Monday, June 05, 2006

Thumbelina: secret admirer or stalker?

Continued from
section n: Vladimir the wanker
section n + 1: The fish and Freyja
section n + 2: Thumbelina's departure
section n + 2: With the Godfather's Aid

A brief summary of previous sections:
Thumbelina was kidnapped by a toad who thought she would make a suitable bride for her son Vladimir. Vladimir fell in love the moment he saw Thumbelina, and immediately decided to take her as his bride. She refused, resulting in her temporary imprisonment on a floating lily pad while Vladimir made preparations for the wedding.

Desperate to escape from Vladimir, Thumbelina sought the help of some fish. After some delay, they help nibbled through the lily pad’s stem. Freyja the butterfly was sent for, who would tow the lily pad and Thumbelina to safety. Freyja was tethered to the leaf, who then pulled it along the water.

Meanwhile, Vladimir had set up a meeting with his friends to seek help in organising his wedding. When he arrived at the meeting place, he realised that word has spread and there were more acquaintances present than expected.

While Vladimir made merry with his friends, Thumbelina moved further downstream with the help of Freyja.

When Vladimir finally returned to the stream with his friends, he was devastated to find that Thumbelina had disappeared. The incident appeared to be part of a well planned operation.

With no one else to turn to, Vladimir approached Pafnuty Chebyschev for help in locating his bride. In exchange, he would help store Pafnuty’s illegal commodities in times of trouble.

section n + 4: Secret Admirer or Stalker?

“Look, there in the middle of the stream! Is that the tiny human we have been asked to look out for?” asked Eta Carina the praying mantis.
“Yes, looks like the one. But why is the butterfly involved in the kidnapping? I thought the butterflies are non-aligned,” replied Praesepe, the other praying mantis.
“Beats me.” A non-committal wave of the antennae.
“We’re supposed to rescue the human though. Orders from the big guy.”
“Really? Are you sure God asked us to do it?”
“No you idiot! I was referring to Mr Chebyschev.”

Motionlessly, E. Carina and Praesepe observed the blue butterfly towing a floating lily pad, in which was sat the tiniest human they ever saw. With each strained down-stroke of the Lepidoptera’s shimmering wings, the tow line between its thorax and the lily pad pulled taut, the pad carving a deep, rippling bow wave into the water surface.

Praesepe waved his antennae at E. Carina, “You go back to tell Mr Chebyschev we have found the human. I’ll follow her progress.”

Back upstream at the toad colony, word reached Pafnuty Chebyschev that the tiny human may not have been kidnapped from Vladimir after all. Vladimir had kidnapped the human in the first place, and the human was merely escaping from Vladimir. Still, this bit of news would not make any difference to Pafnuty’s decision to help Vladimir retrieve the human- he was a businessman and a gangster, not an upholder of moral principles.

On the opposite bank, slightly downstream of the praying mantises, a mayfly by the name of Josef watched the progress of the butterfly and Thumbelina with great curiosity. The blue butterfly was magnificent, but what really held onto Josef’s attention was the little person being ferried along by the butterfly. Granted, a pint-sized human was rare, but if he saw a pint-sized human walking alone among the shrubs he would not have given it a second thought.

But this human was different. For sure it was not astoundingly beautiful- Josef’s sister had some friends who model for the Mayfly Monthly Fashion Times, and the human was nowhere close to those models in terms of sheer physical beauty. Despite her ordinary appearances, she must have done something remarkable to manage to hitch a ride with ride with a butterfly- rare, regal creatures known through the forest as noble, stately, neutral and morally conscious beings.

Josef watched the girl carefully, and saw that despite her unremarkable appearance, she was beautiful. Her eyes, which were not compound eyes, had a certain liveliness to them as they darted about inefficiently to take in the environment, glinting from an occasional ray of light reflected from the shimmering water surface. Despite not having a pair of slender antennae, she had long, smooth yellowish fibres growing on her head. She chatted animatedly with the butterfly in front of her, her fore limbs gesticulating and her face contorting into various expressions despite the fact that the butterfly could not see her. Occasionally, she laughed, a soft, tinkling sound carried over the water, a sound that reminded Josef of the pleasant bleating goats.

In the short span of minutes, the girl’s appearance grew on Josef. After the butterfly and the girl drifted past Josef, he edged back inland away from the river, flew quickly in the downstream direction, and crept back to the riverbank to watch them again.

* Lepidoptera: (entomology) an order of insects comprising the butterflies and moths