The Problem of the Two Children

Fragment 21.I.19

– from the Annus Mirabilis 1 of Nuddle, ToadScribe novice


The following is an Accurate Record of what was said between the assembled sages of ToadChapel after the goatherd brought the strange children to the village square. I swear its accuracy upon the Great Oath I have sworn within the Outer Door of the Order of ToadScribes:

[The goatherd, whose name I did not learn, brought the children to the village square. The children were very dirty and seemed to have been buffeted by Fate. Nevertheless, they seemed more curious than afraid. For instance, I saw them curiously eying Nunc-bïdi Hyûm’s jelly doughnut for some time. The goatherd had approached most august Holos and the learned Isidem and engaged them in conversation as if they were old friends. As I moved closer, this is what I heard the surprised sages say]

Holos: …Well what are we to make of all THIS?

Isidem: And what’s This then, Holos? It’s not like you to shout.

Holos: These little ones. They’re so… unpredictable.

[The goatherd wandered away and seemed to gesture to Nunc-bïdi Hyûm and the remarkable Dr. Immanuel Cannott. Their conversation then drew the attention of Holos and Isidem, who turned to see what was all the commotion. The strange children now huddled behind the stammering goatherd, who seemed to have recognized how venerable these great men truly are.]

Stammering Goatherd: Here be 2 tiny humans. Never seen em before. No names. Hungry.

Nunc-bïdi Hyûm: Haha! tabula rasa! tabulae rasae!!

Now we shall see! Ahahahaha!

Cannott.: Have you been at your cups already, Nunc?

Nunc-bïdi Hyûm: Me? What, me?

It never hurts to keep a full glass and a positive attitude.

Cannott.: Yours are the easy manners of the morally incompetent. Why, next you’ll say…

[At this point the goatherd and the strange children drew apart to eat a light luncheon. Though reluctant to miss the learned discourses of the assembled sages, at this point I hurried off to the Office of Records to register the arrival of two such new and utterly unknown persons as these storm-blown orphans.]

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