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Uued kaamerad

Uued kaamerad

 

Backyard Potterer’s Journal

Written and illustrated by: Tiit Kändler
 Translation: Liis
 
Backyard Potterer’s journal
 
So behold, a full Backyard Potterer’s year. With 12 Backyard stories too. There should be some kind of summary but what can you summarise when the year, drat it, keeps going on and the yard doesn’t let go of its contrariness either.
 
Lacking other and better ideas one can keep a journal – already Kafka, Louis XIV and Oskar Luts knew that. The last-named, true, lost his journal. And of course neither Kafka nor Louis XIV ended their journal-keeping on a particularly happy note. 
 
October 20
Snow suddenly starts to fall in the yard! The snowfall lasts for 42 seconds, and then doesn’t fall any more. The fastest snow. If not a world – or Estonian – record, then definitely a yard record.
It is interesting to note that no one in the yard practices sports. The water voles do not compete between themselves for swimming records, the great tit doesn’t practice high jumps and the hedgehogs don’t compete in biathlon. Man has always wanted to know why he is unique, what he can do that other species can’t. Laughing has been proposed, or empathy, or the ability to suffer. But now it has become clear that at least some mammal species laugh and cry, feel sympathy and suffer. So one single thing remains that distinguishes man from other yard creatures. It is elite sports. Man is the only animal on the globe that practices sports, fervently.
And not only that, man practices sports in ways that are not suited to him at all. It isn’t for man to scramble into water unless he happens to fall into it, to fly through air unless he flies off a cliff, or chase some round object into some angular or round hole.
Thus  then – man is distinguished from all other forms of life by the fact, and that only, that he practices elite sports.
 
October 23
Fog falls from the sky. Bounces on the ground and rises back into the sky again. Twilight begins to fall. Estonian autumn morning.
Man has made sports extremely easy for himself, from the viewpoint of the yard quite primitively so. It is quite incomprehensible that football fields are exactly the same everywhere, as well as the rules. It would be much more natural if, when the Estonian football team travels to play in Ireland, it turns out that the field is not a rectangle but clover-leaf-shaped, and instead of one ball two are in play, and on that day only Catholics can be gaol-keepers.
And in Barcelona for instance the field would resemble the architectural shapes of Antoni Gaudi, and every quarter of an hour a tram passes through. And the field changes from one play to another. Wouldn’t the sport be so much more interesting that way! Just as if instance when, after having done a hundred meters, it becomes clear that this time the Olympics winner will be the man who according to everyday reasoning came in sixth place.

After all, so it is in the yard. Here winners and losers are not declared at once, only in retrospect, and the criteria change constantly too. So that when we talk of natural environmental communities then sports rules should also be made according to nature. But in nature there is no other creature so foolish as man who just for the sake of it runs like mad for 42 kilometres only in order to get back to precisely the same point as where he started.