Sunday 26 September 2010

This-That and the Other

This-That wandered, and searched.

He wandered through the scrumpling trees and the gleeberry bushes. He wandered up the wearyups and down the rollydowns and then along by the burbling till he came to the long rock (which wasn’t very long, but was very tall).

He was searching for something. But he couldn’t remember what.

He climbed all the way to the top of High Riffling (the highest wearyup) and when he was there he met a stranger he’d never met before.

“Hullo.” This-That said. “I’m This-That.”

He held out his fivepaw, because that was what growners did when they met people. It was the polite thing to do, and This-That was always polite.

The stranger looked at This-That’s fivepaw with his wide peeryholes. The stranger looked hungry. This-That lowered his fivepaw quickly.

The stranger was much taller than him, so This-That had to stretch his neck to look up at him.

“What’s your name?” This-That asked.

The stranger opened his nommer (This-That thought his whole head could fit inside); it was full of sharp chewpins (This-That swallowed nervously). A deep rumble came from inside.

“No name.” The words were very slow and very long.

“No name? How sad!” This-That thought it was very sad that the stranger had no name. “I will give you a name!”

“This-That?” The stranger rumbled.

“No,” This-That laughed. “That’s my name, and you’re not me.”

This-That thought for a moment, “You’re not me, so you can be Other. Do you like that?”

“Other.” Rumbled Other.

“Yes!” This-That grinned. “Now tell me what you're doing up here. I’ve never met anyone all the way up at the top of High Riffling before.”

“Searching. Something.” Rumble, rumble.

“Well,” This-That smiled. “I was searching too, but I’ve found what I was looking for, so I can help you now. Where do you want to go?”

(author's commentary)

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