Metamorphosis

 

Translation by Adrian Krajewski

Polish version

I was walking through various countries, cultures and eras of the museum’s themed galleries. It was quiet. An old pendulum clock was ticking somewhere. A stone sculpture of a goggle-eyed deity stared into the void. Few people were scattered around and they wandered slowly between the showcases. Everything was in place and thus it made me slowly moon about. Then, suddenly a cold gust from the air conditioner caught me in the India room. I felt uneasy. A chilling shiver passed through my body and when it ended, I realised I was not myself anymore. I have changed into a tiger! I felt puzzled and confused, but even more so, I felt surprisingly glad about the transformation. I could sense the huge energy in my new, strong, animal body. I wanted to try it out, so I sprang forward. My long claws tapped on the wooden floor. My run was a manifestation of joy, strength and vitality, so I was surprised to see people running away from me in panic and hiding in various nooks and crannies instead of cheering for me.

I didn’t even have time to think what to do next when I found myself in the Japanese galleries. Now I have turned into a white rabbit with red eyes! The visitors hesitated for a while but then began to come out from their hidings. They were looking around precariously, not knowing whether they experienced some mass hallucination, or if the tiger had really been here. A moment later when they spotted me in my new form, dozens of hands started to reach towards my white, silky fur. I leapt under one of the cases to avoid being petted to death. People were already on their knees, trying to pull me out and wiping multi-month layers of dust with their sleeves in the process. I couldn’t stay there. I mustered the courage and I squeezed through a tiny space created between their hands. Soon after I was in the adjacent Chinese gallery.

My body got much bigger, became long and grew shiny scales. As a dragon, I silently slipped my head inside the former room, where people were still trying to catch the rabbit under the cabinet. To pay them back I roared and scared them out of their wits – this time intentionally. Next, I glided through the air towards lower levels, writhing through bends between the rooms and the stairs.

As I ended up in the Egyptian rooms, from the dragon, I transformed into an ibis. I soared up and sat on top of a sandstone temple, away from people, just in case. I primped my feathers with my beak and decided to end this whole farce, so I flew out through an open skylight. I only managed to flap my wings a few times when I realised that I was losing height and eventually crashed down on the pavement. Fortunately, the fall wasn’t too painful. I didn’t fly high because I had guessed that I would return to my own shape in the absence of display themes. Despite my fears, it turned out I had clothes on, so I whisked off dirt from my uniform and ran to where in the museum I was supposed to be. Among all the havoc nobody even noticed my absence. And after few moments, I wasn’t sure myself whether the whole metamorphosis happened or whether it was just a dream.

 

Photo: Adrian Krajewski

 

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