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Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Curd the Lion – Mumbie’s Feast (how it all ended, originally)


Queen Mumbie-Bumbee’s Feast (the original ending – ended by the editor)

If when you read it, you wonder why Queen Mumbie gives repetitive answer-variants on the same riddle, it is because originally the ‘bemusements’ ended as follows:

  “Scuse me, Queen Mumbie,” Curd suddenly asked, as she led them to her gorgeous six-poster bed, “but when will all your subjects be coming? Isn’t it getting a bit late?”
   He had been quietly awaiting their arrival all evening.
   “They are beecoming as we are beecoming,” replied the Queen helpfully.
   “Oh,” replied Curd, feeling more bewildered than becoming, as he sat on the bed’s soft mattress.
   Seeing his confusion, Pilgrim Crow chipped in: “But how can we becoming if we are Now-Here and NoWhere else, as you said? Where could we be coming from, being here, now?”
   “Yes, Being here we couldn’t be coming, could we,” repeated Sweeney the Heenie, bouncing a bit to test the springs.
  “Aah, the Problem of Beeing,” hummed Queen Mumbie-Bumbee happlily, “now There’s a Question! And you’ll be longing for an answer, no doubt?”
   Before they had time to say, “No,” she began:

“The problem of being.
The problem of being has being.
Here it is: the problem of being.

But to be
the problem of being,
the problem must be without (outside) being.
If the problem is without being,
the problem has no being (in itself).
There is no problem
and the problem of being has no-being.

Thus,
the problem of being
has both being and no-being.

So now there exists a new problem:
the problem of the problem of being.

The problem of the problem of being has being.
Here it is: The problem of the problem of being.

But to be
the problem of the problem of being,
the problem must be without (outside) the problem of being.

If the the problem is without the problem of being,
the problem has no problem of being.
Having no problem of being,
The problem must have either being or no-being,
or it (the problem) would have the problem of being,
which it has not.

Then, what is the problem?
Having being or no-being
the problem of the problem of being
has no problem of being.

But, the problem of being
has the problem of being or no-being.
If the problem of being has being
then there is no problem of the problem of being,
for it (the problem of being) is.
Or, if the problem of being has no-being,
then there is no problem of the problem of being,
for it (the problem of being) is not.

Either way, there is no
problem of the problem of being

But there is.
And this is
the  problem of the problem of the problem of being,”


   “Zzzzzzzzzzz…” All of the Animals had fallen asleep where they sat, except Sweeney the Heenie, who mumbled drowsily as he laid his head on her beautifully embroidered feather-down pillow, “So that’s what is means to be ‘horribly bored by a bee’.”

© Alan Gilliland (“The Amazing Adventure’s of Curd the Lion (and us!) in the Land at the Back of Beyond.” ISBN 9780955548611 - e-book 9780955548642)
[I just thought you ought to know that]

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