About the Existential Eggplant


This was no ordinary eggplant—this one was the size of a small toe, hard as polished marble, rich like a deep purple-black jewel and more than handsome—it possessed a certain intelligence, magnetism and ‘voice’ that set it apart from the rest of the vegetable kingdom. It was a magnificent little companion.

When this eggplant was fresh, it was extremely edible and probably quite delicious if anyone had been foolish enough to eat it. But unlike other vegetables, this amazing eggplant was preserved to last forever. It’s almost 600 years old and there are no others like it anywhere in the world.

The eggplant had a higher stake than most when it came to existence. As far as it was concerned, its self-awareness was all the proof of existence it needed. It had memories and was quite aware of how others felt about it—even if they had no feelings about the vegetable. But the eggplant also understood it needed others to offer credible reassurance from time to time, otherwise it could never be 100% sure if it did exist, or if it was the imaginary product of a few humans giving the little vegetable make-believe qualities, like a human consciousness. There are several other existential scenarios the eggplant routinely considers, but none of them provide any certainty, so it continues to think of itself as a real being who can observe and interpret the world and is recognized as an independent consciousness by at least one human at a time. Unlike the non-existent knight, the eggplant needed no official papers to exist.

The eggplant was grown by an old woman in the Arabian Desert almost 600 years ago. She was a midwife who people chased from villages every time a baby died and one day she was tired of being chased so she moved to the desert, where she lived alone, grew a sparse crop of vegetables each year and raised a few goats. She lived quietly until a thief burst into her hut one night and demanded jewelry he thought was hidden in her tent. When she explained she had nothing but two eggplants and three goats, the thief killed her goats and threatened to kill her if she didn’t give him her jewelry. But before the thief could raise his knife, an archer shot a single arrow into the tent and killed the thief.

According to the eggplant, “The old midwife gave the eggplants to the archer, and wished she had more to offer him. They shared one of the eggplants for dinner, my only sibling, along with fresh goat stew. After their meal, the archer pulled a small golden globe from a pouch at his side, opened it and revealed a shiny salve he rubbed over my entire eggplant body, then instructed the midwife to carefully dry me in the shade and protect me as if I was her only child. He told her he charmed this eggplant, and I would keep her company and provide for the old woman and whoever possessed me thereafter.

She dried me with great care, making sure I was always in the shade. And I slowly became smaller and harder and shinier, keeping my eggplant form and smooth skin until I looked like a tiny, polished stone…

Read Orphans, Assassins and the Existential Eggplant and find out what makes the this eggplant so special.


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