Friday, 12 September 2008

Fiction Friday--toy

They found the boy wild in the wood. He was naked and mute. The rummor that he was with wolves melted into the forest much like the creatures themselves.

The natives had long told of the boy. Only now had some learned men come, to capture him for study. No one asked him if he wanted a life of domesticity; no one asked him what he thought of men's clothes, men's food, or men's ways.

The learned men thought him an extraordinary discovery, a blank slate in which they could inflict their scientific studies. They were from the culture of the enlightenment, after all. In their supiority they never thought to feel for the boy. He was triply cursed; an Indian, a feral child and not even raised by his own kind.

They took him to a house in their town. One room was to be his own, one was for their experiments. In one corner of his room stood his only companion, a dappled rocking horse.

In their own time the boy and the horse talked. Of course the men would say he was incapable of language and the rocking horse was only a toy. But, they weren't the boy and they weren't the horse. The boy told the horse of his life with the wolves, of being free; his former life. The horse told the boy of a life imagined, a life of freedom.

At night, when finially left alone, they dreamed. And in their dreams they were free.


~willow~ said...

I enjoyed the dark tone of this piece which ends with some hope and positivity, where the boy has freedom in *some* form. "But, they weren't the boy and they weren't the horse" - I like how the narrator knows better :)

Annie said...

and one would hope they gallopped away together

Jodi Cleghorn said...

I'm with Willow on this ... with the narrator's ethics and humanity, though removed from being condescending.

Short and sharp!

Anonymous said...

The freedom of dreams over the imposition of a set way of life; love it. I gotta get me one of them horses.

The Countess said...

Gotta agree. I like the way how you put the stories together, how the narrator reveals life's meaning to the characters. I too want one of those horses.

susan said...

Liked this very much. How easily we assume our way is superior.