Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Folly of Miracles: Dialogue Between a Lizard and an Ignorant Kitten

(Miracles. Much as we loathe them, people love to believe in miracles: The idea that the dead can somehow reanimate back to life, despite the implausibility of such phenomena, and stories of patients who recovered on a wing and a prayer never fail to reverberate and circulate itself, exaggeration and magical thinking working hand in hand to ensure that the stories grow bigger and more fanciful as it is passed down by word-of-mouth. The boundaries of the human imagination simply knows no bounds; one wonders, however, if animals do engage in fancy thinking too? We shall find out, in a moment. )


(Introduction: Tim, the common house-lizard, makes a foray in a spic-and-span home of a human household, hoping to gorge itself with some human food remains from its human host.
Like most creatures living with homo sapiens, the common house lizard adjusts its lifestyle to suit its environment. Living in a household obsessed with cleanliness means that food is hard to come by; Flies, mosquitoes and other pests are flickering phenomena in this household, which means Tim has to rely mainly on leftovers which occasionally fall off to the floor from the human child, who, despite of his relatively old age of 5 is a clumsy little eater.

That being the case, Tim has to be punctual, almost on the dot, at lunch time; he eyes the little boy, who, as on cue, flicks off a morsel of veggies onto the scrubbed floor. Tim eyes at the food crumb hungrily, then makes a mad dash for it, not realizing that Thomas the kitten was also eying the ginger house lizard with glee.....)

(Thomas the Kitten pounces on Tim the Lizard, purrs with delight)

Thomas: Gotcha, you stinking, slithery creature!

Tim (Struggling from Kittie's grasp): Let......let me go!!!

Thomas (Claws Out, rather to disembowel Tim): Give me a reason not to, you filthy animal!

Tim (Pleading): Oh, my dear Lord, have pity on me! I share this huge apartment with you; everyday you dine heartily, with fish and milk for breakfast, kitty food for lunch, and fat cheese cakes for dinner. Oh lucky you, kitty, while I, the scrawny lizard, have to contend with morsels and crumbs of discarded food. Mosquitoes, flies, they hardly ever make it within the confines of our walls! I am but a measly beggar to you, and you, my lord, have no intention of devouring me, so why kill me?

Thomas (Pondering): Indeed, you don't taste nice. But still, I am a bored kitten.....

Tim: Oh my lord, hear me out. If you would only see the feats of my brilliant ingenuity.....

Thomas (Sniggers): Oh you stupid lizard. The only delight you can ever bring unto my boring soul is your dead rotting carcass, which I will play for a little while before it is being found by my master, who will then dump away your corpse into the rubbish chute.

Tim (Forlorn Face): Sigh. If you kill me, you will not be able to witness the greatest miracle on the planet.

Thomas (Curious): Oh really? What kind of miracles? Choking on moth balls? (Chuckles)

Tim (Smiling): Even better!!! Look at this luxurious tail of mine. Now, tear it off my body.

Thomas (Laughs): Oh yes, you are really going to die a torturous death.

Tim: No, I won't, I assure you. Not only will I grow back a new tail in a couple of weeks time, the broken tail will reanimate itself. This is one miracle I bet you have never witnessed, ever!

Thomas (Raised Eyebrow): You are lying to get your ass off the hook.

Tim: Try it.

Thomas: Alright. Wish granted!

(Thomas unsheathes his claws, and proceeds to disconnect Tim's tail from his body. To his surprise, the tail continues to wriggle for a good few mins, before laying limp by the side of the wall.)

Thomas: This is ingenious! You seem fine without that tail of yours! And...and........that cut tail seem to have a life of its own!

Tim (Beaming with Pride): That, my kitty friend, is what I call a miracle. And a few weeks from now, I will have a new tail back.

Thomas: So, what's the secret behind this trick? My dad lost part of his tail and it wasn't quite the same as before.

Tim: I have faith.

Thomas: Faith? What's that? Is it delicious?

Tim (Laughs): No, you can't eat faith, it isn't cat food. It is a form of belief in a deity. If you believe in him, anything is possible.

Thomas (Pondering): Sounds cool, but how do I go about acquiring this faith?

Tim: Well, if it would exchange my life, I honestly don't see why I can't teach you our ways.

Thomas: Alright, then, my lizard fiend. If your little trick works, I might consider not butchering you. You will live, for the time being. Come, let's talk.

(For the next few days, Tim the Lizard attempts to con Thomas the cat, the latter hounding the former in search of the true exegetical secrets of a supposedly ancient serpentine religion that grants all lizards, snakes and other creeping things the ability to regenerate their tails.

Thomas listens to the religious drivel, filled with awe and fascination. After two weeks, Thomas the Cat, convinced by a conniving lizard that he has at last acquired the necessary requisites of his new found faith, chops of his own tail with his very own claws.

But alas, cats do not regenerate their tails, and Thomas the Kitten suffers the ignominy of a death precipitated by ignorance and magical thinking. As he bleeds slowly to death, his final thoughts are the sagely advice of his father's: Never believe in the flowery deceits of lizards and other creepy things........)

The End