Juste une fable n° 67




dreamscapes (betrayals) n° 29



Mary Shaw


there was a balance of air and weight, which explains why in the highlands there was a dance contest for little children, though for some reason the best ones were often being excluded, because they hadn't followed the rules.




these kids were supposed to be standard white americans, or if they weren't, to diverge from this only in certain predictable, pre-established ways. so the children who were lost here (and by lost i mean excluded) couldn't be fit into any categories by color, by number, or any other class. they were just children, who came from wherever, dancing any which way. i thought this was awesome, that they could dance any way they want. it's only because they weren't allowed to enter the contest that i associate these children with weight.

what was heavy in the air was different. it looked like sam,


uncle sam!


pulling a bicycle about 300 meters in the air above us. he was trying to help somebody, i think it might have been 38-year old maisy, get out of that stupid town, where dance contests were tied to all kinds of stupid rules and regulations.

maisy wanted to go back home, and she knew that one sure form of independence, (for anyone who's ever been a child) is to hop on a bike without telling anyone and speed off, whizzing low near the asphalt or the bare ground.

but the bicycle she was looking for, the one she needed (because she was no longer a little one, i guess), didn't work so easily or like that. it had to rise up through the air, and be suspended in the clouds, not do an accelerated leap, then flying trick, as happens with the band of children in e.t., but to propel one in a fashion more solitary, less powered by the community, or anything which by everyone can immediately be seen.

this bike had to be pulled into the air as though it were a red wagon. then after a while, once it climbed to the right altitude, if you got on it very carefully, it could just sort of roll along. but if you ever ran into air bumps, weather patterns, or even just somebody suspicious, the whole thing would shut down and you'd have to get off.

i suppose that's what happened just now. for sam is bringing back the bike maisy was going to get out of town with. he's walking, not climbing, while pulling the bike like a wagon.


and he's slowly coming toward you, instead of taking off.




Mary Shaw est professeure de littérature française des dix-neuvième et vingtième siècles à l'Université de Rutgers (New Jersey). Outre ses travaux universitaires, elle a publié deux livres pour enfants ainsi qu'un recueil de poésie intitulé Album Without Pictures (Halifax, N. S., Editions VVV, 2008).


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