Monday, April 9, 2012

Into the Tall Grass

  Around here, when you're young, and when I say young I mean real young, they  say, "Don't go into the tall grass. It's too dangerous. Stay in town." For a long time you heed the advice. Every day you go to school, learn basic math, history, science, and literature, then come home again.  Some days you walk to the local library or visit the professor in town, but you never leave the town.  Leaving town would mean entering the tall grass and why would you do something so inherently dangerous?  But time passes and curiosity tugs at the back of your mind.  Can the tall grass really be so bad?  You've seen adults leave to visit other towns, they always come back in one piece.  In fact they tend to return with an extra twinkle in their eyes, as if they saw something crazy or wonderful. The tug of curiosity grows stronger.  Its a conflict: to see what lies within and beyond the tall grass would be exciting, at the same time it would be in violation of everything they've always told you.

   One day the tug of curiosity simply becomes irresistible.  You wake up ready to see what lies beyond. You pack your knapsack with things you might need: a sandwich, bug spray, a flashlight, and a book.  You slip on your running shoes and throw on a wind-breaker.  Out the door you go to seek adventure. You approach the edge of town, the sun peeking into the sky.  For a moment you close your eyes, count to five and push all fear away, and you step into the tall grass.

   "Ha!", You think triumphantly, "This isn't dangerous at all! Its just a bunch of grass!" Right then is when the monster attacks. You cry out, frozen in place. What to do? You can't move, can't do anything and with each second the monster draws nearer. As luck would have it the monster is attacked by another monster of near equal size. So now the world is full of monsters? Well at least you're not in peril anymore. You hear a familiar voice saying, "Its about time you ventured out here, we were all beginning to wonder if you were going to.  Are you alright then? Can you run? If so meet me back at my lab. Go!"

   Without thinking, almost without breathing, you turn around and sprint. Your legs pump with strength you didn't know your little body had. Through the glass double doors of the lab you burst, collapsing into the red worn easy chair that the professor often reclines in while smoking his pipe. You pant and pant, partially animated and partially terrified of the new revelations in your life. Monsters! They weren't lying, the tall grass is dangerous, but what about the things the professor said? Almost on cue the professor walks into the lab, whistling, the second monster that resembles a large over-sized dog with fiery orange fur is in tow.

   "Well, that was thrilling, now wasn't it?", He says amiably, "I do hope you're not reeling too bad ( You are in fact a bit frozen in awe of the fiery dog curled up at your feet, but you say nothing) a little shock is good now and then. As you've probably surmised by now, our world is inhabited not just by us and animals, but also by a great range of speacies of monsters. These monsters may have strange appearances but we live in harmony with them: which is good because many of them have unimaginable powers. You might be wondering 'why keep this secret from you? Why do we forbid entry into the tall grass?' It is dually for your protection and also a challenge. The world is a formidable and dangerous place before you're ready, before you've chosen your companion for your travel's."

  You gasp, unsure if your intuition is correct. If so, this day is only getting more thrilling by by the minute.

The professor laughes, "From the look on your face, you've guessed what comes next. Its really the best part. I have a few young monsters that I've been raising as I waited for you to venture out. Each one wields a different array of powers as well as quite the different personality.  Your choice, whether you mean it to or not, will reflect your true spirit. Treat your companion well and they will do the same for you. I'll leave you to make your decision."

   He leaves and then its just you and three small be distinctly different creatures, and the fiery beast who is now snoring. Each of the three look cute and strong in their own way. You see potential in them, you think perhaps they're looking back at you thinking similar thoughts. Again, you're scared, but at the same time so alive with anticipations. You think, then ponder, then chose. And that's when your adventure truly begins.

1 comment:

Badger said...

This......this is marvelous.