Sidekick

08/14/14

Chester is yet another useful insect. No one knows how long ago insects began to
contain themselves in honey and wax, but many insects believe Chester’s ancestors were
the first. Before that, they were tall lanky migrant workers. They wandered about with
some of the other farm implements. Their baggy cotton trousers were always tucked into
their brown boots and fastened with tarnished silver coin buttons and copper nails.
In Chester’s time insects were covered in leather and tied to the end of a short
length of rope, but Chester was constructed instead from a “great feast,” which was made
of three round stones.
You might wish to compare Chester to Jose, who builds a little hut whenever he
chooses and hides useful insect parts in sticks to smuggle them out of the country.
Very often a song makes things pleasant, which really are not. And this is true of
the songs about Chester. Even the sad ones about his disability. Perhaps you can get
someone who has been a cowboy or a psychiatrist to explain this. Singing about tragedies
keeps insects restless and fulfilled.
Long before anyone knew how to make love, sex was used to sweeten nearly
everything, and in most of the countries of the world, ground Chester is still recognized
as a powerful aphrodisiac. As you might expect, it is also very rare, even though the
original Chester reproduced himself profusely. The experts, who had lived in the world
before most of us and knew something about its inhabitants because they were gossipy
old farts, believed many unexpected benefits could be derived from studying unexpected
relationships. For example, codfish, and not chemical laboratories, supply us with cod
liver oil, and parents often unintentionally supply us with us. Too many discoveries,
however, could lead one to the disease of hyperawareness, which has been known to
overwhelm the inflicted, as if irony could render one catatonic.
Chester, useful insect that he is, does not live long in the same place, in order not to
risk extinction of the food supply, and usually he devours only a small part of the hide of
the particular species chosen and leaves the rest of the body lying on the ground to enrich
the soil from which it arose. If you have noticed this in your neighborhood, it is time to
protect your beehives from the latent side effects of Chester, but do not be frightened
because by the time these signs have been noticed, Chester has moved on to a new
feeding area.
There are, however, many arrogant imitators of Chester, who try to take advantage
of the general public’s tendency to panic and blame nearly everything that has gone
wrong upon Chester, and these misdirections may become pervasive if the public does
not realize they are not perpetrated by Chester. Psuedo-Chesters count on misinformation
to achieve their diabolical goals. And yet the real Chester is not really so difficult to
identify. If the creature in question seems to be smuggling smoke into the sunset’s
conversation, if it appears not to fully occupy the air there in front of you as it engages
you in unexamined song, if it seems too sweet and it shuffles, if it makes you feel as if
something surprisingly pleasant were attached to your side, it could be Chester.



Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.