Experiment in Anti–Narrative pt 1
The Gods of Small Things.
In which the Shrew God and the Vole God meet each other unexpectedly in a wooded hollow
There are a number of things that, if you cared to look it up in an encyclopaedia, or consulted your grandparents on, or possibly even asked your tealeaves, you could find out quite easily. Among these things are approximately how many tigers are alive in the wild at this moment in time, whether said tigers are or are not Coming To Tea, and precisely how brightly they will burn, if or when they turn up (this is highly pertinent in the event that you should need to purchase flame retardant chinaware).
Other things, like How To Lose Seven Pounds in Seven Days, One Single Mum’s Cheap Trick For Whitening Teeth, or the bustiness of any given Russian Girl Looking for Love in US, can be discovered on the internet, often whether you want to or not. On this score, tealeaves can be next to useless, and although grandparents have their own ideas about these things, it is in your interests to never, ever ask them.
If you want to know the waist to hip ratio of a hummingbird, or which celebrity field mice have the best bikini bodies, or to hear Gerald the Corn Snake’s Harrowing Tale of Survival Against All The Odds After His Break Up With Gary the Corn Snake (best not to speculate why all corn snakes have names that begin with G), then you need to track down, or possibly subscribe via the internet, to Okay We’re Really Small Magazine.
It was here that I found out about the existence of the Gods of Small Things, crammed into a tiny advertisement in the corner of a page that also suggested that my life might be lacking fur implants, tail straightening powder, and a tiny machine that, if strapped to my back, would vibrate my entire body at a frequency that would make me 90% imperceptible to hawks.
The advertisement read: REMEMBER YOUR GODS! YOUR LIFE IS BRIEF AND FUTILE! It was signed by a Rev. R. Mole and underneath was a phone number so tiny that I had to barter the use of a powerful microscope from a passing scientist in order to read it. Once I had deciphered the minute script, I decided to contact Rev. R. Mole at once and question him on a number of issues that had come to my mind, such as the number of tiny Gods in operation, and whether the patrons of Okay We’re Really Small Magazine were a multi-faith community.
I wanted to know, if I were to be suddenly transformed into a water vole, or an edible dormouse (which I personally suspected was more than likely due to certain genetic predispositions in my father’s line), what my options were.
It did take some time to track Rev. R. Mole down, partly because he often suspected, due to some defect in my telephone manner, that I was a hawk, or at the very least some kind of kestrel, in response to which I pointed out that hawks using telephones would just be silly. The other problem was that he was a mole and therefore very, very small.
When we finally did encounter each other, it was entirely by accident. I was attending a minor tea party held by a dear friend, which was unexpectedly spoiled by the arrival of a number of brightly glowing tigers. I glanced wearily across the table and happened to catch the eye of an outstandingly large mole, possibly the size of a man, wearing a dog collar and a pair of rather lovely gold pince-nez.
I may have expressed some astonishment as to the handsome stature of the Reverend, who, being a mole, I had expected to be rather a lot smaller. To this he replied with some dignity that God was Great, that nothing cannot be done by those who respect the will of God, and that he was standing behind a particularly large magnifying glass.
Despite this somewhat inauspicious introduction, we were to become fast friends, and he courteously accepted an invitation to dine with me that very evening. When the time came to sit down to our meal, he was not much impressed with my diet of rich beef wellington, fine floury potatoes roasted in goose fat, and a green salad composed of asparagus and deep fried broccoli, he did enjoy the port.
It was with the commencement of the cheese course that we settled down beside the fire and began the real business of the evening. Not without some misapprehension, I began asking him a number of questions about the diet, habitats and breeding habits of small Gods, where they took their tribute, what the rules were on litters before marriage, and the possibility of resurrection from the hawk, to which he replied by gracefully holding up a single paw, and telling the following parable:
“The Shrew God and the Vole God meet each other unexpectedly in a wooded hollow.
In which the Rev R Mole is suddenly interrupted whilst telling his story
“The Shrew God and the Vole God meet each other unexpectedly in a wooded hollow…” The Rev. R. Mole began.
“And each of them—”
At that moment, a number of tigers burst into the room in search of caffeinated beverages. Finding only port, they swiftly left again, morosely incinerating a 200 year-old chaise longue on their way out.