• Basim Magdy

    Date posted: December 6, 2007 Author: jolanta
    There was a little Bigfoot who liked to play in mud pools after long days of rain. Mother Bigfoot always told him not to. Little Bigfoot never listened. One day, it rained a lot in the forest, but as the sun emerged from behind the clouds, little Bigfoot went outside to build a mud palace. He started building and in less than an hour he finished it. Little Bigfoot was fast and skilled. The palace was luxurious and its walls were elaborately ornate with its facades embedded with little seeds in exquisite floral patterns. He built 30 rooms, 40 bathrooms, and 10 kitchens. Each room had its own attached bathroom.    Image


    Basim Magdy is an Egyptian artist who lives and works in Cairo.

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    Basim Magdy, Unfinished Evolution, 2005; watercolor and spray paint on paper. Courtesy the artist and Serge Ziegler.

    There was a little Bigfoot who liked to play in mud pools after long days of rain. Mother Bigfoot always told him not to. Little Bigfoot never listened. One day, it rained a lot in the forest, but as the sun emerged from behind the clouds, little Bigfoot went outside to build a mud palace. He started building and in less than an hour he finished it. Little Bigfoot was fast and skilled. The palace was luxurious and its walls were elaborately ornate with its facades embedded with little seeds in exquisite floral patterns. He built 30 rooms, 40 bathrooms, and 10 kitchens. Each room had its own attached bathroom. A few more added to the luxury of the palace. Little Bigfoot sat on a damp log. Proud of his architectural masterpiece, he decided to bring his little Bigfoot friends to witness his genius. His friends were transfixed when they saw the majestic palace. They felt so small and useless. Little Bigfoot said, “Don’t feel this way. You can help me build a city around my palace.” Little Bigfoot divided his friends into groups of four and assigned each group a task. One group designed houses and one group was responsible for building them. Once a mud house was completed a group would start furnishing it while another decorated its walls. A group built roads connecting the city to the surrounding forest and another group paved the city streets. By the end of the day they had built 300 mud houses so architecturally perfect they had mushroom chimneys and window shutters made of dry camphor leaves. They furnished the little houses with dead beetles and air-conditioned them with fans woven from grass leaves. The next day they built more houses. They built an ant and bee zoo to study organized social behavior, a flea circus to make a million dollars from ticket revenue, and a science museum to display the little evidence they had of human existence—the very existence of which has perplexed the Bigfoot race for years. One of little Bigfoot’s friends proposed to build windmills to generate essential electrical supplies. They did that too. To defend their city they installed radars on rooftops. Then they protected those with a thick stone wall with many watchtowers that surrounded their city, and dug trenches all around it. Another of little Bigfoot’s friends designed silos protected by hi-tech alarm systems to store grains and the revenue from the flea circus. A group was assigned with the task of climbing trees—something the little Bigfoots feared more than anything—to cover the mud city’s airspace with a wide reaching net to prevent the highly anticipated vicious attacks from angry birds of prey. To secure continuous stores of drinking water, they positioned millions of the small maple leaves that hung from gigantic hundred-year-old trees in order to funnel rainwater into spacious rooftop tanks where catfish kept the water clean. At the end of the day, they gathered around a small fire where they roasted flavored marshmallows and chestnuts to celebrate their invincible urban accomplishment. As the sun went down, they all went home to their families’ caves deep in the unknown parts of the forest. That night little Bigfoot had a bad stomachache. Little Bigfoot’s friends fell ill too. Way up in the sky above the forest, gigantic black clouds blocked the moonlight. For three days the mighty rains poured and poured over the forest. On the fourth day the sun came out. The mud city was leveled to the ground and little Bigfoot and his little Bigfoot friends were dead. It seems that while they were building their city an army of microscopic lethal mud worms had penetrated their little bodies. That morning a group of scientists were on their way out of the forest after a failed weeklong excursion in search of Bigfoot droppings.  While hiking separately all over the forest, with their tranquilizer rifles well concealed inside their simulated full Bigfoot costumes, they repeatedly mistook one another for real Bigfoots. On their way out of the forest they found the decaying carcasses of little Bigfoot and his little friends and took them to the science museum. Every morning tens of noisy schoolchildren surround glass display cases where the little Bigfoot bodies are preserved in formaldehyde. A label informs visitors to the museum that the same group of scientists who excavated undeniable evidence of Bigfoot’s existence has embarked on a new mission to find the actual location of Bigfoot Heaven.

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