Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The Littlest Feminist 2
The Littlest Feminist trotted through the jungle alone. "I am a big girl," she told herself for the hundredth time. The jungle was dim. The canopy of trees overhead blocked out the sun. The jungle was large. The jungle stirred with strange noises. The Littlest Feminist felt small. "I am not afraid," she said as her heart pounded in her chest, as her hands began to shake. "I am a big girl." Her voice cracked. She swallowed and began walking again.
As she walked she heard the noises: the animal calls, the wind, the hoots, even a howl. "That doesn't scare me," she whispered gulping down some air.
She stopped. The sound of rustling in the bushes beside her drew her attention. Her head snapped. She heard the growl and saw the body fly through the air. White and black and orange stripes flew at her. The jaws, the teeth, the fangs. She froze, transfixed, rooted to the spot. A tiger, her mind conjured.
Then she heard a bang like thunder. She saw a flash of light like lightning. A rifle shot loud enough to shake her ears. The tiger roared a pathetic forlorn moan and instead of a glorious pounce it's body crumbled. Its momentum ceased.
The Littlest Feminist turned around, wondering if Daddy had come back to find her. He probably needed her help, she thought.
"Daddy?" She called in the direction of the gunshot. But it was not Daddy that emerged from the bush but a strange boy.
"Are you lost?" the strange boy asked.
"No," she said, "Yes, I mean but I'm not scared." And she realized that she wasn't scared anymore. She was so brave.
"We need to go," the man said. "Follow me." He gestured.
"You're not my boss," The Littlest Feminist said, stamping a foot. She pointed at herself. "Big girl," she said. "Got it? She huffed. "I don't need you."
"You'd be dead right now if I hadn't followed you here."
"You're not the boss of me," the Littlest Feminist said again and then walked over to the tiger's body. The tiger lay clumped in the dirt, drawing his last breaths. "Bad tiger," she admonished. "That's a bad tiger. No more tiger's attacking little girls. You understand? You're mean and I won't have it. Bad tiger." She kicked the tiger again and hurt her toe though she didn't say anything lest her bravery fail. The tiger's chest lifted one last time and then never rose again. "I killed it," she exclaimed. "I'm a hero."
"I think I had something to do with it," the boy said.
"Don't be so silly, boy. You have such a big ego."
"I shot it!"
"All you think about is yourself!"
"Are you on medications?" The boy asked quietly.
"Only prozac, lithium, and paxil."
"Well if things were fair I wouldn't need to take so many but things aren't fair. Boys don't understand stuff. See you're a bicycle."
"What?" the boy asked, scratching his head.
"A bicycle. Boys are bicycles and I got feet so why would I need a bicycle?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Boys and fishes and girls. You wouldn't understand these things. Not a boy, no. It's very sophisticated feminist stuff."
"Where did you hear that?"
"I read it in one of my coloring books."
The boy stared at the Littlest Feminist for a long time. He stared as one stares at an alien object. Then the tension in his eyes waned. He seized the Littlest Feminist by the hand began leading her through the jungle
"I'm being oppressed," she said, though his touch was gentle and she had to admit that she felt a sudden stirring deep inside her. She pushed it down though as a sign of her oppression.
The sun soon rose and the canopy of darkness lifted slightly. They walked through the whole day, the boy eventually dropping her hand. She followed at her own pace, letting him think he was leading.
Later the boy stopped. "Look," he said pointing up into the trees. Yellow, ripe bananas dangled just out of reach overhead. "Hungry?" He asked. The Littlest Feminist nodded. "I'll get us some food."
He tried to leap up and grasp at the bananas but they were out of reach. "This won't work," he said. He thought for a moment. "Alright, why don't you stand on my shoulders."
"Why don't stand on mine?" The Littlest Feminist asked.
"Sure," The boy said.
It took two tries before the boy realized it was hopeless. The Littlest Feminist was too little. She kept dropping him. The second time he slipped off her shoulders he landed and hit his head on something. The Littlest Feminist laughed.
"Why don't I get on your shoulders?" The Littlest Feminist said.
The boy rubbed his head and stood. He nodded. The Littlest Feminist came over and he knelt down. She crawled up on top of him and he was surprised how light she felt. "Hold still," she commanded. He hoisted her up. He spread his legs and planted his feet. She was easy to carry.
The Littlest Feminist stood atop his shoulders and she felt big. "This is what a big girl feels like," she said. She stared around at the jungle. It wasn't so scary after all. She was tall and strong. "This was a great idea," she said. "I'm glad I thought of it."
The boy offered no protest.
Then something changed in the Littlest Feminist. She looked down at the boy and it was as if he were invisible. He was not a boy, she decided. He was something else. She tried to name it but got bored and then forgot about him entirely.
She felt so tall, so strong. "I'm so tall," she said.
"Get the bananas," he said.
"Taller than you are. And smarter too." She stared around the jungle, thrilled with her new found glory. She ignored the protests in her belly, that feeling that something was missing, something was not quite right. Daddy? No, she did not need a daddy or a little boy. She was a fish or was it a bicycle?
"Bananas," the boy shrieked and though she was light at first, her weight was beginning to tax him.
She looked up, remembering the bananas. She pulled one off the vine. She peeled it and stuffed it in her mouth then dropped the peel. She pulled another off the tree and ate it.
"Hurry up," the boy said. His knees began to wobble.
The Littlest Feminist started to stuff herself with the fruit.
"Save some for me," the boy protested.
"Don't be so needy."
"I can't do this much longer," he said. He was straining to stand. Her shoes were digging into his shoulders.
"I'm so tall," she remarked, "And these bananas are so good."
"I'm going to fall," the boy called out.
"I'm going to stay this tall forever," the Littlest Feminist said.
Then the boy's legs collapsed. He fell. The girl's weight crashed down on him and their bodies tangled with each other. "Rape!" The Littlest Feminist cried.
"Get off me," the boy ordered. They untangled themselves and stood.
"I was taller than you," The Littlest Feminist said, noticing that she had to look up at the boy, which gave her butterflies in her belly which she righteously destroyed. "What did you do to me?" The Littlest Feminist asked. "I was taller than this. Taller than you. I could see so far."
"You were never taller than me," the boy said.
"You tricked me," she complained.
The boy pointed. "We'll come to my village if we keep on this direction." And without waiting for her to follow he set off through the jungle.
Not soon after, the jungle cleared and a village came in sight. "I made it," The Littlest Feminist declared, pleased with herself.
"You're so arrogant," the boy said.
"You're just a bitter loser."
"I'm done with you," the boy said and walked away.
"Why are you so angry?" She asked but the boy ignored her and trudged off toward the village. "He's just intimidated by a big girl," she reasoned. But he was getting really far away and she didn't want him to get lost without her so she ran to catch up to him.
Arrogant, she thought. He was wrong. She wasn't arrogant. She was humble. She was the most humble!
Continue Reading: Language, Consciousness, and Reincarnation