The following was discovered in the journal of Sir Heinriech Blossom Bugfellow, Gentleman:
During my travels, I came across a curious figure of Mr. Snipe, a derelict of the town who, for a small sum, would relate his tales from across all corners of the world. On this occasion, he spoke of his journey to the Gallery of the Wizened Master, a painter of rich and moving tapestries. As Mr. Snipe recalled, the Master was well known throughout the world, and his latest exhibition featured works done with a new kind of paint, one which made the images leap from the canvas and poke at your eyes.
The works were representations of a famous folk tale featuring all mixes of animals, people, landscapes, and the like. Mingling with each other, they produced images of great wonder, such as a still ocean reflecting the sky above or endless pools of glowing bioluminscence or a vast and enveloping view of a sunken ship. Certainly they stole many a breath, for one viewer was scared to cough for fear that the painting would disperse. Mr. Snipe, he assured me, found them delightful as well, but noticed, when he walked behind these pictures, that each one disappeared when viewed from a different angle.
The images tying all these together were a small, yellow-haired boy with black pants and a red-and-black-striped shirt. His companion was a small, stuffed, feral cat of a breed Mr. Snipe could not place. They spoke to each other as equals (how they spoke, Mr. Snipe neglected to mention, but he nevertheless assured me this was the case) as they drifted along, struggling to survive. Much was spent on their relationship, and Mr. Snipe noted his satisfaction, and as he nodded at one painting, he noticed the Wizened Master behind him, nudging him with his brush, still dripping with his magic paint, and a small drip formed into a small hand, smacking Mr. Snipe gently across the cheek.
“You’re not looking deep enough.” The Master said. Mr. Snipe said nothing, but instead looked more intensely at a painting, wondering if a whole new image would appear. “Do you see it?” The Master prodded. Snipe saw nothing new, and, worse, he was losing focus on the superficial beauty of the work, and for the rest of the exhibition, he felt the presence of The Master behind him, poking and jabbing and clucking his tongue, scolding him for not grasping the deeper meaning.
When he had come to the end, Mr. Snipe approached The Wizened Master and spoke: “I see the dichotomy of reason versus religion, but what of it?” The Master laughed, and as he laughed his pupils moved to opposite corners of his eyes, as if they sought an answer themselves. “Would you prefer me to tell you the story myself?” The Master said. “No,” Mr. Snipe responded, “I’m happy with just the pictures.”
And so Mr. Snipe ended his tale, smiling back at me as to expect a response. I nodded and then took back my donation, making my way to the path leading out of this nutty city as the scarlet sun of morning arose.