Spare time is clumsy. It’s a large cumbersome cat too large for its flap. It’s a lowly status court jester laughed at by the hangman and the villains of the stocks. The children blow raspberries at it and throw playdough stones until it falls to the ground like a bad dream. Then they go to work, tying it down like an army of pixies, prodding it with tiny sticks and marking notes on bark with a flat rock. They consider the angles, lift the eyelids, pluck the hairs, shave a small square clear behind the ear. They wear it like fur, pick at its nails and slice off sharp small splinters to fit the tips of their spears. They communicate and laugh at its gaudy expression. They wonder where it came from, what it wants, why did it disturb them?
One by one they climb onto it’s chest to peer into its large sun-like eyes. Watching the marble swirl, they ooh and aah, make faces at each other and draw lead sketches like pupils. They form signs, hold up giant leaves with painted diagrams and symbols. They listen to it breathe, stand by the nostrils and let the wind make them go all silly. They wake earlier each day to spend more time with it in light. They sit silent as it reasons, as it wows them with stories, as it teaches them like faculty. They become disciples, they begin to worship. They erect tiny structures from their tiny sticks and hold court with its wishes. They like it. They respect it. They love it. They free it.