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|Essays · Poetry · Comedy · Art · Video||summer 2021|
Gajandra and the Great Rumble
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Jutu? Jutu, where are you?
"Over here, Master Gajandra, agitating the Majestic Palm plant."
Why do you agitate the leaves?
"It is good for the organism to be agitated so from time to time."
When are you going to do my laundry? There are no more face towels nor hand towels with which to sop the rains from the Royal skin. And my socks are beginning to become sotted and soiled.
"I cannot do the laundry, sire. Not until I obtain one more quarter-rupee coin to complete the cost of one wash-n-dry load."
What? Well, go and get a coin from the Royal junk drawer.
"There are none, sire."
Must I resolve every problem for you? Can you not go and fetch coins from other members of the household staff?
"I asked, sire, but there are none. None in this household, none in the village, nay, none in the Entire Kingdom, I fear."
Of what speak you, Old Jutu?
"It is the curse, sire."
Oy, yet another curse!
"The curse of the Roonawtta-mohnee. Every 7 years, a kingdom is vulnerable to this curse, and in this year we have fallen victim."
(sigh) So what hideous creature must I subdue now? What ridiculous contraption am I going to have to become entrapped in? I hope this isn't going to involve the unwanted dispersal of the Royal Precious Bodily Fluids!
"No, no, not necessarily, Master Gajandra. It is written that in order for the curse of the Roonawtta-mohnee to be broken, all one must do is find a single quarter-rupee and complete one single load of wash."
And where can one find a quarter-rupee in such times of financial drought?
"You merely need ask, Master Gajandra."
"Well, that is the tricksome part then, isn't it sire? Perhaps we should go for a walk."
Shall I go and don my Royal armament-suit?
"Nayh. Just bring some bottled water."
...And so the young prince and his mottled servant strode off into the nearby desert in search of someone to ask for a quarter-rupee. Days into their journey, they came upon a poor beggar-man from the far-off Nejhid Desert.
"Old beggar man," cried Gajandra, "Do you have a quarter-rupee that I might use to restore the riches of my Kingdom?"
"Acch! Robber! Thief! Be gone from me, afore I throw sand upon your eye and spit at the resulting bloody carcass!!" cried the beggar-man.
"Come now, beggar-man! It is only a mere quarter-rupee..."
"Yes, you crony-laden Foot! And it was only a mere quarter-rupee when I begged for it 2 years ago in Qatar--and you turned away! Only a mere quarter-rupee in the Punjab, when you turned away! Only a mere quarter rupee..."
"We get the point, you old coot! And I'll have no more of your Desert Hoopla. Jutu, mind the elephants, whilst I wring this wastrel's neck!"
The young prince reached out to the beggar-man, but found that, instead of an old beggar-human, his hands gripped a 5-foot tall twig of human mucus-booger wrapped in beggar-man's clothing.
"AHHH," he cried! "Jutu! 'Tis a Gigantic Nose-Bunny! And not a beggar-man at all!"
"And what could this tell you, Dear Prince?"
"That...." he thought briefly, "that I shan't find the all-important quarter-rupee by ringing the neck of a poor old beggar-man?"
"Master, would you care for a handkerchief to cleanse the mucous-slime from your Royal hands and forearms?"
"Yes, Kind Jutu."
"That is unfortunate, your Princeliness, since I haven't been able to do a load of laundry in weeks."
"Thank you Jutu, for your Typical Wisdom."
The groggy pair trekked on for 12 more days and several hours before they came to an oasis. There, near a tall palm tree, a small frog gazed longingly at the pair as they disrobed and bathed in the pool.
As the young prince and his attendant were drying themselves in the desert sun, the little frog began to speak to them.
"Hi there," canted the frog.
The speech patterns with which the little frog spake reminded Gajandra of the young males in his Kingdom who enjoyed spending long hours in the gymnasium, eyeing each other in admiration and reciting Greek poetry.
"Where are you going, strange frogs?" piped up the small frog.
"Oh, well, we are not frogs, sir, but we are looking for a quarter-rupee."
"And I, sir, am not a 'sir,' sir. But why do you seek a coin of this type?"
"It's a long story," explained Gajandra," but our entire Kingdom is cursed with the wearing of unwashed clothing until we are able to find a single quarter-rupee coin."
"So then, you would be willing to do most anything, I suppose, to gain such a coin," enquired the diminutive amphibian.
Gajandra eyed Jutu warily. "Yes, just about anything, yes..."
"Sufficient. Then come in my mouth."
Gajandra glared at Jutu for an especially long time before speaking. "Of what on earth do you speak, gay little frog?" demanded Gajandra. But as soon as his question had fallen from his lips, the tiny frog opened his mouth to a most uncharacteristically great height. So large did the giant maw grow, in fact, that even one of the Giants of Telegos could easily have walked through the aperture, even wearing full Jai-Lai gear.
"Sri Lakshmi!" exclaimed Gajandra, "It is a passageway of some sort!"
"Yes, Master Gajandra. I told you that no bodily fluids would necessarily leave thy princely body," assured Jutu.
The weary two made their way into the little frog's corridor-size mouth, being careful not to slip on the moist tongue-floor. Farther down the frog's throat, they came to a staircase, which they took, and then an elevating room, which they also took, an escalator, a slide, a springboard, and then a firehouse pole, all of which they dutifully descended.
"For a small frog, this little one sure is deep inside," noted Gajandra.
"Yes, master, a most profound internal life has this smallest of beasts."
By-the-by, they came upon an ornate hallway draped with heavy velvet curtains and luxurious tapestries. At the end of the hall stood two great brass doors, upon one of which was written, in Chapstick, "Room 121: Cufflinks and Curse-Resolution."
The young prince pushed open one of the heavy doors, and the two entered a large room with hanging lamps and large oblong tables covered with a nappy green fabric of some sort.
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