By Alan Davison

Alan Davison is a professor of literature and language at Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

“Blurtso moves swiftly without haste”

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The road was dark and the trees were tall and the wind was still. Blurtso walked quickly, keeping to the edge of the road where the grass muffled the clippety clop of his hooves. The moon in the trees threw shards of light on the ground and Blurtso could hear himself breathe. I must try to breathe more quietly, he thought, I must move swiftly without haste. At the edge of the road the branch of a tree occasionally grazed his flank. The wind began to rise and the jagged shadows moved on the ground. The wind will mask the sound of my breath, thought Blurtso, moving swiftly without haste. The sound of the wind and the shadows of the trees are good friends, he thought, good friends indeed…

“Blurtso walks a mile in his hooves”

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Yes, that’s how it is, thought Blurtso, walking a mile in his hooves. That’s how it is and I know that’s how it is, he said, walking, the only way he could walk, in his hooves. I might pretend to know your hooves and you mine, one hoof after another, after all, until we fall, you in yours and me in mine.

“Ditto sits by the stream” (I)

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What a nice stream, thought Ditto. I wonder where it’s going? I wonder where it’s been? I wonder if it’s happy or sad? I wonder if it started as a small stream and made friends along the way, or lost friends along the way? It’s hard to tell… if a river is laughing or crying.

“Blurtso works on his six-pack”

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I think I’ve gained some weight, said Blurtso. Maybe, said Alex, you should do some crunches.

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One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight…

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Whew, said Blurtso, that was a once in a lifetime experience.

“Blurtso doesn’t miss a trick”

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Do you have any Kings? asked Blurtso. Go fish, said Pablo. Do you have any Tens? asked Pablo. Go fish, said Blurtso. Do you have any Threes? asked Blurtso. Go fish, said Pablo. Do you have any Twos? asked Pablo. Go fish, said Blurtso. Do you have any pumpkin pies? asked Blurtso. Yes, said Pablo, I have three, in the fridge behind the watermelons.

“Bonny and Pablo look at the stars” (V)

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The message is not found
in the symphony
and flicker of light,
but in the spaces between.

Not each light alone,
nor all lights together
can express
the music within.

And words speak
what words speak,
sounding the surface,
while life whirls past
in the spaces between.

“Bonny and Pablo conquer the universe”

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It occurred to me today, said Bonny, that everything in the universe can be described by a single word. What? said Pablo. Yes, said Bonny, all the diversity, all the different perspectives, all the different realities that people believe in. What word is that? said Pablo. The word “or,” said Bonny. Or? said Pablo. Yes, said Bonny. I don’t understand, said Pablo. Well, said Bonny, do you agree that existence is based on perception? Perception? said Pablo. Yes, said Bonny, that everything that exists is a relationship, that is, everything I hear, touch, taste, and smell is some kind of vibration interacting with my brain, which translates that vibration into what I know as light, color, sound, and smell. And without that relationship those vibrations would be no more than “one hand clapping”. Yes, said Pablo, I believe that’s true. So apart from my brain, said Bonny, or some type of brain, the world is devoid of light, heat, weight, motion, space, and time, because, like a current that won’t flow through a wire until the positive pole is connected with the negative, the vibrations of light and heat do not become light or heat until they have a point of arrival, until they interact with some type of organism. Yes, said Pablo. And because they interact differently with different organisms—the bumble bee’s perception of light is not the same as the donkey’s, or the human’s… the dog “hears” vibrations that donkeys and humans cannot… and though all donkeys are born with similar organs, some hear better or see better or smell better than others—the experience of “reality” is different for all living things. Yes, said Pablo, I believe that. So if someone asked you, said Bonny, to define reality, you would have to say that reality is this “or” that “or” that “or” that, depending on who is experiencing it and how they are experiencing it. Yes, said Pablo. Well, said Bonny, that is the philosophy of “or”. I like it, said Pablo, the universe reduced to a word. Too bad, said Bonny, it can’t be reduced to a letter. It can, said Pablo. It can? said Bonny. Sure, said Pablo, the Spanish word for “or” is “o”. O? said Bonny. Yes, said Pablo. That’s wonderful, said Bonny, a perfect circle, except… Except what? said Pablo. Our circle is incomplete, said Bonny. Why? said Pablo. Because, said Bonny, the universe consists of all the perceptions of all the organisms, so it is not only this “or” that, but this “and” that, “and” that “and” that “and” that. Yes, said Pablo. So a better philosophy, said Bonny, would be the philosophy of “and”. Yes, said Pablo, and “and” is still a single word. Too bad, said Bonny, it can’t be reduced to a letter. It can, said Pablo. It can? said Bonny. Sure, said Pablo, the Spanish word for “and” is “y”. Y? said Bonny. Yes, said Pablo. Well, said Bonny, “y” isn’t a perfect circle, but it looks like two rivers flowing into one… diversity flowing into unity. Yes it does, said Pablo. Of course, said Bonny, by its very nature “and” would have to include “or”… so the ultimate philosophy would have to be a combination of “and” and “or”. You’re right, said Pablo, and “y” and “o” make “yo” which is Spanish for “I”. I? said Bonny. Yes, said Pablo. That’s wonderful, said Bonny. Why? said Pablo. Because, said Bonny, it brings us back to where we started, to reality created by individual perception, except that this new “I” or “yo” is not the individual, separate “I” that we started with, but a comprehensive “I”, a “yo” composed of all the perceptions of all the organisms from all perspectives. That is wonderful, said Pablo. Yes, said Bonny, is there any more popcorn?