Posts filed under ‘Story #8 – The Land of Adaptations’

The Land of Adaptations – p.9

After eating and drinking his fill, the Centaur traveled on, out of the desert, and found himself back in the land he called home. He reflected on his journey for several days, and while he was glad to see familiar landscapes (and hunt familiar game), he soon felt his wanderlust returning. He chided himself for this, thinking that he should feel grateful for his home, the woods where he had grown up, and to which he was so well suited.

He thought then on the Twin Man, and the strange tethered fish, and even the grain harvesters, and how each was adapted to an environment that was perfect for their needs, or so it seemed. Surely he should be satisfied with these grand woods?

That night, he decided he should ask every man, woman and beast he met whether they were happy, whether they felt completely content in the life they led, and if the answer was no, he would have found some traveling companions, perhaps. He loved to travel, and could see no reason to deny himself. He was not ungrateful for his home; in fact, he was more thankful than ever that he had a place to recharge and rest when he needed it.

The next day, the Centaur set out, knowing the woods would be waiting for him when he returned, and for all his future homecomings.



June 13, 2012 at 7:23 pm 2 comments

The Land of Adaptations – p.8

The tethered fish led the Centaur through the water, and stopped when they reached a plant growing up from the bottom. The fish circled it and then swam off, and soon they were out of sync again, pulling each other in opposite directions.

The Centaur looked at the plant, trying to decide if it was a bush or a tree, and wondered why the fish had brought him to it. Suddenly he noticed it had fruit. Then, before his eyes, the fruit grew, and grew, and changed colors and shape many times before becoming his favorite thing in the world to eat: roast pheasant.

The Centaur could not believe his eyes. He looked down at the fish again, and saw that where they managed to swim close to the base of the plant, it dropped a variety of bugs and worms into the water for the fish to eat.

He plucked the roast pheasant from the branch where it had grown, and took a bite. It was succulent and warm, just the way his mother used to make. He laughed and laughed, marveling at his luck, and as he ate he dropped bits of meat into the water, which the fish mostly ignored, but they were happy for him all the same.

June 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm 1 comment

The Land of Adaptations – p.7

Taking an arrow from his quiver, the Centaur waded out into the water and made ready to spear his dinner. As he tracked the fish, he noticed that they all swam in pairs, which he thought was rather odd. Looking even closer, he saw that it was because each fish was tethered to another by the tail. They did not all swim in the same direction, and in fact most seemed to be trying to go the opposite way from their partners. It was quite confusing.

The Centaur wondered if he had encroached upon someone’s private fishery, since he could not conceive of fish tying themselves together; some human hand must have been involved, he decided. He put the arrow back in his quiver. He turned to go back to the dry land but two fish swam between his legs and tangled him up in their string. He fell into the water, making a large splash and sending many pairs of fish flying out onto the sand, where they flopped and flapped and gasped.

Laughing at himself, the Centaur stood and helped the fish back into the water. As he let the last pair slip from his hands, his stomach growled. The fish he’d just released turned and looked up at him, and then they swam together in perfect unity toward the far side of the pool, motioning with their fins for him to follow.

June 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm 3 comments

The Land of Adaptations – p.6

The Centaur did not like to wait, for anything or anyone, but he felt guilty for making a mess of the harvest, so he stood and watched the maid go back to her chore. All the people worked together in such orchestrated, efficient harmony, though it looked very boring to the Centaur. He wondered if he was lonely enough to endure such toil for the sake of companionship, decided he wasn’t, and trotted off quietly towards the west.

He walked for many hours, and found himself in a desert. The sun was low in the sky, so he wasn’t too hot, but he was getting very hungry. There was nothing to see for miles around, and the Centaur had just resigned himself to sleeping on an empty stomach that night when his fore-hoof sloshed right into a shallow pool.

The Centaur looked down; he’d been so intent on scanning the horizon for trees or dwellings that he hadn’t noticed what was right under his feet. There before him was water so clear and full of fish that he almost jumped for joy.

June 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm 2 comments

The Land of Adaptations – p.5

The Centaur headed towards the fields of wheat the Twin Man had told him about, curious to see the gathering of the grains and hoping to find more of those delicious geese besides. When he came out of the trees and into an open field, the golden colors of the land warmed his heart. There were patches of overgrown grass, caramel colored and shiny; large pastures of wheat and barley in various shades of yellow; and on one side a line of people with scythes and other tools, cutting as they walked and gathering as they talked.

The Centaur trotted up to them, and introduced himself. A maid with a long apron greeted him and asked where he came from, and what he wanted. He started to explain but she was called away by the others to continue the harvest. So the Centaur decided to help. He ran through the field, grabbing handfuls of grains as he went. When he turned around to start another run, he found all the people looking at him with angry faces.

“He’s trampled a perfectly good row!”

“What a waste of all our hard work.”

“He nearly ran me down, too!”

The maid in the apron walked up to him, and with a polite smile she took the grains he’d so roughly harvested and added them to her own basket. She then bade him wait on the edge of the field until they were done.

June 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm 1 comment

The Land of Adaptations – p.4

The Twin Man’s left head was frowning. “What good does it do us to be an arm that shares two men, I ask you?”

The right head smiled. “While it might be helpful to have two stomachs if you’re often hungry, or two tails if you lack good balance, none of those extra bits and bobs will give you love and companionship.”

The left head laughed and said, “Neither will they argue with you or breathe up all your air!” He looked at the Centaur and winked. “It is true, he would be very lonely without me.”

“I’d like to give that a try some day,” the right head teased.

The Centaur spent the rest of the night laughing at the Twin Man’s jokes, and after both heads had fallen asleep, the Centaur thought and thought. It was very convenient to have a good friend attached to your side, he reasoned, instead of having to depend on fate and circumstance to meet someone. He wondered why he had never noticed he was lonely before. He decided that he would find a companion the very next day, and resolved to head out at first light.

May 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm 1 comment

The Land of Adaptations – p.3

The Centaur and the Twin Man sat around their fire and their roasted geese, and ate until they were just full. Then they leaned back and sighed and belched and laughed, and decided they would be friends from then on.

“Why is it that every living thing in this land has two of something?” the Centaur asked, flicking his tail to keep away the double-stomached mosquitoes.

The Twin Man’s left head said, “It’s always better to have more, of course.”

The right head sighed and said, “No, it isn’t always, and that’s hardly an answer.”

The left head crossed his left arm across his chest with the shared third arm. “All right, since you’re the smart half, answer then.”

The right head took the shared third arm back and crossed it over his own chest with the right arm. “I will.” He looked at the Centaur and smiled. “Sometimes it is to our advantage to be blessed with greater ability, or greater capacity, and here the land and the creatures in it are always striving to be better.”

The Centaur said, “Yes, I can see where it would be of great help for the thirsty mosquito to have an extra stomach, even though it vexes me!”

May 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm 1 comment

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