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The Gathering

The sun had barely risen above the crest of the darkened mountains and one could see that the insects were gathering for their breakfast. The stillness in the air was suddenly disrupted by a zipping sound. John stretched his long arms out and tried to drag his stiffened legs from the musty tent. He dreaded the thought of starting a fire and attempting to make coffee in the dampness of the new day so he decided to walked to the edge of the lake, which was practically a stones throw from his tent. He didn’t get far, his feet were now wet! John always forgot to put his shoes on no matter where he was.

Now that his feet had warm socks on, as well as his shoes, he was at the edge of the lake. He grazed over the scenery that had lain so still and misty. How long had he stood there before he realized that there were indeed sounds that he had never heard before at this time of the early morning? Squatting down at the lakes edge the sounds got louder, or was it just his imagination? John could not help but sense that he was about to experience something new that he nor anyone may have ever experienced before. Scanning the lower level of ground area that he was at, looking and listening were essential. Okay…John thought as he cocked his head to the left. Hmmmm, the sound is coming near this direction. His eyes followed the sound and through the fine mist he focused upon a few plants that emerged from the lake.

John watched the site in amazement. It was as if he had a special lens camera that would let you zoom in on the tiny world sprawled front of him. Some how everything had gotten larger and it was if he were able to see the insects that either rested quietly clinging to the leaves of the plant or they were busy with something else near the plant. His world diminished as the sounds the insects sung came into focus.

"Hey Sam? What are getting for breakfast this morning?"

"Ababa gurgle gurgle."

"Sam, I can’t hear you!"

"Now wait a minute Blue Drag! How can any of us talk with our mouths’ full,

and especially under water?"


"Sorry Sam. I wasn’t thinking. Hey, did you see the new camper along the shore? We’ll

have to tell Mosque that he can get his teeth into some fresh stuff!"

"Yeah, he’ll be thrilled to hear that since he has a new family to show around!"

"Blue, have you seen Red?"

"Yes, she’s right behind me."

"Well I can’t see her."

"Sam, move your little head. She’s on the other side of the green pole."

"I’d better swim over to the right a bit so I can get a better view. I really need to

discuss something with her."

"Now listen Sam, she’s not your type. She’s a bit snippy this morning, so don’t get her up set or she’ll take a chunk out of you."

"I won’t. The last time she stung me I had welts all over me for days. Do you realize you realize how hard it was to explain this to the other snakes?"

"Oh go fish!"

Splash! "Ababa, gurgle, gurgle, gurgle."

A frog suddenly jumped from a nearby lily pad, poor red was gone. Sam was unaware of what had just happened and when he emerged from the water all was quiet. Sam looked around to see why every sect was not harmonizing, that’s when he noticed the camper with his head tilted to the left was just staring at them. Time seemed to have stood still, with the insects staring at the camper and the camper either staring at them or in some type of trance.

"Snap out of it you strange human!" Blue Drag shouted.

"Be quiet! He might hear us Blue Drag." Sam also shouted.

"Get real! He can’t hear us."

"You think not? Then why is he looking at us as if he knew exactly what we just said?"

John gradually began to stand up, smiling as he ascended his full height.

"You know, I thought I heard one of them call me strange!"



© H.C. Downey 11/23/03
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