Hmm, thought Blurtso, number 82. Everywhere I go, someone is always giving me a number. And it’s different every time. I’m starting to think they don’t know who I am.
Hello, said Blurtso. Hello, said the counselor, have you decided on a major? No, said Blurtso. Well, said the counselor, maybe I can help. What do you like? I like everything, said Blurtso. Everything? said the counselor. You can’t major in everything. Why not? said Blurtso. Because you have to specialize. Why? said Blurtso. So you can graduate. Why do I have to graduate? So you can get a job. A job? said Blurtso. Yes, said the counselor, in your specialization. Hmm, said Blurtso. Can I avoid all that… if I major in logic?
It’s unsettling to get up before dawn, when it’s still dark and the barn and the yard and the neighborhood are quiet. It’s like I’m the only living thing on the planet. It’s hard to believe others are waking to the same darkness, seeking refuge in artificial light, bathing and dressing… getting ready for the day they trust will arrive.
I think I will be lazy today, thought Blurtso, as he rose from a night of sound and restful sleep. Yes, that’s it. Today is a good day to be lazy. The sun was shining and the morning was cool and the grass was covered with dew. But how does one go about it, how does one go about being lazy? Let me see, he thought, what does a lazy person do? Most lazy people don’t move around a lot, so maybe if I don’t move around a lot I will be lazy. Blurtso stood in the grass with the dew on his hooves and didn’t move around a lot, and then he didn’t move around a lot some more, but after a while he felt he wasn’t being lazy, he just felt he wasn’t moving around a lot. Lazy people also seem to breathe slowly, he thought, so he began to breathe slowly, then he breathed slowly some more. Hmm, thought Blurtso, that still doesn’t feel like what I think being lazy is supposed to feel like. Lazy people also don’t do jobs that they’re supposed to do, so maybe I could invent a job I am supposed to do and then not do it. So Blurtso invented a job and then he didn’t do it, but he still didn’t feel lazy. In fact, after several more attempts Blurtso began to feel that this morning was turning into one of the busiest mornings of his life. What could the solution be, he thought. There must be some trick right in front of my nose. Blurtso thought and thought and thought, and then he thought and thought some more, but he couldn’t find the answer. I give up, he said with a snort, I don’t care if I ever learn to be lazy, and then he lay down in the grass and drifted off to sleep.
What a lovely day, thought Blurtso, skipping across the field. Excuse me, said a voice, but you’ll have to carry a load if you want to continue. As you wish, said Blurtso, bending to accept his load and walking across the field. I’m sorry, said the voice, but you’ll have to carry another. And so I shall, said Blurtso, crouching to accept his load and trudging across the field. And another, said the voice. If I must, said Blurtso, kneeling to accept his load and crawling across the field. And another, said the voice. Whew! thought Blurtso, when he could no longer see the day or the field or himself. I hope it is all still waiting there, when I emerge from this burden that has become myself.
People value tasks that are difficult to perform,
but they don’t value the most difficult task of all…
to not value what other people value.