The Enchanted Reptile Palace
“Slow down son, you’re moving too fast,
you'll miss that enchanted reptile palace”
—Reptile Palace Orchestra
Unruhe nach dem Sturm
Borit fidgeted once again in sand. Others were resting, recovering from the storm. Sir Mica was trying to roll the ball, but Borit was trying to count the grains he had collected in a cup of leaves. It had been a long day and he had been working on a new idea. But imagining it in the head was proving easier than making something one could see and hold. He always felt this way after a sturmtief, and the last one had been a doozy.
Strange creatures and where to find them
They came in thousands, and all of them were well-dressed. The city had put up a fine show, and everyone wanted to be a part of it. There were fancy cars with people, there were fancy people with cars, there were women with ears, and there was even a ear with a woman. There were also guards, and they checked everyone for tickets. If you were different, you couldn’t get in. But at the right time, when the guards were on their break, you could get in if you walked confidently. Past the scanners, through the maze, up the stairs, under the shiny pillar, in line with the crowd waiting to see the woman in the ear.
Wahre Kunst ist immer ein tierischer ernstfall
Strangely, the beautiful woman that everyone was looking at was actually very tired. The funny thing is, doing nothing is a lot of work. True art is always a serious animal.
Selten gehörte Musik
The sorceress had been busy separating the individual leaves she had collected from the pond behind the woods. She was wearing a dress made from flax of the plant that grew only once every two years, and as always, she looked beautiful even though she had been working hard for hours. She was humming a tune that no one had ever heard but still, it sounded familiar. The sorceress was like that. She made you feel at ease, as if you had known her forever. Now it was time to dance.
Das Kaputte ist immer ehrlicher, man kann es besser verstehen
When the vagabond arrived, Sir Mica himself came up to welcome him. He stuck his hand out, “Hi Pinks! You want some coffee?” He continued, “Uh, is that your real name?”
We make so much of our identity, but the three things that define us so distinctly on the outside — where we are born, whether we are female or male (or something else), and our name — we have no control over these three things. These most important and personal things about us, that affect us for our entire lives, are given to us by someone else.
I am made up of parts, and some of them don’t fit well together. But I don’t care because the broken is always more honest. You can call me whatever you want, I’ll still be who I am. The jester laughed and poured some more coffee.
Dessine-moi un mouton!
“Draw a sheep for me, draw me a sheep,” Borit shouted as he ran, his arms spread wide.
Der wichtigste trieb ist der nachahmungstrieb
The prince jumped up from his bed of reeds and let out a shriek startling the birds that had been dozing in the late evening sun. It seems he had finally been successful in clearly figuring out the shape he had been imagining in his head. The most important impulse was the impulse to imitate. Borit rushed to the edge of the lake and grabbed a handful of shwabe and started patting it into the shape of the half moon. When the ball was as big as his hand fully open from edge to edge, he put some pieces of the balsi fruit in it, and sprinkled a few pieces of crackling crandilia he had dug out from under his bed of reeds. Sir Mica chuckled and poured some more coffee.
Well, it was time to go. The vagabond had to get dressed again for the cold outside, three layers below, two layers on top. It is always like this — Jetzt müssen Sie sich wieder ankleiden. It keeps you on your toes because you can never take things for granted.
Das vergesse Ich dir nie, was du mir angetan hast
You couldn’t tell if the time had stopped or a lot of time had passed—it all seemed the same. But memories could never wash away. She pinned a star on his lapel and dropped a pinch of sand in his pocket. Maybe it was her way of telling him, “I’ll never forget what you did.” Or so he hoped.
Auf der suche nach dem verloren Glück
It had been a long and fidgety journey. Buffeted by winds, rocking and rolling, the vagabond had not been able to sleep at all. It seemed he was traveling forever but never reaching the end. Now, finally at his destination, everything seemed different, new, strange. All the failures made it seem that the search for perfection was futile.
There is something better than perfection
He carefully opened the precious bundle he had been clutching the entire journey. Now he finally saw what he had been carrying — imagined in the mind of the child prince, baked with the laughter of the jester, it was a half-piece of perfection forged by the magic of the sorceress. The vagabond remembered her words, “Mais les yeux sont aveugles. Il faut chercher avec le cœur.” She continued, “Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”
Just one bite, and you are home
Suddenly, it didn’t matter that he didn’t have a name or a place of his own. He felt rich because those who have nothing own the entire world. And what he needed most was already here, in his heart, forever. Sometimes the most precious things are the simplest. He closed his eyes and took a bite of the half-moon shape. It felt like being home.