Little Lindsay Chapters 5 & 6
It was at this point in our tale, the Experts calculated, when Little Lindsay reached the apex of her height at an exact mile from the floor of a small, sandy area in the middle of the jungle where she and a seemingly miniature but slightly less than normal-sized filly transported from Philly named Millie Tilly Dilly with a brother Willy Nilly (her sister Lilly called Billy) stood—factoring in an average for sand-sink depression, of course.
Further, the Experts agreed that it would therefore not be unreasonable of them to reason that at that height it would be both reasonably cold, and unreasonably hard to breathe. It’s accepted practice that Experts require two reasons for every one reason in order for something to be truly scientifically verifiable, or not, so such a conclusion is reasonable since there’s more than enough proof to extrapolate the above from the story below.
“Ama-a-a-a-zing!” Little Lindsay wavered in the gentle tropical breezes. Not knowing what might be underfoot, she did a little dance to keep moving. But she hardly noticed that once she looked at the beautiful sky with its swirling clouds and floating mists. The evergreen jungle sprawled below, streaked with flashing water runways and flush with distant sounds of far-away birds, animals, reptiles and insects going about their busy business of daily life. “Brrr, but it’s cold up here and hard to breathe,” she said.
Time slowed to a crawl, curled up, and went to sleep. Even though Little Lindsay’s life was far from acceptable in its current state, somehow everything seemed just and correct. All of life was what it should, would and could be at that frozen moment. Conflict was replaced by comfort. Fear was vanquished to the realm of ignorance far, far away. Patience trumped worry and serenity prevailed—as it should.
“Hello Little Lindsay. I see that you have reached the pure air. How do you feel?”
“Oh hello, Mister Swift. Yes, it’s rather pleasant up here. Why is that?”
“Because you are outside the realm of time. Look at your timepiece.”
Lindsay checked her watch. “It’s not counting,” she said. “Why?”
“Because there’s nothing to count. Moments are empty, like the inside of a seed. Only humans line them up one next to the other, but inside a moment there’s nothing at all. Add them all up and what have you got? A long line of the same thing, which is nothing. All the numbers add up to zero, Little Lindsay. Everything ends where it starts, and starts all over again. All this, Little Lindsay,” Mister Swift indicated his body as well as Little Lindsay’s, “…is that which you see above, below and beside you. There’s no difference.” The pretty parrot, Mister Swift, hung effortlessly in front of Little Lindsay’s face. “Life is within, Little One. Once you see that all moments add up to no moments you no longer have the need to change anything. All is as it should be. All is contained within the moment of Now.”
Little Lindsay became one with the silence of the moment—a place where there are no words, thoughts, or actions—and it was good.
Leg Experts scratched their collective jaw and proclaimed:
“We know nothing about the nothingness of moments. We have mountains of facts about all manner of things both big and small, but there’s no information for Nothing at all.”
And so the concept of Nothing was deferred to the Time Experts, who said:
“You can’t prove Nothing, so there’s nothing to prove. For this or that matter we can’t approve, or disapprove.”
The factual secret of the subject of Nothing is clearly revealed with the actual feeling.
“It’s time to find your home. Mommy and Daddy are worried about you.”
Little Lindsay didn’t wish to move. She loved the feeling of all the different moments coming to rest as One Moment. She had no need to do anything, or go anywhere, or be any different than she now was at that One, quintessential, primordial Moment when Time ceased to count. But she had to nudge herself to action now. She had to step back into the cycle of counting moments and find her new home.
“Mister Swift, can you show me the way to Pura Vita-Veedaville?”
“Never heard of it. But I can tell you where to start.”
“The answer lies at your feet. Find Lemu-eel, the serpent. She knows everything there is to know. Not all at once, of course. What an overload! Ask the right questions for the right answers.”
“Wait, this Lemu-eel is a… a… snake?”
Mister Swift stood to flying attention and with a crisp salute said, “Buh-bye!” before veering into a spiral dive toward the ground.
“Wait, Mister Swift! Wait for me!”
Poor Little Lindsay was under a lot of stress, as you, dear reader, can clearly see. What with all the hidden terrors of a jungle in an unknown land, the falling out of a plane and such, the rapid leg growth and being alone, it’s no wonder she wasn’t a nervous wreck. Experts were not in total agreement as to how to characterize what may have, or not, been Little Lindsay’s state of mind, so they agreed to the list of descriptors below. Little Lindsay may, or may not, have been (in alphabetical order, as opposed to their order of importance, which is a whole other question), according to the Experts: agitated, antsy, anxious, apprehensive, beside herself, a bundle of nerves, hyper, impatient, jerky, jittery, jumpy, spooked, twitchy, uneasy and/or worried. (The word calm was never discussed, since it was considered the “normal” state of mind—which, obviously, Little Lindsay lacked.)
If there was ever a time in a fable or a story for something good to happen, this will be the place in Long-Legged Little Lindsay’s (slightly) long-winded tale where it starts.
Little Lindsay concentrated on what Mister Swift had told her. “The answer lies at your feet,” he had said. She looked downward. Clouds and tropical mist swirled around her knees. “I can’t even see my feet,” she groaned. “For all I know, I may not even have any feet! I can’t—” She stopped herself. Mister Swift had also said there was no can’t, only Do. Do, so she closed her eyes and became very still, willing her legs to shrink back to normal, eight-year-old size.
