Flying by parachute over the Indian Ocean off the coast of Borneo's Mamutik Island, well... I guess I started thinking about L. Frank Baum, and the wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Dorothy is such a bright eye'd little kid thrust in a world of monsters.
From Quadlings to Winkies, Munchkins to Kalidahs, Dorothy must learn their stories so not to fear them.
She helps one whose insides are stuffed with straw who proves to be most resilient and intelligent, another, a heart broken amputee of tin who feels so deeply, and finally a weeping feline who, well, doesn't see his own potential.
Of course, all three, at least in the novel, become kings.
Like many people, I grew up with the 1939 film, popping buckets of buttered corn on Sunday nights bundled up in quitls on the sofa, singing along to the television.
The book is much darker. From the Fighting Trees beaten with an ax to the Dainty China People who break off their own limbs, to the great terrorizing Spider with the body of an Elephant and the Hammerheads of the Hillside, even the plagues that the cyclope Wicked Witch of the West orders to destory Dorothy, first the wolves, then the terrible crows, finally the black buzzing bees, it is only the truest most nobel character within that can defeat them.
As a boy, I was scared of the Flying Monkeys, I think the film version freaked me out, but in the book, they are Dorothy's saviors. Once she finds the Golden Cap and sets them free.
How silly our worldly fears can be. How much more real they become when the stories are not in books.
Mostly, we just hold life so precious. We want every moment to count. We don't worry about the stories. They come later, safe on the sofa, listening in whispers that sail into dreams.