E-mail en een dwerg

beste Suzanne,

Vorig jaar (1994) ontfutselde ik je per ongeluk het geheim van de zwangerschap, tijdens de werkgroep klinisch denken. Hartelijk gefeliciteerd met haar! Maak maar een bijzonder mens van Savannah. Hoewel, ‘maken’ is te sterk, want je moet daarin niet te perfect proberen te zijn. Immers, karakter eigenschappen en toevallige factoren maken van Savannah als vanzelf een speciaal mens, of je dat nu zint of niet. Als presentje hierbij een kinderverhaaltje, voor later, als ze zes jaar is. Aan dit verhaaltje zit een kleine geschiedenis vast, en een sprookje.

Vorig jaar moest ik voor een internationale research groep E-mail uitproberen door een bericht naar Hull te sturen. Het was wat flauw om daartoe ‘goeiedag’ of ’test, test, test’ over te zenden. Een E-mail babbeltje met de secretaresse in Hull leek me veel leuker en zo ontstond dit kinderverhaaltje.   

knuffel voor Savannah,


E-mail and a dwarf

The boy who could climb trees and the girl who couldn’t; a bedside story on friendship

Once upon a time, not far from here and not long ago, a little boy was lost, absolutely lost. He was the wondering type of boy, no fear nor longing for his mother; just wondering, wandering and a little hungering.

Then (not ‘suddenly’, for he had not yet a precise feeling for time) he saw that huge tree. It must have been an silver bark or may be an old bended oak, but certainly not an adult inaccessible classical sort of tree. It was a real climbing tree, just being there to climb in, for boys of his age.

And so he did. It was an easy one compared to the usual ones. He was an experienced tree-climber. So up he went, higher and higher up to the top where the sun shined through.

There a dwarf sat snoring, friendly sleeping in an impossible position as dwarfs can do. Medically speaking he had a kyfoscoliosis, a congenital hip-dislocation duplex, and certainly painfull feet, the boy noticed. That is to say, that were the words his father used, the local general practitioner, when talking about the girlfriend of the boy, Clarissa. Ethically speaking he shouldn’t have known that, as his parents explained, for that was a secret, a professional medical secret not to be spoken about in public. The boy never quite understood why that was a secret, because anyone could see the kyfoscoliose and the rest.

Clarissa couldn’t climb trees. She could bent her hips, but in the wrong direction. She could curve her back, but again in the wrong direction, not to speak of her feet with that admirable large shoes he envied so much. Therefor, the boy didn’t climb trees very much when she was around. It seemed to make her sad and silent.

So, there he sat, the dwarf, sleeping and snoring in his impossible bended position. “Sir, do you know Clarissa?”, the boy said. Right to the point those tree climbing boys. The dwarf awaked, which took as much time as his father needed at sunday morning.

“Of course”, he said, naturally and definitely I known Clarissa to be absolutely certain to exist and living”. The boy sighed, he knew this bombastic way of speaking of adults. Always showing off with there vocabulary and twisted grammar. He himself had an enormous vocabulary, but pretended to have not; that pleased his parents more, as he had noticed.

“Sir dwarf, how do you manage to climb trees and even sleep in it? Isn’t that very painful?”

“Just a trick, my boy, just some proper herbs on the right places. To be honest, it is not just the herbs, it is also a mental state of de-somatising the burden of live and turn draw-backs of the same life into advantages”. The boy sighed again, this was boring. He tried the small child act and put his thumb in his mouth, bended his head laterally for 20 degrees towards his thumb and asked: “Could you teach Clarissa about those herbs and that mantle state? (a part of the small child trick: pronouncing words deliberatly incorrectly). She can’t climb trees, but I would like climb trees with her, together, you know”. That ’together, you know’ was part of the trick also, it appeared to sound rather innocent to adults. It worked always, and indeed, it did. “Of course, dear boy”, the dwarf said, “of course I can teach her that. Let me send some E-mail to her. I will do that immediately. When you will be back, she will know. Now, go back to your mother, she is waiting with chocolate cookies, warm and crumbling”.

“Thank you, sir dwarf, thank you very much. By the way, what is the direction to home?”

“Down for some time till the tree stops, then you follow the scent of soap and chocolate; it is easy. Follow your nose and back home you go”. His head dropped forward as if he had an acute coma, but in fact it was his way of an efficient sleep, no time lost with lying awake.

“The boy climbed down, and followed his nose. Just in time he came home, with his secret. No one would believe his story on the dwarf, herbs and E-mail, so he ate his cookies and took some to Clarissa. She was already sitting high up in his personal climbing tree, smiling from ear to ear. The boy climbed in also. At the top, sitting next to each other, eating their chocolate cookies, Clarissa said: “I recieved some E-mail and now I can climb trees. Actually, it is quite simple to do. But you are the best climber of the world. You can climb with one hand and bring up cookies at the same time”.

And so it was, he was the best tree climbing boy in the world. He knew that already, but said “Thank you, I never noticed that”. For, friendship is a sort of mutual niceness; they needed no story teller for that understanding.