At first, nothing changed. Concentrate. After awhile, still nothing. Try harder! Followed by nothing. Repeat. Zero. Nada. Harder! Nix. No results. Quiet now… mind wandering… thoughts of Mommy and Daddy and Amber. Poor old lady (Amber, not Mommy) alone in the jungle. Followed by no thoughts about anything big or small or here or there or back or forth or then or later. No up or down or inside or out. Just is. Not a single thought about a place or a time. Nothing. Nothing, that is, but intention.
“Ooh!” Little Lindsay jumped. “What was that?” Instinctively, she reached down to touch her foot and opened her eyes. To her surprise…
“Amber!” Amber lay curled at her feet, protecting her. Actually, she was asleep. And snoring. Drool rolled off her tongue onto Little Lindsay’s foot. “Amber! Amber! I’m so happy to see you! Hey wait, I’m normal sized! Amber! Amber! Wake up girl!”
Amber opened her eyes sleepily and said, “Huh?” Once she saw Little Lindsay’s face she jumped up like a spry puppy and began running in circles around her. “Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay!”
“Good girl, Amber. Yes I’m happy to see you, too.”
“Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay!”
“Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay!”
“Doesn’t she know how to say anything other than Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay!?” a somewhat irritated filly from Philly asked.
“Hi Millie! Look, I’m back to my normal size!”
“Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay!”
“Yes, Amber! Okay! Can you shut up a little bit for now, please?” Little Lindsay asked nicely. “That’s better. Now, how do you like the jungle?”
Amber tilted her head and smiled. “You’re kidding, right? This place is a doggie paradise! Oh, if you could only smell what I smelled today! Did you know every plant has a unique olfactory signature? Each tree is different from every flower and vine and plant and bush and root and—”
“Amber!” Little Lindsay interrupted. “Do you know where Mommy and Daddy are?”
“Huh? Oh, no, I don’t. Do you think they’re okay? Should we look for them? Wanna take a walk? Wanna take a walk? Huh? A walk, huh? Sound like a good idea? Huh?”
Millie sighed out loud. “Dogs are so predictable. You don’t want to take a walk, you want to take a—”
“Millie! I think it’s a good idea. Mister Swift told me to look for Lemu-eel the serpent. She knows everything. She can tell us where Pura Vita-Veedaville is.” Little Lindsay turned to her faithful nanny-dog, “Amber, can you smell serpents?”
Amber thought about that. “I don’t know. Their butts are very tiny.”
“Ew?” both Millie and Little Lindsay said together.
“Hey, that’s how dogs work. There’s more to go by down there. It’s not like I’m addicted to crack or anything.”
“As much as I am not in the mood to go smelling serpent butts,” Millie said, “it makes horse sense to me to have you take the point. Lead on, Amber. We’re with you!”
“Yes! We’re right behind you, Amber,” Little Lindsay added.
All three jumped. “Oy, One Son, do you have to be so abrupt?” Little Lindsay asked, looking up into the trees.
“Don’t you mean: A-BRA-A-A-A-PT? Ha-ha, get it?”
“Oh yuck. Could you climb a little higher, please? Phew!”
One Son jumped up a branch. “What’s all the hubbub, Bub? What’s the plan, Stan? What’s the poop, Scoop? Gimme the skinny, Ninny. What’s the blurb—”
“Okay I’ve had enough,” Millie said. “Who invited Bugs Banana-breath?”
“Bark!” Amber commanded complete silence. All eyes turned to her.
“Did you just bark?”
“Yes! Poor Little Lindsay is lost. And so am I, I might add. We must come together and find our way, so let’s get on with it, shall we? You, monkey.” One Son straightened up immediately and gulped a whole banana without chewing. “Where might I find a serpentess named Lemu-eel in these parts?”
“Lemu-eel? I know Lemu-eel, alright. She never loses in poker. Why is that? I don’t trust her.”
Amber was all business. “Which way, monkey?”
“Nobody always wins, it’s just not normal. And not very polite, either, in my opinion. BRA-A-A-A-AP! Ahhhh.”
Millie stamped her foot. “I’ll follow Amber and clear a path for Lindsay. One Son is your name? You stay in the trees and make sure we’re going the right direction as well as look out for any wild boars or pigs, or boring pigs, or whatever’s out there who might be hungry and not discriminating about what they eat. Little Lindsay, you watch our flanks. Where do we find Lemu-eel, Belcher-breath?”
“She sleeps over that way.” Everyone faced east, where One Son pointed. “But she travels way over here,” he said, pointing west. Everyone turned around. “And everywhere in between.” Everyone looked left and right. “That is, until dark, when she sometimes heads south.” Everyone turned south. “When there’s no moon she likes to go north.” Everyone turned north. “But when there’s no moon it’s almost impossible to see anything as small as a skinny serpent butt.”
“I think I’m going to throw up,” Millie said, dizzy after looking this way and that.
Little Lindsay sighed with frustration. “What are we to do, One Son?”
“That’s easy. Tonight’s the first full moon of the spring season.”
“I thought you said there was no moon tonight.”
“Read the minutes, honey. I didn’t say that. I know exactly where to find her.”
“Where?” all three asked at once.
“At the poker game.”