Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Fly-Paper Cavalry

As patriotism is as free to adopt and express, as caring for a dark baby or as writing the truth, respectively, our dearest cavalry fought from within and exploded like a sick bluebottle. And since they couldn’t really move ahead or about, as they were stuck put to the ground, fly-papered to respect their mothers and motherlands, they blathered about claiming the land they were standing on. They called their two feet squares countries, and their arm-span two feet their rightful properties too, what with them having a hold on the square’s air and space and weather. There were four lands named after Cordelia, the faithful cavalry whore and expectedly, trouble brewed, shameless as she was, she flirted with more than one infidel soldier. They settled for one country, with four states; north, east, west and south Cordelia. But that wasn’t all, since the woman wasn’t very geometrically correct; her man of the north was effectively in the middle of seven such ias, icas and istans. He had a tough time, fending invasion from them. Poor man.
They were two hundred and eight in number; a random number. None of them had been recruited by force. Come to think of it, they had all wished to be a part of the Fly Paper Cavalry. They had come because they knew that they would form their own worlds. The prospect had seemed interesting; without blame, for their spirits jumped clown jacks as they filled the papers. And on the first day, as they were all given their respective positions on the fly paper, you should have seen the smiles; like hash-high junkies that couldn’t help smiling, they smiled until their cheeks ached and sagged and soon turned stupid frowns. In return, they were hyenas in sketching their boundaries around them. And once the lines were done and fought for, as they grew into caretakers of countries, from just standing soldiers, they faltered as all leaders did. The power got into their heads, their heads now stood a couple of feet above where they were asked and used to. And as their heads grew taller and interestingly mellony and fat, their snake spines gave up. They stooped now. As they stooped, their legs wore out soon, forced to sit down, punished kids. And as they sat, they claimed more space, forced to fight again for two feet squares.
When I visited them in the eighties, they were all sitting, swatting the flies that now swarmed around them, in mocking circles. Fly-papered themselves, they envied the fly’s freedom.

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