All entries for May 2012
May 08, 2012
In which your humble narrator flies into a terrible rage, accuses the Rev. R. Mole of heresy and attempts to burn him at the stake.
I must confess, dear reader, that at the commencement of the Reverend’s tale, I was somewhat nonplussed.
“You must forgive me,” I said, rising clumsily from my chair (for the port had been rather good and had sent me into a near-comatose stupor) “I believe I should retire. It has been an instructive evening, and I thank you for it. Goodnight.”
“You needn’t take it like that, old chap” the Mole replied. “It is only a matter of ecclesiastical differences, nothing more.”
I suspected at this that he felt himself snubbed, and went to great pains to reassure him of his own powers of narration, and my unworthiness as a listener for such a complex tale.
“Control yourself, young man!” shrieked the Reverend, clambering up the back of a chair with his great claws. “I am a man of the cloth, I meant no harm!”
At this, I was utterly bemused, and began to wonder whether, during the course of the noble Reverend’s tale, I had in fact dropped off into slumber. I asked him if I could perhaps get him a brandy to settle his nerves.
“MURDER!” cried the Mole, “A MURDER is taking place!” and, fixing his great dark eyes upon me, his pince-nez flashing menacingly in the light from the fireplace, shouted:
“You’ll never take me alive!”
I tried to assure him that I had no intention of taking him anywhere, at which point he pulled a great knife from a sheath concealed under his trousers and waved it furiously in my face, putting me in grave danger of a nasty scratch. I felt rather injured by this show of ingratitude for my hospitality and I am sure that if he had asked for the brandy at that point I would have found some way to refuse him on principle.
Panting heavily, the Mole (who after all must have been exhausted from brandishing a knife much longer than himself) wheezed “I’ll kill us both before you burn me, villain!”
He then inexplicably strapped a small device on to his back, and began vibrating at great speed, rendering him almost invisible but for a small portion of his buttocks that was completely stationary. I showed him out, but, as he appeared to be in no condition to find his way home, I was compelled to call him a cab which I then had to carefully lift him into, receiving several deep cuts for my pains.
It was with a sensation of great relief that I watched the cab drive away, but my questions remained: who were these small Gods? And were they such blackguards as the Reverend had suggested? Perhaps that was the reason for his mysterious frenzy. I retired to my study in deep thought.
In which the Rev. R. Mole breaks the fourth wall entirely and starts taking questions from the audience
In which the Rev. R. Mole tells his story without interruption
“The Shrew God and the Vole God met each other unexpectedly in a wooded hollow.
“Greetings, Brother Shrew!’ called the Vole God,
“What brings you here, away from your dutiful foraging in undergrowths, your ritual consumption of the beetles of the wayside, your miraculous appearance before the eyes of small humans, surprising them with the infinite variety of beings?”
“I have been called here, Brother,” replied the God of Shrews. “The God of Foxes has, with great dignity and grace, humbly begged my attendance at a banquet in my honour.
But what of you, Brother Vole? What brings you here, away from the fallow land of your kindred, from furrows among the blessed grass, from the happy duty of startling lady gardeners on neglected plots?”
“It is strange,” said the Vole God, “for I too have been called here by the God of Foxes, and to a banquet in my honour.”
There was a pause.
“I cannot but wonder,” mused the Shrew, “what business is it that disturbs the God of Foxes, such that he forgets the arrival of two most honoured guests?”
The Vole considered. “Perhaps he is caught up in the rituals of his kind? In gruff barking at the twilight hour, in scenting the district of his burrow, in feasting on the hapless creatures of…the…forest?
“Oh balls.” said the Shrew.
At that point, on the same day as he appeared to them last year, as he had each year for thousands of years before, the God of Foxes arrived and ate them both.”
“You mean to say--” I interjected, curiously.
“Shut up!” replied the Reverend. “You are ruining your chapter titles. I have not finished.”
In which The Rev. R. Mole finishes.
“…At that point, on the same day as he appeared to them last year, and on many thousands of years before, the God of Foxes arrived and ate them both.
It so happened that Buddha and Jesus Christ were walking together past that very same glade.
“How silly!” laughed Christ, wiping small beads of blood away from his be-thorned brow.
“To think that every year, these poor and muddled Gods, of no importance but to the meagre vermin of the field, are tricked into enacting the bloodied rituals of their race.”
“Ye-es,” replied Buddha, sweating profusely in the close air. “Forgive me, for I have not much sense of time, having forsaken the mortal calendar in my quest for enlightenment, but what day is this?”
“Oh, Friday.” Christ said, carelessly. “Is it important?”
On the horizon, a troupe of purposeful Romans appeared.”
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.