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People Like Statues
I was wandering through the park one day, when I happened upon a statue of a old funny looking man, it was a seemingly ordinary statue, with no really distinguishing features. Next to this statue there was a bench. I sat and began reading the news paper. “Nothing interesting today” I said to myself, and then, having no where to go, I started on the word scramble in the features section. Hmm, three words that mean from top to bottom. Suddenly I heard a voice, say to me,
“If you want to know, the answer is ‘head to toe’”
I turned and looked behind me, seeing no one; I was puzzled as to the origin of the voice. So I asked in confusion, “Who was that?” no reply for a moment. But then the voice came again saying clearly and steadily,
“It was I, sorry to scare, I saw the answer,
and thought to help you out there.”
I turned seeing only the statue, but realizing the voice had to come from somewhere. I looked at the statue for a while longer, waiting for something else to happen, or maybe for someone to jump out from behind the statue. Nothing happened for a moment, so I asked again. “Who said that?”
“I said it was I, do you not believe, yes I am a statue, no your eyes do not deceive.
Many would say I a remarkable fellow,
but to you I may be called Michelangelo Ferretto.”
I saw it, it was the statue. It was talking to me. I asked why it was talking, and why it only spoke in rhyme. And it replied,
“I am a statue, this much is true. If you so wish, I tell my story to you.
It is not happy, nor is it long, I once was a man, and I was old decrepit and bald.
But what you want to know is the statue you see, and you question how I have come to be.
It is not hard to understand this, when you show love not enough, your body starts to quit.
Your skin turns pale till it is hard and grey, and your heart slows its pump, till it stops one glum day.
Do you understand now how this came to be? Take care young man, don’t become like me.
I once was I glum old man, but since then I’ve found life quite grand.”
“Why would you think life better as a statue?” I asked him.
“Well, that is not so easily explained. When I was a man, I had many social chains.
I had to be here for this, and go there for that. It was not much fun, and I was very sad.
My family had mostly died, my kids had no time. Now that I’m a statue, none of that’s on my mind.
I sit here in the park, and watch the dogs run, and the ducks quacking. Its hard to be sad amid so much happy.”
“I’m sorry,” I replied. “I still don’t understand, I get that you’re a statue, but why the rhyming?
“Well, my friend, what else can I do?
I cannot have much fun; I can only talk to you.
Rhyming makes it fun, if only for me.
Also this, I hope one day a poet to be.
If my dreams never become true, this one thing shall succeed,
people will regard me the best rhymer in all of history.”
“Okay, I think I get it,” I replied, “but I have one more question. Why haven’t we ever spoken before? I come here often enough, and I have seen you many times as I walk through this park. Why then would you choose now to speak?”
“This too is a good question, but one thing you did not think through.
Statues feel fear too.
You wouldn’t speak to me, for the same reason I wouldn’t speak to you.”
“Fair enough,” I say. At that moment I look around, and I notice the abundance of statues in the park that I had never noticed before. So I ask, “What about them? Can they talk too?”
“Indeed they most certainly may,
though you must remember what they were one day.
These people used to lie, cheat, and steal.
These are the ones that hated other people.
And everyone they hated; this was so true,
that their hearts stopped cold, and their skin turned dark blue.
Eventually they turned into something like me,
Their skin turned light grey. their blood stopped running.
Once again I warn your sweet young soul,
not to make the same mistakes of which I have told.”
I realized it was getting late so I asked the statue if he would talk with me tomorrow. He simply nodded his head; I assumed he couldn’t think of anything to rhyme. So I told him I would come back tomorrow. As I went on my way home I made it a point to look at every statue on the way out.
The next day I returned to the spot I had seen the statue the night before. To my surprise there was a construction crew there, they were removing the statue to make room for another play set. I spent the rest of that evening trying to get other statues to talk to me. But all I got were funny looks from other people at the park. The first statue was right, these people were mean. Any time a park go-er would look at me funnily, I could hear a snicker coming from one of the statues. He was laughing at me. A statue was laughing at me.
Eventually I gave up. All I could do was remember the lesson I had learned from the statue, to live, and love, and do so happily.