The Sandbox

When the heavens created us, the immortal masters, they were kind enough to bestow upon us the great game. Our earth is a great sandbox inundated with the game. There are many variations, but the tools or pieces are always the same. One can play with a whole set, fragments of sets, or a single piece. With one piece, you can dig, sculpt or thrash the beasts. With two or more pieces, you can play dice or hopscotch, and so on. One set contains between 206 to 270 pieces if complete. There is a large orb at the top, followed by a pair of shovels, a cage made of sticks, hinges with balls and sockets, smaller, spidery-looking hinges, long poles and other indefinable shapes that can be used in a variety of ways. The long serpentine rope that supports the set has many possibilities for play. The almost orb-like, pear-shaped part at the top is especially fascinating. These can be stacked into pyramids, built into walls, used as drinking vessels, kicked around in football and polo games, or employed as lanterns and candle-holders. You can also line them up in furrows and pretend you are growing cabbages! Some masters have tried to use them to speak to the heavens, as if they were musical instruments, but the heavens do not answer back, and the silence seems greater and more fearful then. There seems to be no shortage of sets in our world, and so we are always at peace, each immortal master playing with his own game. Sometimes we play together and share our tools in
various games, subplots that form part of the great game of the sandbox. One of our favourites is to stage puppet shows with our tools, and pretend that the puppets are immortals, although this requires considerable imagination given the lack of resemblance. Another is to play at banqueting, for these pale implements are edible and better than any beast or plant to eat. We stretch the sets out in great rows and sit down to feast. Our all time favourite is to play at building museums of abstract statuary, positioning the shining white things in various positions or sculpting them into new configurations. They appear to be made of some mineral or stone. Once in a while, the sets, which we affectionately call slaves, crumble into dust, but watching dust blow into the wind can be a very poetic and beautiful way to pass an evening.

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