Fiction Friendship Funny


“ This morning that monster spat in the teacher’s face,” Lisa said, grimacing.

“ And he also beat Malcolm until his nose bled” Samuel added, looking disgusted and at the same time frightened.

The “monster” Lisa and Samuel were talking about was George, a six-year-old little boy who was absolutely reluctant to be disciplined. George was not able to write and read, he didn’t wash or comb his hair. And he crawled like a four-legged animal and not because he wasn’t not able to walk upright but because he liked it that way.

George had an alcoholic father and a prostitute mother. His was a wretched family and he was a desperate case. They were talking about expelling him from the school where he disturbed lessons starting screaming and barking too and beating his classmates.

All the other children avoided him and the adults cursed and even beat him.

One day a foreigner arrived in the village, who came from Scandinavia and whose name was Peter.

He was intrigued if not attracted by that child with an impossible behavior that was frowned upon and mistreated by everyone, even chased away and kicked in the ass. Peter approached him and asked him what his name was. In response, George began to shout: “ What do you want by me, SHIT! You’re a shit! Go fuck yourself!” And spat in his face too. But Peter wasn’t discouraged and began to observe George carefully, waiting for the moment to approach him again.

George was always dirty, smeared with earth and mud, and Peter saw the little boy go to the pound and along the river and to came out after it had rained to get wet earth which he handled with great pleasure. George also sniffed the wet earth, smearing all over his face. He also ate the earth. Precisely Peter as well as a globetrotter was a sculptor and he glimpsed in George’s search and handling of the wet earth something that increased his interest in him.

So Peter decided to stay longer than expected in the village where George lived, even though he was a tireless traveler who never stayed anywhere for long. He still got many more spits in his face and many bad words every time he tried to approach George and talk to him. “ SHIT!”

“ Lousy fag!” “ Go fuck yourself!” were the more recurring words and expressions hurled at him by the little boy.

Then one day Peter put a bronze sculpture outside his atelier depicting a child on all fours with George’s face and features. It was George, after having stood for a long time looking at the statue who entered the atelier shouting: “ But that child is me!” The ice was broken. George, all dirty as usual, was very intrigued by the sculptures that were in the atelier to which he returned every day. “ Would you like to try modeling clay?” Peter asked him. George in response reached out to a sculpture modeled in clay, took a piece of clay, sniffed it, and said: “ It smells good”. Then he put the piece of clay in his mouth and said: “ It almost tastes like earth” Peter was stunned.

“ Look, clay is modeled with the hands, not with the mouth,” he said.

“ The taste is good, I like it. It is almost like the taste of the earth….But no, the earth had more tastes….This…this clay is also less fragrant, more rubbery than earth….it is a bit sticky” George said.

“ What does earth taste like?”  Peter asked more and more stunned.

“ Ah, there is the earth of the pound which tastes like pepper, vinegar, and milk…And the earth wet by the rain which smells like blueberries and tastes like plums, honey, orange, and tea” George said. Peter was thrilled to hear the little boy speak about the taste of the earth, precisely he who had not learned to read or write. “ But the dirty and utterly unruly little George is a poet…oh he is an artist,” Peter thought. He would have liked to induce the child to shape the clay but it seemed to interest him only to smell and taste it. “ Why should I start modeling the clay when I can smell and taste it? Do you know Peter why you model clay? Because you don’t know its taste” George said. Peter was surprised, even bewildered, to discover in that child the wisdom of a wise old man.  Who was that kid really? He kept wondering, admiringly but also a little awed. The dirty little boy seemed to him to have extraordinary gifts. He had seen how George handled the wet earth….oh he would have become a great artist, Peter thought. To convince him to put his hands in clay Peter resorted to almost sleight of hands. He become to model balls, bicycles, skates,  tennis rackets, and puppets with the face of George. Finally, he convinced the little boy that even kneading and modeling clay was a great pleasure. The first sculptures George modeled were sandwiches, buns, and biscuits that he tried to eat. And he kept saying he liked clay that had a good taste, but the earth tasted better. It seemed that George continued to be interested in clay more for its taste than as a material to model. In fact, while he modeled his sculptures he kept eating them so that none of them turned out to be finished, complete, but mangled.

Peter was thinking about how to make the child’s hands feel the clay, we could say he was trying to make George taste the clay through touch. He recalled when he had started modeling clay. It was his grandfather who taught him to model clay and his grandfather too had the habit of tasting the clay, but before modeling it.

Now George’s most highly developed sense seemed to be taste, and meanwhile, he was acquiring more and more skill in modeling clay. But certainly, Peter said to himself, George was not only a poet and an artist but also a great gourmet. He would have been very good at making sculptures to eat, of course with other ingredients than clay.

It was not easy to convince George to try to model other materials than clay but Peter succeeded in it organizing a big party where the taste of the earth would be celebrated. George should have used as material to model not the earth but the products of the earth: fruit, vegetables, grain, and rice. George with the products of the earth created wonderful sculptures that all the participants admired before tasting them. During the party, George also declaimed verses of him in homage to the earth. ___” Oh great fragrant earth, tasty with all good flavors, I’m here for you, to celebrate you”  Thus began the extraordinary career of George as a child prodigy and then as a showman. During his shows, George declaimed poems while he was making sculptures with the products of the earth that he offered to all spectators to taste them.

For George, however, there was never any food that equaled the taste of the earth.


May 19, 2023 13:39

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