Tuesday, February 27, 2007

To Divide Assunder the Soul and Spirit

When I was a kid I found a dinosaur bone in my field. I was maybe 6 and the soil had just been tilled. I stomped around on the stiff corn stocks that remained from the year prior and turned over stones and squished pill bugs as they lay prone in the crater of the rock. It was then when I stumbled upon it; it was a hipbone of a small dinosaur, still a baby when it died. I took it to my barn and kept it in a pen. I built the rest of its body, a 2L pop bottle for it torso, a race car for its head. I gave it legs made out of screwdrivers, one Philips one flathead. I fashioned terrifying arms with rusty and bent forks and bound it together with electricians tape. I stared into my monstrous creation and pitied its awkward body, all crooked and off centered. I watered it and sat it in the sun and waited for it to grow.

I was sad when I returned the next day and the day after that, each time to see its poorly cobbled together bodies remain unchanged. I took out a book from my school library about dinosaurs to learn how to reanimate it. I discovered that dinosaurs moved in herds, so very diligently I made him companions. One after the other the same species, my mom was worried about my pop consumption and wondered where all the cutlery was going. Soon I had a vast army of viscous dinosaurs, separated into groups according to ferocity. The meanest were upfront, protecting the others, the more thoughtful and docile ones remained surrounding the children, to teach them about survival in their new and uncertain environment. I ruled over this inanimate army, and was disappointed that more dinosaurs weren’t the key to resurrecting my original dead one.

It was nearly winter and the cold wind was seeping into the old and creaky barn, when I first discovered a change. At first they were only moved a bit huddled together and turned inward toward the group, gradually they moved en masse toward the furthest corner from the door. It was then I realized that they were trying to avoid the same fate that befell them millions of years ago. I took some tarps from my fathers’ workshop and plugged a lamp in by the group. I created a greenhouse or a terrarium there in the barn to keep them warm and greatly anticipated the day when they would spring to life. Yet all the science I knew wasn’t enough to bring them back to life.


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