Loquacious Leaf Closely Crosses the Rubicon

By Ziggy

Continuing Major Thom and Tori's odd-venture. L.Leaf ponders on whether to go to the Mermaid Lagoon or see the old man with a secret worth sharing...


Wow, talk about a fork in the road; both routes set off glimmer-spots in my mind. The chance of seeing a celestial mermaid in the lagoon was like asking do I want to see Alexander the Greats sister. Now, I wasn’t a big fan of fish, especially the rabid ones with sharp teeth and the malevolent eyes, those blunt-faced shearing psychopathic savages of the river, known as piranhas. All it would take is a hint of blood in the water to excite them to lunacy. But for all I know the Mermaid Lagoon was just a name for a place full of deluded, narcissistic fish living the fiction of a mermaidious life and didn’t contain any mermaids whatsoever. And what of the great myths? The story I was told of the mermaid who spoke to the doomed ships? Who told the seafarers they’ll never see land again? What if we were to come across such a seductress, a siren? What if we came across a fusiform merman with a trident? Oh my, what if they turn out to be 2,000 feet tall giants! I need to calm myself, I’m getting way ahead of myself here.

“Are there really mermaids there?”

“Of course!” the turtle was sure of his confidence.

“How do I know you’re not lying?”

“What is the point of me sending you to a place of mermaids and then arriving to see that there are no mermaids?”

“Ok, what if they are not at home?”

“That is a possibility. If that is so, I can at least show you the pearls.”

“Have you seen a mermaid? A merman?”

“I have seen both, when I was very young. My father was once used as a drum during a mermaid spiritual ceremony.”

Okay…so whether there would be mermaids or no mermaids, the prospect of seeing pearls was very enticing, but what of this old man with a secret worth sharing? First of all, he said man, a human being. I have never spoken to a human being before, and if I did, the human being wouldn’t be able to hear my voice. And I have never heard a human voice before. For all I know, I could be killed by sound and reverberation. However it is not a human adult that scares me the most, it’s a human child. A human child is responsible for too many colony genocides to mention. In the human world, a child is innocent, in the ant world, the child is a mass murderer let loose on our terrain.

Oh my, this is so difficult for me. As an ant I am only used to being in a colony, operating as a unified entity. One thing going for me is my intrinsic ability to solve problems. But what lures me towards the old man with a secret worth sharing is the word of mouth that us wee ants parallel the human society, like a micro-mirror image at play. It is true that us wee ants have the ability to exploit resources, just like humans, we can damage crops and invade buildings, just like humans. If I was born a fearless red fire ant, I would be intrinsically aggressive. They tend to sting in concert, which isn‘t the same as saying they can sing in concert, as there isn‘t any recorded document of a red fire ant ever producing a good singer. A good stinger on the other hand, oh yes. Anyways, so much to ponder here and the choices remain, do I:

(1) Go straight onwards to the boggy glen, to see the man with a secret worth sharing?


(2) Through the swirlpool to the warm haven of the Mermaid Lagoon?

Loquacious Leaf Closely Crosses the Rubicon

Created: Feb 14, 2010

Tags: odd-venture, drums, major thom, mermaid, loquacious leaf, old man, tori j watson, turtle shell

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