Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, Makato Asashima
cups a tadpole in his uncertain hands.
Just an hour earlier, the biologist determined that an artificial
eyeball had indeed connected itself to this tadpole’s optic nerve, and
now Asashima rushes blindly through his own front door, to show this odd
miracle to his American wife.
"Ta da i ma," he announces. "I am home."
He blurts out the good news, forgetting to offer his wife a polite
Emmie, holding a thick white towel, looks into her husband’s cupped
hands, and after a moment asks, "Where is the other eye?"
"Here." Asashima, careful not to spill any of the small puddle of
water that sustains the tadpole’s life, must point with his
white-bearded chin. "Here it is."
"No," Emmie scolds. "The one he was born with?"
"We removed it." Asashima’s voice drops in volume. "For science."
"And where did this eye come from?"
"An embryo." His voice grows even softer. "From the cells of an
"And why did you do that?"
"Why would they?"
Asashima winces, then brushes past his wife, hurries to the back of
the house, drops the creature and the remaining water into a small
Emmie follows, uses her towel to wipe a minor spill.
"The tadpole can see," Asashima pleads. "Do you understand? This
tadpole with the artificial eye can see as well as you or I."
"Yes, love," Emmie answers. "You have blinded the tadpole, and now he
can see. Are you happy now? Dinner is ready."
Dinty W. Moore has
worked as a documentary filmmaker, professional modern dancer,
wire-service journalist, and college creative writing professor. He has
published fiction and poetry in numerous national literary magazines and
is the author of The Emperor’s Virtual Clothes: The Naked Truth About
Internet Culture, Toothpick Men, and The Accidental
Buddhist: Mindfulness, Enlightenment, and Sitting Still.