by Nikhil Kshirsagar
Z woke up one morning and realized his tailbone hurt. A quick visit
to the doc was fruitless because the doc insisted the tailbone hurting
was no big deal. But this was different.
A few days later, Z awoke from a typically sound sleep (zzz isn't
affected by tailbone problems) and found a tail growing out of his
lower back. 'Am I dreaming?' he thought. But it was no dream.
He tried wagging it and it made a curious left-right swish. At this
point, the true horror of the situation kicked in, and Z yelled out
loud, pinched himself, and sat down because his knees had suddenly
A (longer) visit to another doctor confirmed his suspicious that the
tailbone was extending out of his body dramatically, and essentially
growing a tail, was he. The doctor confirmed it via an x-ray, which
cost 400 R. (The tail is essentially a bone, and bones are visible on
x-rays). Z felt the x-ray had been unnecessary, but in such a state was
he, that money had suddenly become one of the least important things on
Unfortunately, apart from confirming his observation, the doctor had
very little to offer in terms of solutions. He suggested cutting it
off, but given that it was growing, and growing fast, he did not expect
cutting it off to be of any help. ("It's a bit like nails", he
explained, coolly, concealing his professional puzzlement expertly)
Z went home and worried himself to sleep, and woke up the next
morning with a swish of his own tail hitting his face. This is bad.
This is very bad. (he thought)
Once he stood up, he realized the full extent of the problem. Now
that he had a fully grown tail, he couldn't go out, nor wear clothes,
at least the fashionable ones. Wrapping a cloth around his lower half,
he paced the room, frantically calling all the medical expertise at his
disposal. (not much)
A few days later, his mother arrived home as a result of a frantic
phone call, and found him sitting on his own tail, all curled up like
tails do. (well at least he wasn't endlessly chasing it)
What she noticed was, Z was now 1/4th tail and 3/4th of his body
seemed to have accomodated the rest of his earlier stature. I'm not
sure whether she was more shocked at the tail, or at the shrunken
shoulders, the missing neck, and the halved back.
As mothers are wont to do, she worried, worried, and worried till he
sent her off back to her own house, and realized calling anybody for
help was futile. This was his, and his problem alone, he thought, while
angrily swishing his tail about and knocking things down to the floor.
A few days later, there was a head (no hair now), and the rest was
all tail, (in fact a second one sprouted out from the bone-blossoms of
the base of the first...) and he'd rounded out the edges of his body
somehow, and had a curious metallic taste in his mouth all the time.
He was now a coin, and was flipped about at the start of cricket
matches, to decide which team batted first.
The beauty of it was, nobody actually cared for the suffering of a
coin. All they wanted was to know which team bats first.
© 2019 Nikhil Kshirsagar
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