Collectors: Paleontologists

Beneath their skin most children have dinosaur bones (a very few also
have a brain in their behind).  Always the dinosaur in them wants to
eat.  It stalks about the houses and roars for food.

The inner dinosaur wants to mingle with more of its kind.  It gets
excited when it goes to museums and sees itself hanging from ceilings.

Very few adults have dinosaur bones beneath their skin (or a brain in
their behind).  Aging tends to lead toward extinction.  Children
evolve millions of years at a time, until something happens:  an
internal ice age, or possibly the meteor of puberty.


Collectors: Good Grazing

All the young men of the village are put out to pasture.  At first
this does not please them.  They line the fence and bleat for their

During winter they grow bearded and wooly.  As it becomes warmer they
butt heads and brawl for days until they realize the pleasures of
grazing.  On cooler nights they huddle together by a copse of trees.
As the first summer storm approaches, they face the wind together.
After it has passed, they line up to be shaved.

Fall arrives.  One man unlatches the gate and the rest stroll into the
village.  Then a new herd of young men are led out to the pasture.



Collectors: A Brief Exploration

Early one evening a man begins an excavation of himself.  He sweeps
away the cobwebs of recent events, and then lifts the memory chains,
till he has access to his inner sanctum.

Then the man wades, waist deep, through chewed, missing caps of a
thousand ballpoint pens, up to an ark filled with the sacred relics:
fossilized dinosaur bones, vials of honeysuckle nectar; scrabble tiles
stacked like gold coins and spilling from burlap sacks. He hears
barking from a box of puppies, the first he’d ever seen for sale.

But there’s nothing he can bring back, and while he’s worshipping in
the temple, nothing can be added.  So the man replaces the chains,
apologizes to the spiders, and leaves, for now.


                                                                                                                                         Collectors: Mastering an Art

We will have a special award for aging.  For rusty faces, bones that
grow brittle, and patina covered hands.

Everyone will age as enthusiastically as they can.  Some are bound to
focus on the amassing of years, but it is not just the most
experienced collectors who age best.  Also to be considered is the
light unpredictable dust of small things lost, and for the true
competitor, the accumulation of some heavier sediment.

The ceremony will be held on a random day every year.  It will go on
as long as is necessary for everyone to receive their award.

                                                                                                                                                            Ori Fienberg works as a Writing Specialist for Foundation Year and is an accomplished poet. The Collectors was originally published in He’s had work published several places including Diagram, PANK, Subtropics, the current issue of Monkeybicycle, and forthcoming at Kill AuthorYou can find musings and links to other publications at