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Blue

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Blue.

Blue is the colour of infinity, of the sky that stretches over forest, desert, and sea alike. On the steppe, where the grasses seem to stretch forever and the blue sky does so surely, things seem timeless. The saiga herds that challenge the grass blades in number. The spring clouds that bring soft rains. The first snow that heralds the mating season. But most things do not stay as they are forever. Ice had covered forest, desert, and sea alike long ago. Tribes and empires have risen and fallen in the grasses, which would be flooded with the war-dead were it not for the vultures. And the saiga are almost no more.

A lone saiga walked through the cold grasses he called home. But what is a home without anyone to love? As far as he could see, and saigas can see quite far, he saw no one. Not a pika. Not a tortoise. The saiga tilted his head up to the empty, browning sky. Not even a vulture, who would normally be a lone saiga's closest companion. The lone saiga walked for what seemed like forever. Every now and then he would rest and graze, but the grass was bland without the seasoning of company. Each bite drove him to walk further and faster in search of a fellow soul, and his legs did not tire as easily.

Finally, the lone saiga saw something in the grass. Something blue. He hobbled toward it. It was an egg, the same colour that the endless sky used to be. The saiga's legs finally buckled from exhaustion. The blue egg was the last thing the he saw before drifting off to sleep.

When the lone saiga awoke, the egg was much bigger than he remembered, and broken. He gasped, and felt something push against his stomach. The lone saiga looked down at himself, and saw a little furry thing resting next to him. It was very strange—it had the shape of some kind of bird, and there wasn't a speck of blue on it. Maybe it would turn blue as it grew up? The lone saiga sniffed it. It smelled like tea and biscuits. The saiga had never tasted tea and biscuits before, so he licked the little furry thing. The little furry thing's ears twitched. It gave a big yawn, and cooed at the no-longer-lone saiga.

The saiga had never had a child before, but he tried his best to care for the little furry thing. He taught it which plants were safe to eat, how the grass whispered when a wolf was prowling, and the colour blue. He played with the furry thing everyday so it would learn how to fill its lungs with the cold air and run faster than the winds that flattened the cushion-shrubs. He taught it manners, so it would always remember to smell "hello", "goodbye", "please", and "thank you". Eventually, the saiga discovered the little furry thing was a boy; this surprised the saiga greatly, for it had no horns.

The world is big. Far beyond the steppe, under a brown sky, lived a very wealthy man. He was the clever kind of man who knew you couldn't trust the stock market. He owned paper mills, toy factories, eight houses in three countries (eight is a very good number), and invested in many other real, tangible things. His friends were buying many rhino horns, because there weren't many left and this was a good investment. The man was cleverer than his friends—he invested in saiga horns, which were even fewer than rhino horns. The man made a few phone calls, and several hours later a jeep was kicking up dust on the steppe.

A few days passed, and the people in the jeep found the saiga and the furry thing. They could run faster than the wind, but so could the jeep. They could run for a long time, but the jeep could run even longer. The saiga gave the furry thing a sad, but stern smell. He had no horns. Get away. The furry thing veered and dashed away from the saiga and the jeep. As the sound of the jeep's engine faded, the furry thing's heart sank. The smell of the saiga disappeared. All alone, he ran for his life.

The furry thing spent weeks searching for the saiga. He returned to where they split, but the wind had blown away the tracks and smells. He went to all the lakes, but none of the red-necked grebes had seen the saiga. Finally, he went to the winter pastures. There were only tumbleweeds at the moment, but the saiga must surely come here winter. The furry thing sat and slept, waiting for the snow. He dreamt of eating blue grass with the saiga.

Winter came and passed.

When the furry thing awoke on spring day, he found himself surrounded by other furry things. There were yellow ones, orange ones, blue ones, and purple ones, and they all smelled like tea and biscuits. One of them gave the furry thing a green, crispy fruit. They spoke with many foreign words and no smells at all, and it took many "bibble"s for them to understand each other. The red-necked grebes, who had gone to the west during the winter, had told them about him. They hadn't seen the saiga on their journey. They invited him to live with them in the west, and asked him what his name was.

He called himself Blue, for the infinite kindness in the hearts of many.