Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Will Not Fly
Pigs will not fly.
There’s an element of
truth in this statement.
The fact that they will not fly
has less to do with their
porcine corpulence
and more to do with a certain
lack in mental capacity to
believe they can.

Take two large boxes
and place them on the ground.
Across them put a sheet of glass.
Now take a small piglet,
place it on the glassine surface of
one of the boxes and
lead it to that gap between the two.
There on the far side,
place an ear of corn.
Point to that ear of corn.
Let the piglet know it’s there.
What happens?

Absolutely nothing.
The piglet will not cross.

This pig has never experienced height;
has never experienced the fall.
And yet it knows.
Or rather, it

Which is it?
Though never having encountered it,
the piglet knows that if it steps over the edge,
it will fall.
At the same time,
it un-knows the concept of glass.
This and the fact that plate of glass
has more than enough tensile strength
to support a small pig.

Now replace that piglet with
a human baby of the same equivalent age.
That and exchange the ear of corn
with a bottle of milk.

What do you suppose happens now?
Yes. Where the piglet
would not cross the gap,
the infant has already bridged it,
and has that bottle
half empty.

So… What is at play here?
Does the child know something the piglet does not,
or adversely,
is that little pig enlightened?
Why do we assume the pig is stupid for
not seeing what is
not there?
why do we attribute intelligence to the child for
assuming supernatural powers and
the ability to defy gravity by
crossing that gap?

Again, no one told that child
about the properties of glass, so… what?
Is that child absolutely ignorant
or are humans in mass
inherently born with an element of
faith instilled in them?
Blind faith that they will indeed cross
from this side to the far beyond.

And as I stand there with the pig,
both of us surveying the chasm from
this edge to the next,
I wonder at that one special gene missing
from my chromosome string.
That gene for the suspension of
How all these years have past,
and I still will not step out
onto glass.

Will I ever?
I don’t know.
Perhaps when I see small pigs defy gravity.
Yes indeed…

When I see them fly.

©06 Jack Hubbell