Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Chapter 11

When Nime and Rodger got back to the patch, Nime made introductions. Rodger was tired from his day and allowed Nime to tell the story as he looked and snorted around.

Rodger took no interest in flowers. He certainly took no interest in the beauty or smell of flowers. He had a keen eye for wood, of course, and as a child loved following the grains of wood as they whorled around each other in some spots, and in others running straight as a whisker. His eye could send him drifting on their gently flowing currents for hours.

When he came closer to the three chattering flowers he was taken by their charm. But to a beaver, beauty is only beauty, and if it cannot be used, then it has no true purpose. So, to Illy and Lilly’s regret, he did not comment on their lovely symmetry, color, odor, or their perfectly arranged stamens (which was something they worked on in between the excitement).

Illy and Lilly tried to follow Nime as she talked about finding Rodger, but neither could pay attention to the story. They never saw such a large animal. Both were interested in his color. Without talking to each other, which would have been rude, Illy and Lilly each felt sorry for him. To go through life with only one color! And a dull brown at that? Illy and Lilly had nothing but pity for the poor dun creature.

Nime was almost done with her story. Because Illy hasn’t pain attention to the story, she interrupted with the question that everyone wanted to ask, but no-one could quite think how, “How are you going to help us, Mr. Rodger?” Illy feeling of boldness trailed off into hesitation as the animal turned his head towards her.

“Just Rodger’ll do fine. Fine enough. My name’s Rodger, and my clan is Chislers. And remind me, you are...” Rodger had forgotten.

“Illy.” “And I’m Lilly,” Lilly added.

“OK. Good.”

“So?” Illy asked. Lilly continued, “How do you intend to help us?” Lilly was beginning to feel very superior to the dun creature and put on an airy tone, which was missed by the beaver. Rodger, for his part, was unused to addressing crowds. So he put on his working voice.

“Well, you’ve got yourselves a problem. That’s plain. Your problem is the tree, where it’s at, and where you’re at. The problem has two solutions. Move you or move the tree. I’m a beaver, so you know which one I favor.”

The girls thrilled at Rodger’s plain speech and plain thoughts, Illy would later say it fit his color, but she kept that to herself at the time.

Mr. Azure felt it was time to reassert himself. “We thought that moving the patch would work. We could take up root in a place with more sunlight.”

“That would work alright. Agreed. But you’ve gotta consider that you’re plants. Plants don’t move around much. Or at all really. Plants stay put. You forget what you are, what you do, and mess with that, then you usually get a whole bunch of trouble.”

Illy and Lilly didn’t know that flowers weren’t supposed to move. It was something they never considered because they had never thought about limitations. Neither thought themselves limited by being a flower. The realization, that this dun colored creature, this Rodger Chisler, could perhaps live a richer (the words more colorful did not come easily) life than flowers struck Lilly first, then Illy. Suddenly each felt a thin pang of jealousy.

Lilly was about to respond with how limited it was for a dun colored creature who couldn’t attract even an ant, when Rodger said, “I’ll take a look round, if you don’t mind. You’ll have my recommendation within the hour. OK.”

Mr. Azure answered for all of them, “Agreed.”


Blogger acumamakiki said...

I'm just now catching up again ~ you've been writing a lot!! I love that Illy and Lilly didn't ever consider that plants don't move....very clever there. I also like Rodger, I have a fondness for beavers, very cool animals.

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