It can be difficult to find a good pair of shoes. Sometimes the best shoes are uncomfortable when first tried on but with time they adapt to the shape of the wearer’s foot. And sometimes it feels more like the foot is adapting to the shoe. The oak tree in Simone had never worn a shoe and probably never will during its existence. Imagine trying to find a shoe that would fit the roots of an oak tree. What would that even look like? It may be a good mental exercise to picture such footwear but when you try to fit whatever you’ve come up with on the oak tree I think you will find that it is hardly practical.

Charles Potashner didn’t have time to be thinking about shoes or oak trees or shoes on oak trees. His mind had become stuck on a single blade of grass. He had noticed the grass only moments earlier and now it was mysteriously gone. In his former life, Charles had never seen things materialise or vanish without some sort of explanation or reason. Now it was beginning to become commonplace. He tried to wave goodbye to the small green leaf while knowing very well that it was long gone and would not be bearing witness to his sentimental gesture, He lifted his left hand, slightly cupped, and began to rotate it from side to side. The ducks in the pond saw this and began to chuckle to themselves–they thought he was trying to imitate Her Majesty The Queen. The ducks wondered if a king would wave in the same manner then started bobbing their heads into the cool water of the pond and surveying for fish. Due to the high duck population, there were less fish to go around than usual this season but there had been a rise in the tadpole population.

When he first came to the pond, Charles Potashner submerged his hands under the water and caught two squirmy tadpoles in one go. He had contemplated keeping them and nurturing them as they grew and developed into young frogs, but ultimately he decided he didn’t have the right experience to raise them. Also, he had no reason to believe a life under his watch would be any better than one in the wild of the pond. So, with a gentle grin, he returned them to the water. They wiggled their long, laterally compressed tails, and swam towards the centre of the pond breathing quickly through their tiny gulls.

Charles looked at the clouds overhead, then at his wet slimy hands. Nothing made much sense but it was a lovely day. Had anything ever made sense? Was there a time when reality was more clear? Perhaps during a time before the internet? And with such infinite wisdom, why do the ducks not protect those mentally inferior to them?