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|Essays · Travelogs · Poetry · Comedy · Art · Digifilm||spring 2007|
Gajandra and the Curse of the Six Monkeys
And so it was that the people of Bangrumgagupta sent out an emissary to spread the word that they had found a new and reliable hero in the young Gajandra, so bold of eye and toned of skin was he.
Lo, thereupon there came a request, from far afield in the North, near the Kingdom that was then known as "Unknown Lands." Said the request,
"Gajandra of Might So May He Be,
"Why do all of these requests rhyme?" asked the young demi-god of his faithful servant and advisor, Jutu.
"Do not the dogs of Oakland bite their leash when time of trouble speaks?"
"Uh, ...yeah, whatever you say, Jutu. So then, let us saddle up the Gwambi and thither to the Unknown Lands go!"
And with that, they did, and days upon days later came upon the little-known Kingdom of Unkown Lands, which seemed to be surrounded by a dense jungle.
"Gajandra the Golden Shaman!" came a craggly voice from behind a banana tree.
Gajandra was quick to pivot and wield his royal anxiety as if twere a weapon of sorts.
"Who speaks to me?"
There before them stood a short man, a mortal man, with turban folded in most unusual manner, and a small, little waist-coat thing round his middle.
"I am the one who asked for your help," said the strange little man. You must free us from the curse before we all starve!"
"Curse? What curse is that?"
"We are an agricultural Kingdom, subsisting mainly on the fruit of the lush jungle which surrounds us. Some time ago a foreign food-processing multinational put a horrible curse upon our food sources!"
"They poisoned your food?"
"No! But they made it such that none dare so much as pick the fruit of our hitherto life-sustaining trees!"
Both Gajandra and Jutu looked around, espying a nearby clump of Bao-Bao trees, a moist and supple brook snaggling past ten rocks, distant snow-capped mountains, and several large banana trees within arms' reach.
"I am sorry funny little man, but I still do not understand."
"Here," said the man, picking a banana from a nearby tree, "Have a banana -- and you will see what we are up against. But first, sign here please." The little man extended a sheaf of papyrus attached to a small, flat wooden board with a metal clip binding the papyrus to the board through the power of coiled metal.
Gajandra took the board and began to peruse the document. "But I cannot read this--it is written in symbols far alien to my native Sanskrit."
"Well...just take my word for it--you'll want to sign this," offered the little man, genially, as he extended a quill to Gajandra.
"Jutu, what thinketh you--should I sign this sheaf?""
"The willow doth not fly North for the winter, not its blossoms predominate at Sangkluth time; yet do we not still wish to have several willows near our property, for enhancement's sake?"
Our hero paused for a second, trying to wrench the meaning from Jutu's scrimshaw-like wisdom.
"Right, whatever," mumbled Gajandra, as he imprinted his family mark on the sheaf. "Now what is it in deed that you have summoned me for?"
"Eat the fruit, and know our sorrow, O great Gajandra," instructed the little man as he took back the signed contract.
As Gajandra began to peel the tasty fruit, a dark and terrible-looking castle sprang from the jungle before them. Its turrets were being circumflown by vultures, and from its gaping maw came a most foul and frightful stench.
"Demon!" cried Gajandra, "what manner of bedevilled banana have you fed to me?!"
"It is the only way for you to break the curse!" shouted the little man, as the young warrior-prophet found himself transported and now held immobile upon a table affixed with leathern ringlets at wrist and ankle placement.
At that point a great light shown from an adjoining room filled with gems and implements most fanciful and unknown. As was his duty, Jutu sat silently in the corner of the room, awaiting such time as his master had fulfilled his destiny.
There was a magical pane between the lighted room and Gajandra's table room. It was clear as water, yet hard as rock.
Gajandra lay still for several moments before boredom got the best of him.
"Well, what now?" he called out to the Unknown.
As if his voice were a whip cracking upon the back of an ass, the mysterious room instantly grew brighter and six small doors slid open. Out from the doors came prancing six monkeys of all types. Even from his prone position, Gajandra could make out a squirrel monkey, two macaques, a tufted lemur, a Red-assed baboon, and a Sub-Saharan chimpanzee. The monkeys bounded about the room for a bit and then settled down.
Attracted to one of the light-emitting gems, one of the macaques reached out to touch it. To his surprise, a bell rang and a green ovally candy with the letter "m" imprinted on it came out of a slot below the gem. One second later, Gajandra heard a loud crackling noise and felt a harsh pain in his left knee. It was as if he were being stung by ten wasps all at once in the same spot.
"Aiiiieeee," he cried out in pain. [page 1 of 2]
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