Encomium · Fable · Verse

Beware the Baobabs

If there were an awards system for people who have behaved like grown-ass adults during the past week, I would get the booby prize. That’s how it came to be Saturday, and I’ve accomplished zero percent of the things I meant to get done this week.However, I also received this apt little adulting aid that I ordered on Monday, so I suppose I deserve points for trying.17122207_620310058178927_1903490878_o

I plan, henceforth, to heed its admonishment, “Enfants! Faites attention aux baobabs!” or, “Children, beware the baobabs!” For those of you unfamiliar with The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, firstly, read it! And secondly, a brief synopsis of the Sinister Incident of the Baobabs.

The Little Prince lives on a very smol planet, known to the grown-ups as Asteroid B-612, on which very un-smol baobab trees are wont to grow. Because it is such a diminutive planet, not even worthy of the appellation Planet McPlanetface, the Little Prince has to be very careful to pull up the baobabs while they’re young, so that they don’t take over his little world. This, I feel, is a concept particularly applicable to those of us who tend to dawdle, dally, linger, and lollygag. I find it’s much more pleasant to think about a planner as a trowel for tending a small planet than as a list of onerous tasks. As I write this, it f2903f5da8935ded345942a563b5535boccurs to me that perhaps (novel idea!) putting nothing but onerous tasks in my to-do lists is a mistake. The Little Prince, after all, has a rose who makes him happy…most of the time. Many people would consider time spent gardening to be time wasted, especially when there are “more important” (read: lucrative) things to be done. Often, however, it’s the things you “waste” time on – friends/relationships, tending your bonsai named Ernest Walsh (Ernie for short), composing songs after the fashion of 47 Gingerheaded Sailors, overhauling your wardrobe so that everything you wear makes you feel either beautiful or invincible – that have the most positive effects on your life.

Speaking of wasting time, here is a rather absurd abecedarian my fevered brain produced while trying to adult:

A Brief Complaint
A poem is very hard to do
Better start this afternoon…
Crap! I cannot write this thing
Damn it all, I’d rather fling
Every word that I have writ
Far away or in a pit
God, why do I even try
Have a heart, avert your eyes
I can’t take it anymore
Just walk away and shut the door
Kidneys are worth more by far, than
Letters, souls, and poems are.
Money, incidentally,
Never was worth much to me
Or any poet of my ilk:
Poets are often out of milk.
Quiet is what I require
Rush me to my funeral pyre
Six feet under is, perhaps,
The place my focus would not lapse –
Underneath the ground I’d lie, and
Verbs and nouns would, by and by
Work for me, not I for them
Xs would unstitch their hems.
Y would cease to be a question –
Z – what the hell begins with Z?
This is why I cannot be
a poet
(yep that didn’t rhyme,
and that’s what happens all the time.
That is why I really don’t
like to write poems, so I won’t.)

What did you, my dear readers, “waste” time on this week? Tell me in the comments!


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2 thoughts on “Beware the Baobabs

  1. Your musing reminds me of another part of The Little Prince, where a man the prince encounters explains that he spends all his time doing petty tasks, and that way he’ll never have to think about onerous ones. It’s interesting that what you present here takes a much more supportive tone towards “petty” tasks. Well written as always!


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