The Walrus

At the first flickers of dawn he began to stir.  With great effort he rolled over and heaved himself to sitting.  He blinked slowly, sleepily drinking in the pea-soup and bamboo room gently lit by what sunlight snuck through the shades.  Nodding, as if satisfied, he comically hoisted his bulk from the bed and shuffled to the window which, once he pulled up the shade, looked out over a hard-packed dirt yard.

With a shrug he turned from the window, pulled on a coffee brown shirt and rolled into some jeans before plodding down the hall for some bitter overbrewed tea.  As he sipped from a stain-ringed mug he shuffled around the tiny kitchen, slowly rummaging through cupboards and drawers, pulling out old baby-food jars of paint and a fistful of paintbrushes, including two as wide as his thumb, and others no thicker than a toothpick.  These he gathered into a weather beaten wicker basket blackened with age, and finishing off his tea with a slurp he shrugged on a pilled and muted technicolor sweater and jammed an old Panama hat on his shaggy head.  He gathered up his basket, to which he'd added a few jam jars, picked up two cartons of hollow eggs he'd left on the counter the night before, and lumbered out the door and down the stairs.

For someone of his size he moved lightly with a surprisingly gentle touch, so as not to jostle his eggs.  As he neared the Village square he maneuvered through the thickening morning crowd making its way to the weekend art market.  It was an interesting spectacle striped with vendors and artisans of all kinds, from the seasoned professionals to the undiscovered amateur, crafting and displaying all sorts of things: jewelry, painted rocks, pottery, stained glass, sundials, furniture.  One was never sure what could be discovered here.

And in this place, cradling his wares and materials in his arms, he shuffled into his appointed spot and settled in.  He set up his jars around him, and fanned out the brushes in one of the jam jars.  He opened up one carton of eggs and turned it outward.  These painted eggs nestled inside this dull carton practically sang with color: in the morning sunshine their technicolor winked, sparkled, everything short of glowed.  Their patters were anything and everything except ordinary, ranging from cubist landscapes to surrealist geometry.

He folded his legs with some effort, adjusted his hat, and tenderly plucked a blank egg from the other carton.  After some deliberation he chose a jar of kelly green paint, and lifted a wide brush from the jam jar.  After laying this base coat he began to work his magic, and passers-by took notice and began to gather.  None spoke to him, whispering only amongst themselves as if in a church.  One muttered in a reverent whisper, "So this is the egg man?"

"Nah, man," his companion replied.  "This is the Walrus."

The artist paused and looked up at the awe-struck crowd.  His eyes drank each of them in before smiling a little and nodding once.  Giving an approving nod to the inquisitive pair he wisely replied, "Kuku kachoo."

The End

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