There is no time for indecisiveness when your whole life is only twenty-four hours long. Zuzu the May fly knew within ten seconds what she wanted to do. Granted ten seconds is like four years to other species, but still, pretty impressive.
Zuzu was born in a cloud. I suppose at the start of life everything is a bit fuzzy. Bursting to life within pillar of hundreds of thousands of buzzing siblings is no different. There’s a brief time in which to revel in the strange fact of being alive before you realize the weight of it, given into ones hands by ones parents to be spent. Imagine how much faster that process becomes when faced with living, breathing and dying within twenty-four hours!
So, without hesitation, and faster than it took to read the sentences written above, Zuzu proclaimed above the buzzing of her hundred thousand close relations that she would like to see the sun set over the ocean.
There was at first a second of silence, incredible for so many flies.
“It’s a waste of time” Zuzu’s closest relative said, “can’t be done.” By closest, I mean nearest, for who has time to form tight personal bonds with a newborn when you’re a may fly who might be dying in less than one minute.
“I think I’ll try anyways” Zuzu spared a moment to reply, and without another second to loose, Zuzu flew from the cloud towards the horizon.
I should have asked for directions, Zuzu immediately thought.
A few miles later, the sun ominously hanging directly above like an anvil in a cartoon, Zuzu paused. This was undeniably a tipping point, a razors edge upon which the dream wobbled uncertainly. To continue meant only a grim, slim chance of finding that sunset glazed ocean, since the sun refused to be of any use direction wise for at least an hour, and even one hour is farcically precious when one’s whole life is a time table as restrictive as Zuzu’s meager twenty-four hours.
I mean, good God! Zuzu thought. A tangle of frustration, fear, and the haunting possibility of quitting’s relief came rising to the surface of her multiple eyes. “It’s a waste of time” rang in Zuzu’s memory, followed by the statement “It can’t be done”; a thought Zuzu almost felt solidify inside.
For the first time Zuzu thought, wings are too light to carry this weight, promptly settling down in the shade of a tree leaf. Zuzu stared out at the land around her wondering if it was worth a whole life to continue to search for the ocean.
Just as she sat resting a giant swish of hair came hurdling towards her, supported on the length of a brushy lion’s tail. She swooped out of the way just in time and landed just a little ways up the lion’s back, away from the whip of its tail. The close encounter left her a little breathless.
“That was a close one.” Something whispered behind her.
Zuzu hopped around to face the voice and crouched down as far as she could into the lion’s fur, thankful after all that it had such long bristly hairs. It wouldn’t feel her small weight as long as she kept very still.
“Not to worry.” The thing hissed at her.
On the edge of a rock overhanging the lion’s resting spot, blinked two bulbous eyes in horizontal unison. But, Zuzu, wondered where was the rest of this creature? For there couldn’t be such a thing that had two eyes, a voice, and no body to speak of. Zuzu glared at the eyes, wondering if this were some sort of riddle, but still couldn’t see anything else.
“No need to stare,” the eyes blinked.
“You’re one to talk.” Zuzu answered. As she said it, however she worried. What if the creature took offense and pounced on her just out of provocation. Instead the creature just laughed.
“That’s a good one!” it hissed. “ Really, though, I’m just a humble lizard. Nothing for a sweet little fly like you to worry over.”
“Really?” Zuzu replied. “It’s just you never know, and, well, I’m all alone out here, searching for the way to the ocean. I’ve never been on my own before, and I’m afraid I’m not very knowledgable about the world.” She admitted, shamefaced.
“Oooohhhh.” The lizard answered with a pink smile. “What a treasure.”
Zuzu smiled, calmed by the lizards sweet words.
“You know, I’ve been quite a few places. I’d be willing to show you, if you would just come off that lion.” The lizard’s beguiling voice drew in Zuzu’s confidence and for a moment, she felt relieved. Now she wouldn’t have to go it alone. She could have someone to talk to, someone who could help.
While she sat there thinking it through a breeze came up behind her and she turned around. There, right behind her, were another set of enormous eyes, bulging even bigger and they were rushing at her.
“Oye!” the lizard called. “That one’s mine!”
The sneaking lizard’s claws lightly scrambled up the lion’s rib cage, its tongue lolling from its mouth, in anticipation of swallowing Zuzu whole.
“Noth anme-marh!” the leaping lizard mouthed.
But Zuzu, warned by the lizard perfunctory exclamation, took off just in time, leaving the treacherous lizards to fend off the newly awakened lion. She zoomed away, more out of breath than before, but now strangely invigorated by her brush with death. Strange world, she thought, as she flew away.
Now, while she mourned the loss of a companion, she was more wary than before and she took care in picking her next resting place, this time under the shade of a nice, empty bush.