I was born in a factory, a smelly factory smelling perpetually of French fries. After that brief period in the factory, a predetermined bunch of us was stuffed into a tight plastic bag.
We managed to live together. The piece of origami paper in front of me told me, ‘I can see the outside world, you know. It is colorful. At this moment, we are on a metal shelf. It is quite cold and gray. Well, I see two people approaching us.’ I passed this message on to the other papers. There was a general murmur of agreement as the message passed down to the back.
The messenger, whom I called Frontispiece, again relayed to us the message that a pair of gigantic hands were reaching out toward us, and pointing. ‘Really. Whoever that is, people shouldn’t point.’ I said quite irritably.
Suddenly, we were lifted with astonishing speed off the shelf and into a bag (or so I thought). ‘I wonder who that is.’ Frontispiece said wistfully. I replied, ‘I thought you liked the shelf more.’ Frontispiece remained silent.
We were lifted from the bag and put on a moving flat surface. I guessed that the holder was buying us, most likely. And I was correct. We were turned around in quick, dexterous hands, then thrown into a plastic bag. It was the same material as our package. Our home.
The plastic bag was transported a long way, through a bumpy road.
We stopped abruptly, flinging us a long way off.
At our new home, we were much admired by a little child with wet hands. He had an appealing innocent look, and soon Frontispiece disappeared. I was much saddened by disappearance, but when I saw him being folded, I was relieved. For a piece of paper does not die when it is folded, but instead it is refreshed, as that is its function. Soon, in no less than 5 minutes, Frontispiece had become a beautiful crane. I smiled inwardly.
It was almost certain that, in no time, the little boy, that innocent boy, would fold me. The joy that comes with folding is euphoria. Impossible to describe.
That day came almost instantly. After Frontispiece was transformed, the wet, now sticky, hands reached in the packet. The other shallow minds in that packet thought I was going to suffer a horrible fate, and whimpered. I was took out and handled with extreme care. ‘Daddy! Fold a lily for me!’ the owner of the hands squeaked.
I was folded into a lily, as instructed, by another person. He had rougher hands, but he too was careful with me. Oh, I thought my centre was going to break! I was folded this way and that, and I thought my body was going to fall apart when the folding stopped. The sticky-handed child gingerly poked me, and then took me up. ‘Thank you! Thank you so much!’ he laughed. It was a sound to remember, as it was thin, pleasant, childlike and innocent.
The wet, sticky- handed boy handed me to a girl. She smiled with delight. Those hands smelled of pencil shavings and candy- a disgusting combination. They were not as gentle as the previous owner was, but still treated me with care. She soon grew bored with me, though, as she passed it, quite thoughtlessly, to a family. They treated me like a pearl or other precious stone. I was put in a display cupboard, posing for them. At that moment, I wished that I were with Frontispiece and the other shallow friends! Days passed by, and I began to feel a little lonely.
A roughened, weatherworn hand gingerly took me out of the stuffy cupboard. I was thrown to another warm hand. It caught me expertly.
That hand took me to a desk, cluttered and messy, and that is where I stay until today.