Questions of Etiquette

 

The Fete

 

Madame,

My body is adapting to the conditions of the night. It prefers
the watery worlds of my dream to dry land. It sends me back
to sleep when I blink. It dreams whether I am awake or sleep.
It lives the double life that now renders me, my skin, smooth
and waterproof, and my memory of the previous night fresh
and continuing. I am compromised bodily, socially, having
about me the amphibian's appetite, his rude appearance at
the village fete. What is to be done with me, my body, that
might improve the situation, this awkward position in which
I find myself - as pillar of society and flexible amphibian?

Your obedient servant,

 

Madame,

I have followed your advice, the fashion that you recommend,
and have worn a polar-neck sweater on the occasion of the
village fete. So plausible has been my public appearance, so
smooth the transition, that I was entered, automatically, in the
prize draw of the raffle, as a regular member of the community
- and duly presented by the new minister, a Reverend Walker,
with this hamper as winner. And though my body seems daily
more suited to the environment of the meandering river than
the high street, I have since then employed this same method
of concealing the locked collar beneath the polar neck of my
sweater, and with the same measure of success, aplomb. Only
the rubber freckle, its growing number, still gives me away.

Your obedient servant,