The Chameleon Who Lost Its Way
There was once a chameleon who could change its colors so well to camouflage, that it somehow forgot about itself. Perceptive as it was, with uncoupled eyes that noticed everything around, it no longer sensed its own body, which seemed see-through in its vivid detail. Even the tree on which it stood disremembered the little lizard living on its branches, and thought it a wandering leaf instead. So used did it get to blending in, that soon it remained camouflaged without any effort at all. In time, it realized it could no longer communicate with other chameleons through color, and, having lost its way, seemed to disappear entirely from existence. Even the universe seemed to forget it was there. One day, before its very eyes, the love of its life passed by, none the wiser of its presence, and in its sorrow and grief, even safety seemed stupid, and security, superfluous.
Lo and behold, before long, the chameleon began to lose its colors! In its distress, with sadness as its constant companion, it turned dark and dull, the color of death, so that it could no longer cloak itself even when it needed to. To hide from predators and prey, it had to retreat to the lower branches of the tree, who, having finally noticed the rough-looking reptile, remarked to it.
“Chameleon, where have your colors gone? Even the iguana has more hues than you.”
“I lost them and myself, tree,” the chameleon expressed. “You haven’t happened to notice where I left them, have you?”
“Yes, you left them up high in the branches, where you betrayed your friend.”
“My friend?” the chameleon asked quizzically. “What friend?”
“You yourself!” the tree blurted out. “Slowly and methodically, you may move, being as patient as evaporation, but where have your perfect plans led you? Even I failed to detect anymore the tickle of your hands on my branches. Perfection is imperfect, chameleon. To not share yourself with the world is not living at all. Live! Live! LIVE! Search within, most fragile of the lizards, and restore what you’ve lost.”
With all its might, the chameleon attempted to change color as it once had. From a hot pink to a rich gold to a metallic quicksilver to a moonlight off-white to a haematic, sanguineous, incarnadine blood-red to a bright citrus orange to a bumblebee yellow to a deep leafy green to an oceanic blue and hydrangeal indigo to a royal purple back to a manic magenta nearing pink, the chameleon let out every emotion it had bottled within it, since its first breath and prior. At the apex of its expression, an epiphany overcame it, and trembling in a cathartic delirium, it articulated a new color never before seen on earth that was its and its alone. Sharing in the sublimity too, the tree began to shed tears of joy.
“Uh, a miracle…” it stammered, at a loss of words.
When some time had passed, the chameleon resumed its typical techniques of mimicry and began climbing back upwards, openly declaring, “I will continue to camouflage, when still or in my back-and-forth motion, but every now and then, I will remind you of my presence, dear tree, and remind myself of it too, dear me, with a color seldom seen in this neck of the woods.”
“May you create many descendants, friend,” the tree responded, overjoyed. “And how will you do this?”
“I have a color in mind.”