I stared at the creature before me,
a living relic of prehistoric times.
Leathery, wrinkled skin stretched tight
over brittle bones that creak with movement.
Yellowed teeth worn down with time and hunger
fill a gaping maw that continuously opens and shuts,
emitting strange noise, a constant droning,
somewhere between a grumble and a growl.
Staring at this aged being, I wonder
at the centuries it has survived,
how history oozes from every pore,
and ancient secrets swarm above with a silent hum.
How vast the knowledge stored inside must be,
if only one could communicate and master the mournful drone.
Surrounded by similar creatures, younger and impatient,
each attempting to escape that seemingly omnipotent gaze.
The creature is quick to spot the lazy or restless,
those sleeping or rustling few who dare to defy the rules
of etiquette long established and set into motion.
Creeping slowly back and forth before others,
pacing with the steady movements of one who innately understands
the value of time, and knows that there is more than enough
in which it may bestow its wisdom, wanted or not.
Eventually, all begin to rustle, to peel away from the group,
one by one, two by two, till again it sits alone before me.
It turns its worn, haggard face towards me,
opening its large orifice in a final attempt to relay
an ever-important bit of wisdom hurriedly, barely coherent,
before I, too, depart. “Remember to read chapters 7, 12, 14, and 21 in Social Fabrics and chapters 8 through 15 in your History text.”
“Will do sir.”