He had known it was against the rules. They’d made that abundantly clear.
Still, he thought, there had to be room for flexibility. The world consisted not of endlessly cycling identical days. If the rays of the rising sun can hit the shards of the fallen and shattered night, pushing the pieces into a fresh new day, is not reasonable to think that everything could change?
An egg can do nothing for weeks, then can crack and the next day be a bird.
A tree can stand for years, get struck by lightning one day and the next day be nothing but a pile of ash.
Flat, unmarked ground can sit for eons and, suddenly become a thriving megalopolis full of ants.
Is it so unreasonable to think that borders could change as well? Sure, to the west there were still the mountains and to the south was still the sea. But the river, that changed constantly.
Time, also, had borders – each sunset, each sunrise, completely different every time.
He had understood the rule, back when it was put into place. At first, it had seemed unfair that others could cross the river, but when he gazed at the crocodiles shining red and gold in the setting sun, and he had understood.
But since then, the sky had changed so much, from black to pink, to blue, and to orange and red then black once again. Then, to nothing but grey and black for three entire days as the rain came down. However, even the rainy days were different, sometimes soft and gentle and almost entirely quiet. Sometimes coming down so hard that the eggshells were blown from the trees and the ants were washed up and out of the ground. Sometimes the rain even moved sideways, wetting everyone no matter how they hid.
This morning, though, he the first was awakened by the rising sun and, though the sky looked as it had may days before, it was the river’s time to change. Where once it had sat still, off in the distance, glinting softly as the fish nibbled at the surface, it was now wider and much less flat. There were trees in it, moving all together. Most importantly, there wasn’t a single crocodile to be seen.
Everything was different. He knew he could make it. He knew everyone was asleep. He knew that this was his time. He picked out a promising looking tree and got ready to leap upon it when he suddenly found himself hauled back to the muddy shore and then dragged back into the forest.
So here he sits, caught, cuffed, and confined. Watched by all, actively prevented from pursuing his own goals, from living his own life. Though he was surrounded by the group, he was completely alone with his thoughts, playing back the morning, thinking about what had gone wrong.
There was but one conclusion.
Dad was just a big old meanie.