A Year In Nadada: Week Nineteen- Getting The Goat

The captain has asked us to remain inside The Kandinsky for now. The wind is dying down, but sand still grates at my windows. A few of the crew braved the desert in face masks, but they put out a table and parasol, and spent their expedition trying to boil tea.

Some goats trotted near the ship today. The Butter Mouse and I watched them from a corridor windows (which in terms of the layout of the cog, means we stand somewhere in thin air). One of the other passengers joined me. This was Anna Kooning, the passenger we picked up in the forest. We got chatting. She hadn’t seen my show.

Anna is an imaginary biologist. She was kind enough to give me an interview about the  ‘animals’ of Nadada, and I hope she helps explain the beasts we’ve seen so far on our journey.

The fact that she was being interviewed by a different kind of imaginary animal added a fair chunk of confusion, especially as she hadn’t seen us perform.

TBM: Thanks for joining us Anna.

AK: So do I just talk to the puppet?

TBM: No, you talk to me.

::There is a pause, and I explain the interview format::

AK: Oh OK, cool. No problem.

TBM: Why do you spend looking for things that don’t exist? That seems pointless.

AK: Oh, well....

::Another pause, as I assure Anna that this is just part of the format::

AK: Cool. Well, the most important aspect to remember about the animals in Nadada is that very few of them are animals at all. You might as well say the lion statues in Trafalgar Square are alive.

TBM: I’ve never been to London, so I’ve no idea what you are talking about.

AK: Then how did you know that Trafalgar Square was in London?

TBM: So, what’s your point about the animals?

AK: My point is that anything that looks like a biological organism out here is almost certainly not one. This means they do not need to obey any rules of nature.

TBM: I had a monkey give me a cup of tea. What’s that all about then?

AK: That monkey is a good example of what I am talking about. You are assuming that creature was a monkey, because it looks like one, in the same way you think a carved bit of stone looks like a lion.

Take those goats out there. They resemble the kind that you can find all over Europe. But in fact they are a crucial part of the desert. Instead of milk, they provide fresh water, hot chocolate, Aperol Spritz. Back on the surface, the desert is a death trap. Thanks to the goats, in Nadada it’s a holiday. And that’s the beauty of the animals out here. The rules make no sense. I have seen fruit bats with crossword puzzles on each wing.

TBM: So is that why you have come out here to the middle of nowhere?

AK: That’s why I have come to Nadada at all. I wish I could take the credit for this, but one person said it a biologist’s job is to find out what life can, do, and imaginary biologist is to find out what it can’t.

TBM: Great stuff. So do you think you will be coming to see the show now?

AK: Oh. Oh, well, lets see how it goes.

Thanks Anna! Maybe we will see you soon.

The goats outside the window. Photo by Lewis Moorcroft. 

The goats outside the window. Photo by Lewis Moorcroft.