Smarty-pants

Wijsneus

There was one big question that was eating Smarty-pants day and night: Why? The question popped up one ordinary morning when he had just woken up. At his table in front of his bowl of oatmeal, he suddenly wondered why he had to eat? Smarty-pants blinked in surprise. What a remarkable question, he thought. The answer was obvious – because he was hungry – and satisfied he continued eating. But immediately a new question arose: why was he hungry? And the answer to that led to another ‘why’, and another one.

Surprised by all those unexpected questions, he intended to get to the bottom of this. He rinsed off his bowl and spoon, packed his backpack and headed for the library. It became a long day and he found many answers. But in bed that night, they only led to new questions. He just couldn’t sleep. Because Whys tend to run after each other and the more he answered, the more there were.

All things considered, he reasoned in the dark, ‘Why’ is a rather big question. Every single subject one can think about has a ‘Why’. Suddenly he jumped up. He just had to search for the universal answer! The one that would answer all why questions at once. He wondered if such an answer existed and a strange excitement took hold of him. The next morning he rushed back to the library, carrying his breakfast in his bag. Food would come later.

He didn’t find it that day. Nor the days that followed. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. And so he is still sitting there, surrounded by piles of books that grow higher and higher. And with every new ‘Why’ the answer seems further away than ever.

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