This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Friday, 12 October 2012

Deep Blue Sea

Once upon a time, deep in the mud ocean floor, there lived a tubeworm.

She was long and wrinkled and spent her time always in the mud and ooze of the ocean floor, where she had a burrow, and there she lived.

Stray eddies brought fragments of food to the mouth of the burrow, and she fed of this food, and survived.

She was not happy where she was, she was not sad. She simply could not imagine any other way of living except her hole in the mud.

But then one day a small fish came to the mouth of her burrow, and called out to her, and asked her to come out and see the world.

“I will not leave the burrow,” she said. “For in the great world of the ocean, I shall surely die of fear and loneliness.”

“No,” said the fish, “for the world is strange and lovely beyond imagining. If you choose to emerge from your burrow and let yourself roam the ocean, you would discover delights that would make you forget your fear and your loneliness.”

“I am ugly,” she said. “I cannot find my own way in life. I am unfit to live in the world outside. And there are creatures who shall see how ugly I am, and hate me, and I shall be ashamed.”

‘Come out,” said the fish. “See for yourself if the world thinks you ugly.”

And, at last, she came.

And when she came out of the burrow and let herself go, she found the wonder of the ocean, and for a time she forgot to be lonely and afraid.

But then she remembered her burrow, and she thought of how ugly she was, and she was ashamed.

And she decided to return to her safe dark burrow and return to the life of being a prisoner of her own fears.

But first, it was time to feed, and she unfurled her feathery red plume and waved it in the current.

“Oh,” said the fishes, gathering round. “You’re beautiful. Stay here with us.”

“I’m afraid to believe that,” said the tubeworm. “They are laughing at me.” But she decided to stay back just a little longer.

And then, just a little more.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2008


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