Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Garden Trolls

          When I was a kid a friend of mine had three little plastic monkeys that sat together on a plastic log, knees bent to their chests, long arms over eyes or ears or mouth. Their wide white rimmed with red eyes gave me the impression that they were really trying to hold something in---something that they wanted out, not something they prevented from penetrating them. The monkeys made me laugh, and I didn't know why.
          We used to chant: “Monkey’s in the court, speak, monkey speak,”  when I was with my friends.  Every must get quiet and then finally one person would say something and no one could interrupt.  Who were the original monkeys, I wonder.
          I  interpreted the monkeys on a log, with their piercing red-rimmed eyes, as “Don’t look, don’t listen, don’t talk.”  My  learned home language was interpretive informational, and that was my interpretation of the monkeys on a log.   Although it really didn’t make sense until one of my friends said, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”  Then the monkeys made sense. As did the understanding of why the chained together monkeys on a log were humorous to me.  Even at that age I understood there was no way to avoid evil, whether seen, heard, or spoken.  
        When I was looking around for ‘stuff’ to add to my courtyard garden, I saw the trolls, remembered the monkeys and the saying, remembered how they’d made me smile and hoped they would add not only good luck but a bit of humor to my garden.  They’re so kick back and chillin’.  Not only their eyes but their faces are impish and holding back, not holding out.  Not so scary-funny as the monkeys.  Makes it difficult to believe that these trolls actually would ever be able to not do what they profess to do.  The hear no evil troll probably listens to a lot of hot gossip.  The see no evil troll spends his nights in the strip clubs, peeking through his fingers. The speak no evil troll lets his misspeaks dribble out of the side of his mouth so that his friends are constantly asking him what he said.
         Besides keeping the trolls hanging out above the pond for luck and humor, they’re there to remind me that even though evil exists, it can be met with impishness and a smile.  I hear it, I see it, I speak it, I’m not perfect.  I can put my hand over my ears and it  becomes muffled and I have to strain to hear it.  I can put my hand over my eyes and it  becomes blurry within a smaller frame, but I can still see it.  I can put my hands over my mouth, but  the words come through my fingers. Sometimes words may be confusing.  Sometimes they may appear meaningless.  I hope they won’t be interpreted as evil. But sometimes they may be humorous. I want to see, hear and speak and then I want to write so that my audience can respond.  In the response, comes the beginning of a dialog.

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