Dear you to whom the tale is told,

Please, I ask of you, to come to this tale with me as I tell it. Bring yourself, your ears, and your imagination, and nothing else. Please don't bring your Expectations, your Concerns, or your History. Just your ears, heart, and dreams. Listen, please listen. Listen as if you thought about our tale as I tucked you into bed.

So my friend, it's time to sleep and dream. Of clowns, and fudgscicles, death, and bicycles, and those things which you are dreaming about right now. Dream of them all.

After all, these are the rules I was told.

The tale:


Cortney the clown walked into the Magician's bedroom one night. He hadn't visited the Magician in four years, but still the Magician knew him better than anybody else whom Cortney the Clown knew.

He was a sad clown that night. He was sad because he was so awake and lived too close to his friend, Life. Cortney the Clown needed Life. He said he loved Life, and her offspring, Pizza, and Women, and the dew in the Morning, and Big Shoes, but...

He wanted to play with Life, but had forgotten how, for History had told him to think about Life.

"Life," said History, "should not be a game. It's too important for clown games. You can't play with it anymore, it might break. And then where would you be when you needed it."

So Cortney the clown no longer played with Life. In fact, Cortney the clown didn't play at all anymore. After all, it was too important.

So Cortney the Clown came to the Magician's bedroom one night. The Magician listened and nodded, as magicians always listen and nod. He winked at Cortney the Clown, and showed Cortney that he understood. Many other Clowns had come to the Magician as Cortney had. There had been all sorts of clowns in the past. All had forgotten how to play with Life.

Cortney the Clown told the Magician,

"My Magician, when I die, I want my parents and friends to have a great time. Just like they do in New Orleans. There should be a parade, a marching band, dancing in the streets, laughing, and trumpets. Loud ones."

Cortney's Magician said, "Ah...Cortney the clown,"--Magician's always say "ah" before they speak, "So, You have talked to Death?"

Cortney the Clown said, "I used to talk to Death every morning. When I was showering or brushing my teeth, Death was in the bathroom with me. He was always quite a jovial, carefree, and obnoxious fellow. Cliqued his heels and ate lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He also liked tickling me, and watching me laugh unitl I cried."