Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Zulu Warrior in Belgium


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The 26 eclectic-genre short stories for my #AtoZChallenge are excerpts from travelogue notes by
novel character Gahlen, who first appeared in SHARDS OF MEMORY – Oral History in a Heartbeat.

Each A-to-Z daily post is a complete, stand-alone tale.



Zulu Warrior in Belgium
Genre: Shared Fantasy
(305 words)



Belgium demonstrates its humor in unusual ways. They honor a rather risqué, diminutive bronze sculpture, Manneken Pis, located on an obscure corner near the Grand Place in the heart of old Brussels.
Strangely enough, nobody seems to actually know why the manneken is there. He is believed to be nothing more than a decoration on top of a fountain, where people in the Middle-Ages came to get fresh water. Already in the 15th century, a fountain called 'manneken-pis' existed in the Stoffstraat/Rue de l'etuve. The official origin can be traced back to 13 August 1619 when the city ordered the sculptor Jerome Duquesnoy to make a new bronze statue of manneken-pis to replace an old and withered one.
As one of the stories goes, during the course of centuries, the little manneken has often been hidden to protect him against bombs of invading armies. According to a restaurant waiter most eager to refill my beer stein, the statue has been stolen several times by plundering soldiers and even by the citizens of Geraardsbergen, a city in Flanders that claims to possess the oldest statue of a peeing boy in Belgium.
The Brussels statue of a naked little boy, picturesquely doing just what the name implies, has over 654 costumes – donated from every country in the world. A Costume Committee reviews each new submission to assure that it meets the criteria of authenticity and proper structure. Costumes range from Santa Claus and a Swiss Soldier to a Zulu Warrior.
The waiter leaned close while refilling my stein once again, and said, “The little statue has become a national treasure.”
With no inclination to question the statement, I sipped my beer in silence. Another question I refrained from asking: “Why would any army want to bomb a little boy who is so desperately in need of relief?”


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Oh, what a relief to have arrived at the letter Z in the #AtoZChallenge!

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26 comments:

  1. I'm wondering if there is a bunch of photos of him dressed up in different outfits available anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, on Wikipedia for a start,
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manneken_Pis
      but I couldn't find the one I needed: of Zulu the Warrior!

      Delete
  2. Gail,

    Congratulations for finishing the A2Z challenge! I totally agree with you oh what a relief to reach the end of the a2zing. Phew, I'm beat!

    A2Z Little Mermaid art sketch 'Zeus'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cathy. Funny how sitting at a desk reading and typing can be so tiring. Oh, and posting 26 times in 26 days.

      Delete
    2. Gail,

      Luckily I had most of my A2Z sketches and posts completed before April 1st. What's so tiring is keeping up with everyone else - replying to comments, return visits, social media shares, & leaving a message. It's hard enough to do this three days a week (normal blogging schedule) so doing it nearly every day...whew, that's hard work! Now to crash and burn to refuel myself for next week. :)

      Delete
  3. It's amazing what people get so possessive of. Especially groups of people.

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    Replies
    1. Liz, I think the funniest part is that no one knows how it all started.

      Delete
  4. Congratulations on finishing the Challenge. I enjoyed your stories!

    I love "Manikin Pis" dressed in a Santa suit!

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    Replies
    1. John, thanks for stopping by to read my stories. Yes, that little guy is looking snazzy.

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  5. Congratulations! This challenge is quite challenging, and exhausting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What amazes me is that some folks have already started posting their May articles or other blog projects.

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  6. Love your tale of the Belgium statue who has a committee overseeing his clothes that are donated from around the world. It's both hilarious and sweet.

    Congrats on finishing the A to Z challenge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mary. I enjoyed your Cactus Haiku theme. Now to figure out what to write about next year!

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  7. I adore that little statue and I've seen it several times and I'm always suddenly overcome with a desire to dash to the nearest gentleman's facility! Thanks for a most entertaining series.

    Keith's Ramblings is a click away!

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    Replies
    1. Too funny, Keith. Might make a great idea for one of your children's stories!

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  8. Great ending for the AtoZ Challenge... This was a perfect way to start my day. It brings back memories of my childhood and a particular little statue near my grandparent's home. Cheers!

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  9. Good one. I learned something today! Now I have to go back and read the posts of yours I missed. Maybe over the next several months.

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    Replies
    1. Always fun to learn something new although not sure how this would fit into a conversation over cocktails; maybe Belgian beer.

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  10. Congratulations on reaching the end Gail! :)Was reading all your posts on stealth mode. You have amazing content!

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    Replies
    1. Appreciate your visits even though covert! And now, we sleep.

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  11. The little peeing boy looks so adorable. and seeing him do that, I have an urge to rush to the wash-room.

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  12. I never would have thought up this "Z". And the little boy peeing through his santa outfit, what can I say??
    www.findingeliza.com

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  13. This was a real treat! He has more outfits than me!

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  14. I wondered about the stories for the different outfits.

    Congratulations on finishing your A to Z and hope you do it again next year.

    ReplyDelete

Aloha and thank you for visiting today! All comments are welcome.
For those who prefer to comment via email: gbaugniet@aol.com