– The moon’s so full of itself.
– Is it a saying?
– It can be.
There was a saying in my village which I can’t remember. It had something to do with birds. Or fishes. And it was probably about lies and love and being good. And it was a taut, witty, eloquent saying. One that you would say when you are not mincing words and are really saying something that requires saying. And it was brief too – five or six words of sheer wisdom. And everytime anyone said that saying I would retort with a saying of my own, a dirty reworking of that old saying, which went something like, ‘If only birds (or fishes) could do that.’
It was as real as a saying could be. And it was true. And like every other truth it could be laughed at. And it also taught you a lesson, if you wanted to learn. And even if you weren’t keen on learning it could be kept as these things are kept. And if only I could remember it, I could tell you a story based on that saying, which was again, a very good story. Enriching and all. That saying was the moral of this story. And it wasn’t a far-fetched moral and it wasn’t a far-fetched story. It was all very simple and very truthful. The story deftly vansihed to leave a glowing, pure moral behind that everyone could agree upon. And it did that at the very end – when you would have just begun to think it was a story without a moral, it gave you one.
And even after you knew it was an old childish storytelling trick, you knew it was an old childish trick of a seasoned storyteller. A great storyteller. And a great story. Something about birds. Or a bird that dreamt of a fish or being a fish – something like that. And it was so true. And you could perfectly see the moral. There was no separating it from the story. The moral was the story. And the saying was the moral. It was something about flying and swimming and it was very real and tangible. A tangible material truth. If only I could remember the saying I would have told you a great story.