Sunday, March 21, 2010

Collecting Stars

Here are my two cents of satire for today:

Once upon a time, there was a girl.

All throughout her life, she was told to shoot into the sky at night to collect the glittering stars that shone above her head in the small village she lived in.
"The more stars you collect, the better your life will be," her father told her.

Everyone else did it. All the other girls and boys in her village and in all the villages in the country of Absurdia did it, jumping as high as they could night after night to shoot as many stars as they could reach.

But the more the stars were shot, the higher they all had to shoot to reach the ones that hadn't been collected yet.
The more stars the boys and girls in Absurdia put in their straw baskets every night, the harder they worked to collect them the next night, building new contraptions and devising new methods to help them shoot higher to collect the ones that the others couldn't reach.

The little girl did everything she could to collect the stars in the sky.
She built ladders to stand on, hoping they'd help her shoot highter. She practiced for hours every day on targets in her backyard. She polished her arrows and bought a new bow.

But no matter how hard she tried, no matter how hard she strained her mind to concentrate on the tiny stars in the highest corners of the sky, there were always those who had taller ladders, stronger arms, slicker bows. There were always those who could collect the stars faster than she could.

The next night when all the other girls and boys went outside to shoot stars, the little girl did not. She gathered twine. For the next few months, she spent night after night gathering twine, and for the few months after that, the spent night after night weaving the twine into rope.

When she finished, she had miles of rope.

The girl took the rope out one afternoon and shot one end into a tall tree. She climbed the rope slowly with a bucket of paint and a brush tied around her waist. When she got to the top, the opened the bucket and began painting stars in the empty part of the sky where the little boys and girls of Absurdia did not care to look. She painted for days, and when she finished, she took out her arrow.

She shot all of her own stars down and collected them.
The little girl had more stars than she could carry. She took all her baskets of stars, put them in a small boat, and rowed out to sea the next night while the moon shone at its brightest.

She turned back to watch all of Absurdia from the other side of the river jumping and flinging arrows into the sky in vain, and she laughed.

And as she laughed, she dumped all her stars into the blackness of the sea behind her as she rowed far, far away.


  1. I truly enjoyed reading this - a magical, and yet somewhat tragic, somewhat inspiring, allegory.

  2. Many thanks, Sam... though I am surprised at your reaction. I meant for this piece to be a sort of silly story laced with mockery, but I'm pleased to hear your description of it nonetheless :)


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