A Puppet

~ This is the translation to English of an older article of mine. ~

Suspended by the ropes, the puppet moves incessantly, now lifting an arm, now lowering a leg, now twisting its head as if listening to the crowd or approving slowly and thoughtfully the wisdom of the words it heard. Then it starts lifting and setting down its feet again, one after the other with unequal but unstoppable rhythm, step after step, step next to step, step and step again, forever moving. You watch it intently from the sides, the astonishment has lit your eyes like fireflies in the night and the excitement of it all has taken over you to such degree that you lift your own foot without even noticing it and attempt to put it down again in full but instinctive sync with what you see.

"It's moving! It's moving!", you say or rather call out to me as the delight spills out of you in those few repeated words. And I strive and smile for you: you haven't noticed yet the ropes or if you've noticed them, you don't yet know what they are for, whom they serve and in what way. You are still a bit too young after all, the puppet is still a bit too far and the day is for now still meant for different discoveries altogether. "It's true, it's moving", I say therefore with a smile, to confirm that which you almost didn't dare to believe true. Instead of an answer, you just squeeze my hand while keeping your eyes far away, still tracing intensely the wonder of those unexpected steps.

For a while we both stand therefore in place simply watching the puppet as it continues its uninterrupted, monotonous walk: left, right and then back to the start again. "Where is it going?", you ask and at the same time you point out the puppet to me because you are all of a sudden not all that sure anymore that it's truly still a puppet if it walks. "Nowhere", I reply and this answer proves for a second even more of a wonder than the walking puppet since you turn around and watch me inquiringly, to try and figure out if I'm not just joking by any chance.

Suspended by its ropes, the puppet walks now in a circle in the very middle of the busy town square, among all the people that go about their business without as much as a glance at it. We do our shopping too and for a while you forget about the puppet as you make other discoveries of all sorts. Afterwards, we sit down at a cafe and you drink your water with such measured movements as if the cup contained who knows what rare elixir, to be savoured slowly and even voluptuously. As I watch you, I can see the question forming in your eyes before it even gets to reach your lips: "Does the puppet rest now too?", you ask and "No, it doesn't rest", I answer pointing out to you the place outside where the puppet is still walking in a circle suspended by its tireless and untiring ropes.

"Why is it not resting?", you insist. "Because it's very hard for it to rest. Once started, the puppet will keep on walking, setting step after step after step among its own ropes, measuring the circle with its own feet. Perhaps it would rest, but you see, it needs now even more effort to stop still than to keep walking and so it just keeps walking and walking and walking...". As I suddenly notice your bafflement, I recall that the day is indeed too sunny and still belonging to discoveries other than this. "The puppet will rest too", I say appeasing your bafflement and I know it's true, as the puppet will indeed rest too towards the end of its day or in bits and pieces along the road when the ropes hang for a while soft and lacking tension. It will rest or rather it will fall down but happily it's really nothing more than a puppet made out of a bit of clay, a few ropes and some colour here and there for its eyes and for its mouth, that's all.

That's all.

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