Art and Culture

The Exquisite Collector

-Shabana Chowdhury Ahmed, Belgium  

People have different hobbies. They collect stamps, coins, paintings, books and whatever catches their fancy. I am an avid collector of miniature figurines in crystals and porcelains.

The story teller tells her tale. 

In a picturesque village, where tradition and folklore still live on under the Ardennes mountain in Belgium, lived a couple Monsieur and Madame Dubois. They resided in a quaint cottage, which had been handed down from father to son. They had a pub, where traditional beer and food were served. Tourists came in throngs to see their beautiful village. 

Life was good. Every Monday the pub was closed, so the Dubois would pack a basket of food and wine to take with them into the forest and spend the day in nature. Years passed in tranquillity and prosperity for the Dubois. They never had children of their own.

One day Monsieur Dubois was changing some broken tiles on the roof of his cottage, when he slipped his footing and fell to the ground. Hearing the loud noise Madame Dubois rushed out of the cottage to find Monsieur Dubois lying on the ground. He was in pain so she rushed to the doctor’s clinic for help. The doctor accompanied Madame Dubois to her home and examined Monsieur Dubois, who was lying on the ground obviously in pain. After examination the doctor told Monsieur Dubois that his shoulder was broken. In the doctor’s clinic Monsieur Dubois was given an injection to numb the pain and his arm was plastered. He was told to rest at home and take his medication. 

Days were passing slowly for Monsieur Dubois, who had always been a very active person. He began reading books. Madame Dubois hired a housekeeper to help in the living quarters behind the pub and keep an eye on her husband, while she was busy at the pub. 

Neighbours came around to chat with Monsieur Dubois and brought him books to read. After breakfast one morning he was wandering which book he should read. His eyes fell upon a book titled “Disappearances and Aliens Abductions“. He began reading about Alien sightings and spaceships in the sky around the world. The disappearances of many people without a trace from the world were associated with Alien abductions. People became believers and unbelievers. The believers felt that we are not alone in our solar system, while the unbelievers could not see anything beyond their noses. Monsieur Dubois felt drowsy with the effects of his medications, so he closed the book and dosed off.

A month later Monsieur Dubois had the plaster removed from his arm. He began helping his wife at the pub again. One day he went into the forest and sat by the river to admire mother nature’s changing attire. Autumn was in the air. The fallen leaves had carpeted the ground with hues of yellow and red. A gust of cold wind touched his face. Madame Dubois came looking for her husband. She found him sitting peacefully under a mighty oak tree by the river. She sat down beside him. Both husband and wife were enchanted by the scenery. 

A very bright light appeared suddenly from the sky blinding them. In a clouded vision they saw a space ship hovering above them. Then they lost consciousness. When they regained consciousness, they found themselves in a brightly lighted transparent glass house. They looked across and saw two other creatures looking back at them. There were many glass houses in the room with different creatures. 

The collector was an alien, who collected live specimens from other planets. His museum was one of its kind in our solar system and so he became The Exquisite Collector! 

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