No Bark, Very Little Bite

Nigel Hinshelwood

    I was not concerned with the public reaction, for the lobster
needed a walk. We went out on the wide street angling from the
apartment to the docks, the blue ribbon linking us gently, no more
than a suggestion of fealty. The relationship was quite good,
really, and we were easily able to cope with the buzzing crowds
who imagined us to be exercising some new and outrageous fetish,
the decadence of an unnatural union of man and sea-beast. What
foolishness! Why must everything be so obvious to satisfy the
general taste? We looked to our own business, begging pardon when
the ladies crossed us, asking no special favors unless one considers
understanding to be such a request.
    It was a brilliant morning for a walk, and the sidewalks were
rather full. Not everyone stared; some were taken up with their
private concerns over which not even a man with a lobster on the
end of a blue ribbon could take precedent. At first I silently gave
thanks to these people, preferring their indifference to the stares
and jeers of the others. Then, I began to see them differently. I
wanted them to take notice, to seek to understand the lobster, pro-
bing its intellect and comprehending the grace of its spirit, as I
had done. Such hopeless desires fed the restlessness that drove me
seaward that bright morning.
    I stopped for bread and the baker pretended that he saw nothing
for fear of offending and losing the patronage. For a misguided oaf,
his bread is not bad. I do not bake myself (this language is in itself
imprecise) but I know a good crust when I taste one. On to the sea,
residence of the living metals. I must pick up my suit, or I'll have
nothing tonight when the world awakens, ready to believe anything.
I wish this crawling spy of the Atlantic would move faster!

 

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