large potato that exists as the base and root of the beanstalk. It has slightly more muted colours, because it has been in the dark. The potato does not snore, but it wishes so hard that it could.

Opened, there is a boy inside it. Not every potato contains a boy inside them, as not every cabbage patch contains a kid. The boy is eleven, and this is known as if it was simply a universal constant. And he smiles the way another might grin, and the smile is kin to the giants at the top of the beanstalk, and it is made of joy and innocence and a friendship deeper than the sea between the stars.

There is a woman. She has dug the boy free from the earth with the same shovel she used to plant him. “I am sorry,” she says, and there are a thousand meanings behind her words.

The boy hears the ones that matter, and looks baffled. “But Charlie,” he says, and he is earnest and brave and true in the ways a jaysome boy can be, “I have a really nify rest and some really great adventures!”

“I buried you because I needed a break,” she says, trying to make her own truth known. It is a hard speaking, even if she knows the boy must know what she means.

“Breaks are always good,” he says with a huge grin. “I take breaks from adventures when I’m sleeping and we had different adventures plus! I made lots of new friends,” and there are worms flowing happily over his feet.

“Ah.” The woman says the word in a far different tone. “They are not coming inside, Jay.”

“But they’re really tickly and comfy,” the boy says with a huge sigh after. All children feel that they are misunderstood. Jay knows that he is understood far too well.

“I imagine so,” the woman says, laughing. “But the owners of the house might not approve?”

“Oh! Okay, then,” the boy says, and crouches down and says farewell in the way only children can say it and it not mean forever. The beanstalk fades too. It does not vanish, but it moves itself somewhere else, perhaps seeking a story all its own, or if only in sheer embarrassment as having been grown up from a potato when that shouldn’t be possible at all.

The woman ruffles the boy’s hair and Jay grins at Charlie and says they will have to have even more adventures to make up for him being in the earth because! they probably had a famine of adventures without them, flinging the words in happy certainty.

The woman agrees, and the boy almost trips over his own feet as he follows her inside.

The first adventure is when she tickles him mercilessly for over five minutes.

The next one involves tea.

And there are so many more others that this tale cannot fit their telling.

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