Norman Allan
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Art and Fiction

Chapter Thirty One

Christopher opened his eyes and looked around. A pair of butterflies perched on the horns of the Zak Guru. Others fluttered round the tree.

"Hmm," said Christopher. "So the Joju come from middle Egypt. What happened next?"

"I’ll sing you that song as we walk along," Hal entoned.

In the morning, after Moses led the eleven tribes off into the east with the Pharaoh and his army in pursuit, the Joju slipped off to the west and hid themselves in the wilderness. They found their way to the centre of the dry lands and rested there for several generations. They continued their investigations and experiments with chants and psyche. To this purpose they built the transpositional crystal maze of mMurmMur. But they grew weary of the desert: yearned for greener things. They left Murmur travelling south. And found Roaratuni… And the boa.tree. The mazetree grew everywhere.

The JoJu were drawn to Roaratuni and straight to the Nodal Island. Then, as now, there were about two hundred Joju. They gathered on the Nodal Isle, and gigged thanks. And the butterflies swarmed round them.

Hallelujah now stopped singing formulated ideas, and just hummed abstractly.

"And..." Chris prompted.

"And that is the history of the Joju, of Whereitzat, or at least of wherewecamefrom."

"But there are still five thousand years to go to bring us up to date."

"We live in harmony, outside of history. Here we have had five millennia of non-event. History is over."

"So what do you do?"

"We dance."

"Sing more about the butterflies, and how the Joju found them," asked Ishtar.

Hallelujah chanted: "Deofilus connect us to one another and the world and the tree. Our meeting with the butterflies brought the end of the single ego, the birth of the symphonised man."

That first Nodal singsong was something new, too, for the wings and the tree. Deofilus is flesh - mass and charge and spin - mundane mayaterial: but they are also psychoplasm. That stardust mindstuff had hitherto been bent only in the boomfowl's call and the psychospludge and such, not to forget the trees wind whistlings, which are very subtle… but now the matrix was honed, full blown, in the Joju's song. And as the Joju tune fashioned the cosmic life stuff into a newly complex weave, as the lights and dust and pattern therein in turn descended onto the Joju, opening them, so the Joju's spirit became free to float and play within the God's.wing nexus. A new era arrived: a new creature which in the lights and the tree and the people. It was more than an awakening. It was a birth. The tuning with Deofilus is just part of it, for there are other level to the boa.tree. The boa.tree is pervaded by a myriad of the thinnest or filamentous stones: diamond crystal fibres (as was explained in the footnotes above, and is further explored in the footnote below).

The boa.tree, which fills the whole valley of Roaratuni, is one gigantic brain: the intellect of Roaratuni: the logus. Deofilus provides psychoplasm: a field of consciousness / awareness for the logus: the spirit. The Joju provide the song: the soul.

Hallelu sang no further, for at this point Zakeri stumbled forward - the ground gave way beneath his forefeet - tumbling the mermaid from his back. She disappeared up to her neck into a hole, a trap covered with branches and grass, but happily only shoulder deep.

Now chaos ran amuck in several strands:

Dozens of monkeys began to swing back and forth on vine and creeper yodelling appropriate Tarzany cries, and chattering a song. Zakeri bucked, tossing horns at tails as they sailed by. Vines tangled. Monkeys collided. Christopher hurring forward to lend Ishtar a hand stepped into a loop of creeper attached to a bent sappling, which was now sprung by a monkey hid in a grass hide by the path's side. The trap sprung, the beast scampered into the tree to join his fellows rushing about shrieking, jeering and cheering, throwing fruit and fouler fare. Chris dangled in the air, his hands still on the ground taking some of his weight.

As soon as the ambush had begun, four brave young monkey lads rushed out on a stout branch high over the path each holding a corner of a net of creepers. These four intrepid trappers hovered over the party below, and at a given signal leaped out to spread their net wide ensnaring Hallelujah in its folds

Zak dashed forward hooking the dangling creeper from which Chris was suspended with a high hook of his right horn. With a low hook of his left horn he picked up Hallelu in his net of creepers. Meanwhile swinging his tail near enough the mermaid for her to grasp, he pulled the mermaid from her hole. Freed, she untied Christopher, while Zak helped Hal unravel.

All during the attack the monkeys had been jibbering, jabbering a song, which in the Deofilus' lights translated thus:-

   Oh we clever monkey fellows
   with our jibber jabber ju
   we're the crown of all creation
   yes, and lords of the forest too
   so sing who's for a banana
   sing hi to Pepsi too
   sing he for the nimble paw
   ha for the tail
   of the jibber jabber ju.

Now, however, the monkeys sat silently, some peeking out from behind their paws, some with paw to mouth or covering their ears.

"Come," said Ishtar. "Let us go and wash this monkey stench from us."

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Chapter Thirty two