On a warm autumn evening, the boy sat in the twilight in front of a roaring camp fire. Around him were various other children of various ages, all transfixed at the scene before them. The sky had begun to turn dark and the most prominent stars were beginning to flicker into view. The moonlight competed with the fire to light up the village clearing in which the children sat. Shadows danced, as if momentarily freed from their casters, and joining them in their merriment was the village Shaman.
The boy was convinced that the Shaman's performance was for him and him alone, that the other village children just happened to be there. As the Shaman danced in front of the fire, he half sung a tale to his captive audience. The boy mouthed the words he had heard many times before. As the Shaman turned in his dance, the boy could feel him looking directly into his very Being.
With elaborate gestures and lyrical mastery, the Shaman wove his ancient tale.
There were two frogs in days gone by
Whose beauty turned the dullest eye.
Like living jewels, their colours bright
Filled onlookers with pure delight.
Into many pools the brothers dove,
For swimming was their natural love,
And they spent a part of every day
Engaging in this watery play.
And then one day, to their surprise,
The brothers laid their bulging eyes
On liquid of a different kind
The Thought Pool sprang into their minds.
The two frogs didn't hesitate
To jump at the enticing bait,
Which seemed to dance before their eyes -
Idea nymphs and theory flies.
They dived right in and swam around
In thoughts both silly and profound
And for a while they both were thrilled
To let themselves with these be filled.
But soon one of the frogs got sick
As thoughts to him began to stick.
His shining skin began to fade
With every twist and turn he made.
Opinion scabs and judgement warts,
And other deadly serious thoughts,
They clung to him like limpets tight
And with them he began to fight.
But fighting only made things worse,
And added to his terrible curse,
And before to an early grave he sank,
He clambered up onto the bank.
Now burdened with a heavy load
There sat Opinionated Toad
And if anybody to him spoke
He just let out the same old croak.
But his brother swam in The Thought Pool still,
Without the fear of getting ill,
Too fast, too cool , to smooth, too slick,
For any of the thoughts to stick.
The boy watched entranced as the Shaman's dance reached a mesmerising crescendo and then with extra-ordinary suddenness he collapsed to the ground, causing a synchronised gasp to spontaneously emerge from all the on-looking children. There the Shaman stayed for some time, deliberately contrasting silence and stillness with the frenzy of his performance.
Then eventually he raised his face and revealed a euphoric smile which caused uncontrollable shivers to run down the boy's spine.
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