Columnist for Tuesday, 5/15 - jasona

Conversations with the food chain

"You're going to eat me, aren't you?"

"Shh... I'm sleeping."

"I don't want to be eaten. I think. I breath. I love."

"You do not think."

"How so?"

"The more you talk to me, the less I sleep. The less I sleep, the more I wake. The more I wake, the more I hunger. Think, little morsel... and let me sleep."

(time passes)

"But you will eat me, won't you?"

"Yes. Yes I will... unless someone brings me a lamb first. Or a pig... Oh dear."

"Oh dear?"

"You've made me hungry."

"Wait!"

"Yes, my little morsel?"

"I am a great Sultan. My power is vast. I command great armies, and have great wealth."

"Do you have a pig I could eat in your stead?"

"Er..."

"No. You have yourself. Your advisors have betrayed you, and left you to my tender mercies. Were I you, I would have eaten them, rather than have trusted them... but the point is moot. You are here now... with me."

"How can you eat me, though? I'm sentient. You'll be wiping out a living breathing soul."

"Are you not filled with tasty meat? Has not the Lord packed your veins with the most delicious sanguine syrup? Why would a wise and benevolent god create such a wonderful treat if not for the purposes of eating, my morsel?"

"Every man faces temptation."

"I know little of the temptations of man, being a tiger."

"Yes, well, every tiger faces temptation. How can we prove our worthiness to our selves and our God without resisting these temptations?"

"As a Sultan, you had a harem of 40 women... how often did you resist temptation? You waged two great campaigns and secured vast land for yourself... was this resisting temptation? Each night you had a large feast set before you, of many succulent dishes, including sheep, I might add... and yet you ask me to resist temptation?"

"Yes... but as a man, a mortal, facing his own demise, my own faults stand out so clearly. Were I to live from this point on, it would be without sin."

"I can make sure of that."

"But what of your own soul? How can you blacken it to eat me?"

"How could I blacken it to eat the sheep, or the pig?"

"Are you saying that I, a Sultan, a ruler of a nation, am as a sheep in your eye?"

"No. The sheep would be far more appetizing. For one thing, they don't smoke."

"But look at the works of man; philosophy, mathematics, literature, architecture! Look at the very building that houses you!"

"My cage? What point are you attempting to make here? I would think you would convince me to take my vengeance as well as sate my hunger on my captor."

"I am not your captor! I am your fellow inmate!"

"And yet, ironicly, it was your own men that captured me."

"Yet I am now the only being on this planet that would fight for your liberation. If you eat me you will have no allies."

"Other than my full belly, you mean."

"Yes."

(time passes)

"You have given me pause for thought. Let me think for a while. In the mean time, it might be best if you employed yourself in scratching my neck... please, come closer."


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