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Tales of curious Cardboard Men

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First Tale

   Years had passed since the journey began. During those times remained Cardboard Men had seen snowy lace, falling on the roof surface, defoliation, rich in yellow and red tones, and basked in the rays of summer sun. But travelers are still not returned. The Cardboard Elder spent each day on the outskirts of the city peering into the distance. He was extremely worried about those who’s gone to unknown lands but was forced to hide feelings under his bushy, gray eyebrows and a thick beard. By the bye, that's why the old wise men often hide their faces in beards: because of their reputation, they cannot afford themselves flutter.

  Day after day the Elder waited and waited and had been desperate to long last, but suddenly Slouching Cardboard Man popped in front of him. He came back from the other way, as it turned out.

  “Hullo,” Slouching Cardboard Man said, “Why are you standing here? Its dinner time, if I'm not mistaken!”

  “Right you are!” said the Elder barely holding back tears, “Of course it is dinner time! How come I forgot it?!” And with these words the Elder rushed to embrace Slouching Cardboard Man.

  And than there was a great feast. Oh, how great it was! Hoards of Cardboard Men faced with milk and honey, fruits, vegetables: every single edible thing which can be called delicious was eaten that day. When all of Cardboard Men together and each one separately had rejoiced the return of their fellow, came the time for Slouching Cardboard Man to tell his quirky story.

  I walked miles and miles,” he started, “And at last I came to The Big Water. Big with a vengeance! At the moment I saw The Big Water I understood that I can’t swim and it was a woe.”

  After those words hum echoed over the crowd; you can hear one, my dear, when a certain number of people are upset by something that they’ve heard. No wonder, since Cardboard Men could not swim - their physiology does not allow them to do that!

  “And though I didn’t even hope to cross The Big Water,” Slouching Cardboard Man continued, “But unexpectedly a Stranger helped me up!”

  As you have probably noticed Slouching Cardboard Man did not remain face to face with his misfortune. Despite the fact that he didn’t even hope to get better with this hostile element which he called The Big Water. So, I suppose you can keep yer good luck to yourself, my dear.


By a happy coincidence experienced Weather-beaten Sailor was on the same seashore at the same time with our wee paper fellow. His singlet stood out against a background of sand and almost merged with the blue of the sky.

  Howdy, lil` pal!” Weather-beaten Sailor roared, “Whacha doin` here? It’s no good place for a creature like u!” 

  “Greetings, my new dear friend!” promptly replied Slouching Cardboard Man, “I have a little trouble with crossing The Big Water. I'm on a journey, so I need to get on the other side, indeed”

  “Ain`t a problem, buddy!” again we heard the roar of Weather-beaten Sailor, “I'm just going there, I'm going `ome, buddy!”

   Not far from them stood a small, but certainly frisky ship, so Slouching Cardboard Man’s problem was solved.

   “So, my trouble with The Big Water was resolved!” appealed Slouching Cardboard Man to his fellows. Meanwhile, he and his new friend -- Weather-beaten Sailor -- boarded.

   You, my patient readers, probably already guessed that it was a long voyage, and yet a long voyage is characterized by long conversations. That is why they’d been talking and talking for hours and hours.  By a happy coincidence, Weather-beaten Sailor was very talkative and very good storyteller, almost as good storyteller as Slouching Cardboard Man was a listener. Weather-beaten Sailor told him about his homeland, which they were sailing to. It was a country blessed with stars and stored by the endurance and valor, where smile never leaves a single face (dweller’s face, indeed). Where sun shines around the clock and "hunger" has been removed from the dictionary. Where one’s never spend time on a freedom because he’s got it from birth and so on. That’s what Weather-beaten Sailor said and it was obvious that he’s obsessed with his homeland. And he almost has infected Slouching Cardboard Man by his obsession, but Cardboard Men are too polite to be obsessed.

  “As soon as we landed, my new dear friend and I had to say goodbye.” reported Slouching Cardboard Man with regret, “He sailed further and I have had my own mission!”

  This time, enthusiastic cheers sounded apart from the hum over the crowd.

  I had a lot of time to look around, what I actually did. Indeed, there were a lot of stars alongside with endurance and valor, but I had to squint to discern it. It had been hidden under the fancy and posh belongings. By the bye, natives do not look like we do, but I’d noticed it only because they told me. The point is that natives are motley and they are very concerned about that fact. It turned out that those who are a little lighter stepped back from those who are a little darker. And this is very odd!”

 Aye, it is!” The Cardboard Elder thoughtfully spoken.

 And they all worship the moving image, which is stored in a strange frame. Either of them has those images in each home. By the bye, their homes are incredibly high and large, but natives are still pushing each other! And this is very odd!”

  Aye, it is!” The Cardboard Elder thoughtfully spoken.

  Weather-beaten Sailor said that everybody smiles, but I saw only one smiling face – it had passed me by in a fancy car. It made me look in the dictionary and to my great surprise the "hunger" was there! This was very odd!”

  Aye, it was!” The Cardboard Elder thoughtfully spoken.

  “Generally, it wasn’t such a revolting journey, but when I was about to leave this Odd Fancy Land I had met a Seedy Vagabond. I’d tried to talk to him, whereas he was too surprised to see me because of he thought that there is no intelligent life outside the border. Ultimately, we did not make any proper conversation:  he couldn’t understand where I am from, and I, in my turn, have had no foggiest idea about the explanation of “border”. As you may guess it was a grueling dialogue. Finally, I had asked him about his reasons of being here; it took him a lot of time to think, but after a while he said that he’s here because of democracy.”

  “I'm not sure that I understand what democracy is,” The Cardboard Elder thoughtfully spoken.

  “Neither of them are!” said Slouching Cardboard Man and went to rest.

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